ALS lifts dividend on bumper result

ALS has flagged continuing supportive market conditions in its dominant commodities and life sciences businesses after reporting bumper earnings and revenue growth for the year ending March 31.

The ASX-listed company reported a 52.9% year-on-year jump in statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) to A$291 million for FY23 and 21.8% increase in underlying EBIT to $491m on 19.5% higher annual revenue of $2421m.

It declared a 19.4c-a-share final dividend (10% franked) to take its full-year payout to 39.7c/sh, up 21% yoy, for a payout ratio of 60% of FY23 underlying NPAT.

“This was another strong performance by our global business,” ALS chairman Bruce Phillips said.

“Underlying continuing NPAT was up 23.4% yoy, exceeding the top end of our revised market guidance.

“The company is continuing to demonstrate its resilience in operating through challenging periods of global instability, high inflation, and economic uncertainty.”

CEO Malcolm Deane said results were driven by contributions from ALS’s two largest businesses, “which delivered strong growth and increased margins”.

“Our market leading global environmental business within life sciences successfully managed inflationary headwinds, and our geochemistry business was able to effectively utilise installed capacity, manage cost and pricing whilst delivering an increased value proposition for mining clients,” Deane said.

“The company made excellent progress in FY23 towards its FY27 objectives set within our established five-year vision.

“We expect to continue our innovation journey, standardising systems, and solutions to leverage data and provide increased value for our clients. We will further develop and leverage the strong culture of innovation and collaboration to shape our portfolio with sustainability as its focus.”

ALS’s commodities division grew revenue 22.6% yoy to $1087m, with EBIT up 29.3% to $330m.

Geochemistry revenue was up 20% yoy, “with growth achieved in all regions supported by increasing demand for base metals, particularly those linked to future clean technologies”.

“The recent acquisition of Goldspot Technologies, which continues the group’s journey of innovation, is resulting in increased interest in consulting activities from our mining clients,” ALS said.

“The geochemistry business is the largest provider of analytical services to the global mining industry and has demonstrated its ability to grow both market share and capacity over the years.

“The business has maintained the largest market share in the industry due to its superior execution, testing capabilities, geographical footprint and available capacity.

“The future profitability of this business is expected to be supported by a continued level of base metal demand required for clean energy transition, increased level of demand for premium analytical services, an agile cost base and capacity planning tools, and its strategic shift into more downstream activities including new innovation and data analytics.”


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