SCEE managing director Simon High. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian.
SCEE managing director Simon High. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian.

UPDATE 1.55pm: Southern Cross Electrical Engineering (SCEE) has posted a 45 per cent jump in first-half profit to $6.2 million.

The result was achieved despite an 8 per cent slide in revenue to $110.7 million.

SCEE, which did not declare a dividend for the period, attributed the revenue fall to a timing gap between the completion of key projects and the commencement of new awards.

Overheads were down slightly over the period (from $14.8 million to $13.9 million) and gross margin was up (from 22.1 per cent to 23.5 per cent).

The company held cash of $31.3 million at the end of the period, with a further $33.8 million in short term receivables.

It held debt of $3.6 million.

SCEE's order book stood at $97.6 million at the end of the period, excluding work performed under recurring framework agreements, with a further $52 million of orders in advanced stages of negotiations.

Managing director Simon High said the company's ability to execute and close-out the Rio Tinto Cape Lambert Phase A and Anglogold Ashanti Tropicana Gold projects on time and budget were integral to the solid first-half result.

Mr High said he was optimistic that LNG could become a key revenue contributor going forward, as large scale project opportunities in the mining sector wound down.

"The growth of recurring revenues from operations and maintenance and sustaining capital works continues to be a key strategic objective," he said.

"We have framework agreements with key clients in both areas and will be looking to build on the solid platform we have already established through organic growth and by exploring acquisition."

Mr High said the company had a strong financial base and proven operational processes and systems to face the more challenging operating environment.

"We believe this provides us with the capacity to take advantage of growth opportunities that will arise," he said.

Shares in SCEE closed off two cents, or 2.38 per cent, at 82 cents.

The West Australian

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