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Decmil lifts profit by 10pc, shares rise
The West Australian

UPDATE 1.55pm: Shares in Decmil Group rose after the contractor posted a 10 per cent rise in first-half profit to $25.7 million.

The result was achieved on revenue of $263.4 million, down 21 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

The company's statutory profit was down 42 per cent to $25.7 million, because of a $29.8 million gain arising from the business combination of Homeground Villages in the previous corresponding period.

Excluding that amount, operating profit before tax was up 13.4 per cent.

Decmil lifted its interim dividend to 4.5 cents a share from four cents previously.

The company said improved profitability had been driven by an increased margin contribution from Homeground Villages and a focus on productivity within the group's main construction and engineering division to maintain margins.

The contractor secured about $400 million in new contracts and contract extensions during the period, bringing its order book to about $600 million.

Decmil said it held $56.5 million at the end of December and expected to be debt free by the end of next month.

Chief executive Scott Criddle said it was pleasing to deliver such a strong result, given continued weakness in the construction and engineering sectors.

"Whilst tendering is still competitive, Decmil enters the second half of the 2014 financial year with a healthy order book and a strong net cash position," he said.

"We will continue to focus on productivity, margin and cash generation and executing our diversification strategy."

Shares in Decmil closed up nine cents, or 4.39 per cent, at $2.14.