22 Feb 2021

Freightways sees delivery activity soar after Covid-19 lockdowns

5:44 pm on 22 February 2021

Transport company Freightways has seen a sharp turnaround in its fortunes as delivery activity soared after the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Courier driver.

Photo: 123RF

The courier and data management company's net profit was down 25 percent to $21.9 million for the six months to December, compared with $29.2m a year ago.

Stripping out the increase in the acquisition price for refrigeration transport business Big Chill, its half year net profit was 41 percent higher than last year at about $41m.

Revenue for the company whose brands include New Zealand Couriers and Post Haste Couriers, rose by just under a third to $410m, reflecting the added contributions from the Big Chill business and increased deliveries to consumers.

Freightways chief executive Mark Troughear said trading over the past six months had translated into a very solid performance across all its business units.

"While the harshest level four lockdowns present significant efficiency, resourcing and financial challenges, outside of level four we have seen several new dynamics establish themselves - a larger market for courier services driven heavily by eCommerce and a higher awareness and demand for medical waste disposal."

The company said it was taking steps to address its carbon emissions it produces by virtue of its delivery vehicles and aircraft it operates directly or through contracts.

"While we have made great strides in reducing our relative emissions per item through optimisation of the routes and size of our fleets and adopting modern vehicles, we also continue to monitor alternative fuel cell vehicle development that will eventually allow us and our contractors to achieve step changes in carbon reduction."

Troughear said he thought it could take up to three years before a low emitting diesel equivalent vehicle was available.

In the year ahead, Freightways said it would invest in its research and development team, The Startery, which is responsible for developing complimentary revenue streams for its businesses.

The company did not provide a full year profit guidance but said it would start repaying a dividend of 15.5 cents to shareholders after it was cancelled last year.

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