Mainfreight More Than Doubles Profit as Economy Spurs N.Z. Cargo Traffic

Mainfreight Ltd., New Zealand’s largest trucking company, said first-quarter profit more than doubled as the recovering global economy buoyed sales.

Net income rose to NZ$6.8 million ($4.9 million) in the three months ended June 30 from NZ$2.8 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales increased 21 percent to NZ$315.3 million.

Mainfreight generates about 70 percent of sales in Australia, China and the U.S. after expanding in those markets to reduce reliance on the smaller New Zealand economy. Still, its domestic business contributed about half of operating profit in the quarter.

“We are cautious around the fragile and slower economic improvement, particularly in Australia and New Zealand,” the company said in the statement. “We expect to maintain similar momentum for our half-year result as seen in the first quarter.”

Trading in July and August in the larger economies of Asia and the U.S. maintained the momentum of the first quarter but in Australia and New Zealand it has been a “little inconsistent,” the company said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization increased 34 percent to NZ$15.5 million.

Mainfreight said it will review New Zealand freight rates with effect from Nov. 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net.

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