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Austal posts $5.4m profit, confirms gudiance
The West Australian

Shipbuilder Austal has confirmed guidance for a full-year net profit of $23-$26 million after posting a first half profit of $5.4 million.

The result was achieved on revenue of $389.4 million, up 45.6 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

EBITDA was $24 million, up from 21.3 million in the previous corresponding period.

Austal said it had lifted EBIT margins at its US operations to 5.2 per cent in the latest period from 1.2 per cent in the previous corresponding period.

"Importantly, margins have continued to improve at the USA operations, as additional efficiencies are implemented in JHSV and LCS construction," the company said in a statement.

"Revenue from Henderson Shipyard Operations increased by 43 per cent over the corresponding prior half year period to $46.5 million, with losses in the operation now reduced and expected to break-even for the full year."

Austal completed a $77.9 million capital raising in the period to bolster its balance sheet and pay down debt.

Austal chief executive Andrew Bellamy said Austal was delivering on the promise of improved margins at its US operations.

"The USA operations continue to track in the right direction as we lock in the learnings from the first vessels in the JHSV and LCS series," he said.

"Our balance sheet has been reset and we've dealt with part of our balance sheet legacy issues with the stock yacht sale.

"Importantly, revenue from our systems and support operations grew by 68 per cent to $23.99 million reflecting the company's focus on this high margin business and reinvestment of earnings to grow this segment.

"Austal is now well positioned to deliver on our margin and earnings promise for the full year."

Austal had an order book of $2.2 billion at the end of the period, which it said would secure revenue until 2016.

Shares in Austal were up four cents, or 6.15 per cent, to 69 cents in early trade.