AWF Group Limited advises that continuing strong growth for the six months to September 30, 2011 has helped deliver an increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of almost 31% to $3.56m compared with $2.72m for the same period last year.
AWF Chairman Ross Keenan says “the group lost a little ground on earlier guidance provided to the market, largely due to a slowing of major customer activity through the build up to Rugby World Cup 2011. While this was unexpected, it is not considered significant when it comes to AWF achieving overall annual targets.”
Managing Director Simon Hull noted sales growth for the half year of 35% (to $54.8m) shows the group is on track to well exceed $100 million, this financial year, for the first time.
The end of the half year coincides with the end of the first full year of trading for both Panacea Healthcare Limited and AWF Mourant Limited, as part of AWF Group.  Mr Hull says Panacea has performed well and up to pre-acquisition expectations. The Mourant business, centred on Waihi’s gold mining operations and the Hauraki region, has had an exceptional year.  In October AWF acquired the remaining 25% shareholding held by the original owners.
Mr Hull commented that while the economy remains a little uncertain there are strong opportunities for the placement of good temporary staff in AWF’s core sectors of healthcare, manufacturing, food processing, transport and logistics, construction, infrastructure development and general labouring. He is confident the momentum AWF has achieved will continue.
The group’s directors note the half year net profit after tax (NPAT) of $1.73m compared with $1.74m for the same period last year, includes amortisation of more than $600,000 related to the intangible assets of Panacea Healthcare and AWF Mourant.  Accounting treatment around such non cash items will continue, making comparisons difficult at this level especially as further acquisitions eventuate.
An interim dividend of 5.0 cents (fully imputed), compared to 3.8 cents last year has been declared. This dividend will be payable on the November 25, 2011 to shareholders registered on November 18, 2011.
For the Board
Ross Keenan