15 Feb 2022

Infratil revises underlying profit guidance

12:25 pm on 15 February 2022

Infratil says its portfolio is relatively well positioned to withstand the pressures of a high inflation environment and the ongoing pandemic.

Wellington, New Zealand - January 04, 2019: Aeroplane at the Wellington terminal gate ready for takeoff during sunset on Wellington, New Zealand.

Pandemic-related restrictions had dragged down earnings from investments in Wellington Airport and Diagnostic Imaging, Infratil said. Photo: 123RF

However, the infrastructure investor narrowed its underlying profit guidance range to $500 million to $520m for the year ending 31 March, from previous forecast range of $500m to $530m.

Chief executive Jason Boyes said pandemic-related restrictions had dragged down earnings from its investments in Wellington Airport and Diagnostic Imaging, which was expected to persist for the rest of the financial year.

He said many other assets were resilient to the pandemic, as well as escalating inflation.

Boyes said most of the group's revenue was generated from inflation adjusted contracts, which cushioned it from inflationary impacts.

In addition, he said some of its portfolio companies could pass on cost increases to customers, while those that may be constrained by competitive pressures could respond to inflation by improving operational efficiency.

Boyes said workforce costs constituted a large part of the cost base for some portfolio companies, but increases could be offset through revenue growth as well as operational improvements.

He said inflation was expected to have a limited impact on near-term group capital expenditure as projected costs had already been locked in or had built-in headroom in anticipation of inflation.

He said the company would continue to invest in existing asset classes but was keeping an eye emerging areas.

In the meantime, Infratil was focused on investment in digital infrastructure, renewables and healthcare sectors.

Among the company's 12 major assets, was Australia's CDC Data Centres, Vodafone NZ and US-based Longroad Energy.

He said the valuations of its investments had increased and it was continuing to reinvest in fast-growing asset classes.

Boyes said the company still had a strong balance sheet following the sale of Tilt Renewables.

"We see conditions for strong growth for all our key sectors," he said, adding the company would look for cash-generating investments.

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