The country’s biggest listed transport company, Mainfreight, has had a 6 percent lift in profit as better trading in overseas markets has offset the slower growth in local markets.

The net profit for the six months to September was $59.1 million from $55.7m last year. The result includes a $4.3m one off cost from complying with new accounting standards covering leases.

Mainfreight’s managing director Don Braid said the result was “satisfactory”.

“Continuing profit improvement from Europe and the Americas has assisted overall performance, as we continue to improve margins and services in both regions.”

He said revenue in New Zealand and Australia, while stronger, was showing the effects of slower economic growth.

Group revenue rose almost 5 percent to $1.5bn, with growth in all regions apart from Asia, which was affected by the US-China trade dispute and unrest in Hong Kong.

Group debt rose to $187.7m from $130.5m, with its debt to equity ratio increasing from 13.5 to 17.5 percent.

Braid said the group was looking for growth in most parts of the business, resulting in a higher full year profit.

“It is our expectation that we will see increasing profitability and growth in our European and American markets.

“Our traditional markets of New Zealand and Australia, whilst flat by our standards in these first six months, are expected to improve further through to year end, culminating in improved returns over the year prior.”

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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