11 Feb 2015
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Airwork affirms annual profit growth forecast; flags slowdown in helicopter trading

By Pattrick Smellie

Airwork Holdings, the listed aviation business, still expects annual earnings to climb 48 percent this financial year even as a slowdown in helicopter trading weighs on revenue.

The Auckland-based company reaffirmed its October guidance, saying it expects profit to be $14.5 million in the year ending June 30, up from $9.8 million last year, as a slowdown in the helicopter market is offset by more freighter leases to European customers. The company has been using debt to acquire Boeing 737-400s for conversion to freight planes as it expands its winged fleet business.

"The market is experiencing a slowdown in helicopter trading which could negatively affect the company's engineering revenues," Airwork said in a statement. "The company could benefit from greater leasing opportunities as the market seeks more cost effective and less capital intensive solutions and could also see greater opportunities in the airline and express freight markets, as evidenced by the recent aircraft leases."

The aviation business said it also recognises some of the challenges faced by the oil and gas industry due to declining oil prices, which last year fell to the lowest level in more than five years.

Airwork didn't comment on its dividend, but at its October annual meeting told shareholders it expects to pay a 15 cent per share total dividend in 2015.

Shares of the company last traded at $3.10 having gained 4.7 percent over the past 12 months.

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