Leighton's 50th AGM: strong engineering growth forecast

18 November 2011

Leighton Holdings called its 50th AGM to order on 11 November. Group chairman Stephen Johns highlighted that the 2011 financial year held 'serious challenges' for Leighton.

Despite this, the group's third quarter results showed an audited revenue increase of AUD 1.4bn (USD 1.42bn) on the 2010 results and a corresponding profit after tax increase of AUD 252.5M (USD 255.25M). The figures did not include gains on the sale of HWE Mining concluded on 30 September.

Johns said, "Leighton is a business that is extremely well placed and with a new CEO, who is supported by a capable and experienced management team, the Board looks forward to rewarding shareholders for their support in the years ahead.”

Leighton CEO Hamish Tyrwhitt was appointed suddenly in August within 24 hours of the departure of his predecessor David Stewart. Tyrwhitt commented, "As well as our exposure to the resources sector, Australia offers us a substantial range of infrastructure opportunities, underpinned by a growing economy and an expanding population. Recent forecasts suggested that the total value of engineering and commercial construction will rise by over 10 per cent in 2011/12 and by 12 per cent in 2012/13 with engineering construction growing even faster.

“I am bringing more rigour and discipline to project selection and pricing. Our positive outlook and enhanced focus on risk management gives me confidence in our ability to return to creating real value for our shareholders.

Tyrwhitt added, “The Leighton Group’s underlying strength is reflected in our work in hand which remains around AUD 45bn (USD 45.5bn) with a further AUD 10bn (USD 10.1bn) that runs out beyond five years and an additional AUD 4-6bn (USD 4.04-6.1bn) worth of preferred contracts. Over the next 2-3 months, we will be submitting tenders worth AUD 27bn (USD 27.3bn) which demonstrates that the markets we operate in are not slowing down.”