Cement and lime manufacturer Adelaide Brighton Ltd says it expects its full year profit to be in line with its calendar 2010 result, despite a weaker first half.
The company also says it is confident there are good opportunities for long-term growth for shareholder returns despite mixed and uneven economic conditions.
Adelaide Brighton reported a net profit after tax of A$151.5m for the year to December 31.
EBITDA increased 16.7 per cent to A$216.2m due to higher selling prices, management of costs and improved import margins supported by the stronger Australian dollar.
Managing director said Mark Chellew said on Wednesday the strong Australian dollar was expected to continue having a positive effect on the margins of imported products but created a risk of greater competition from imports.
"At present we expect first half 2011 net profit after tax to be weaker than that in the first half of 2010," Mr Chellew told the company’s annual general meeting in Sydney.
"However, along with the price increases in our lime business and expected recovery in the concrete and cement markets in South Australia and Western Australia in the second half, due to the timing of projects, we expect net profit after tax for 2011 to be similar to 2010."
The first half weakness was due to the loss of contracted cement volume in WA, the temporary shutdown of a major lime customer in the Northern Territory and maintenance programs being weighted to the first half, he said.
"In 2011 we expect the national demand for cement and concrete volumes across Australia will be similar to last year, although there are a number of risks to the business."
Mr Chellew said Adelaide Brighton would spend A$60m to expand its major cement plant at Birkenhead in South Australia which would be completed in 2013. The company is to spend an extra A$34m for two projects at the Munster kiln 6 in WA to increase production capacity by 100,000tpa.