Toll profit jumps 24%

Toll Holdings.

Toll…"very optimistic" about the future growh.

Transport and logistics group Toll Holdings says it is in “excellent shape” and is “insulated” against the global economic meltdown.

In its 2008 annual report released today, the company has posted annual revenue of $5.60 billion, an increase of 15 per cent, with its net profit after tax for continuing operations jumping 24 per cent to $258 million.

The company said while fluctuating global economic factors would present significant challenges for some businesses, its strong balance sheet, cash reserves, available undrawn facilities and little net debt would safeguard the company’s future growth.

“Certainly future economic conditions are not easy to predict, but Toll is in great shape and excited by the opportunities ahead.

“The in-specie dividend of Virgin Blue shares to shareholders, and strengthening of our balance sheet, have positioned the company to manage any significant downturn in economic conditions should it arise.

“At the same time, the strength of our ongoing cash flows and debt capacity will enable the company to pursue growth opportunities, both in Australia and in support of our global forwarding and Asian contract logistics businesses,” it said.

Over the last 12 months, the company restructured its business, establishing three operating divisions, which are Australia and New Zealand integrated transport and logistics, Toll Asia contract logistics and Toll global forwarding.

Toll reported an annual net loss of $695 million in the year, after paying a net adverse charge of $952 million, which mainly resulted from the $1.2 billion Virgin divestment and the sale of New Zealand rail and ferry operations.

The company said its core Australian business was “extremely sound”, its Asian businesses were growing, organic growth remained strong, and was consistently winning new businesses. 

It also said Toll was “insulated against rising fuel costs”, by structuring most contracts around effective fuel recovery surcharges to minimise increasing costs.

“The company is financially strong, underpinned by consistent organic growth and in a very powerful position to take advantage of any new strategic opportunities.

“We’re in excellent shape and remain very optimistic about the future of our company,” it said. 

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