Equity Trustees Limited (ASX: EQT) today releases its audited results for the six months to 31 December 2014, and confirms a strong lift in half year profit compared with the prior corresponding period.
EQT Chairman, Mr Tony Killen, said the operating profit was particularly pleasing. “Before we acquired ANZ Trustees Limited, Equity Trustees was a business valued at around $150m. The acquisition virtually doubled that, but despite the significant staff time and resources devoted to the very involved integration project, and before the material synergy benefits begin to flow, the company still managed to virtually double its first half operating performance.”
Mr Killen confirmed that the interim fully franked dividend will be maintained at 46 cents per share, representing a payout ratio of approximately 90% on the underlying operating earnings. Any shortfall in DRP participation will be underwritten at the DRP price.
Despite the large increase in shares issued to fund the acquisition, underlying earnings per share has increased by 2% from 49.58 to 50.65 cps.
Managing Director, Mr Robin Burns said: “The acquisition of ANZ Trustees is an exciting event for EQT. The integration is well under way and proceeding to plan. We are confident that the objectives we set out as our goals at the start of the acquisition process will be achieved. In addition I am glad to note that organic business growth continued in the existing business units.”
He added: “We have increased our operating margin from 26% to 33%, achieved further growth in total Funds under Management and Administration, which at December were 21% higher than the previous December, and retain a strong balance sheet with no debt. We are well placed and confident about our ability to continue to grow the company in both the corporate services and private wealth sectors and provide attractive rewards for all stakeholders.”
For further information, please contact:
Managing Director Equity Trustees Limited
Phone: 61 3 8623 5201
Chief Financial Officer Equity Trustees Limited
Phone: 61 3 8623 5372