Ausdrill earnings up 70%, retiring MD puts $100m share up for sale

Ausdrill has recorded excellent results for its first half-year report in 2018, posting post-tax profit increase of 163.5 per cent to $35.3 million for the period ending December 31 last year. Group sales revenue was also up 17.9 per cent over the previous quarter to $439.7 million.

Since posting its last half-year profits Ausdrill has expanded its African portfolio extensively, securing over $400 million in new contracts and contract extensions with major operators such as Evolution Mining, AngloGold Ashanti and Resolute Mining; this project growth has seen Ausdrill’s earnings increase significantly (up 70.9 per cent over previous period at $57.9 million).

Ausdrill’s current managing director Ron Sayers said Africa offered strong prospects for growth.

“Tendering activity remains at record levels due to the vast number of opportunities for new projects in Africa,” he said. “We expect this will translate over time into contracts for both our African Mining Services team as well as our African Underground Mining Services joint venture.”

Sayers recently announced plans to retire from the company, having been one of the founders of Ausdrill in 1987. He had previously planned to retire in early 2014, but decided to stay longer in order to strengthen the company.

Sayers is also exiting shareholding in Ausdrill, having sold his shares via block trade. His 10 per cent stake in the company is apparently worth around $100 million. Yesterday, financial services firm UBS was offering stock equivalent to 10 per cent of Ausdrill at $2.72 per share.

Sayers will stay on for the next 12 months at Ausdrill to ease the transition for his eventual successor. Sayers said that he would remain fully committed to the company until a new MD was found.

“My decision to sell my shares in Ausdrill overnight was taken in view of the limited trading windows available to me in the next twelve months, as leadership of the company transitions and I move into retirement,” he explained.

“Further, following my decision to retire, I also wanted to ensure that speculation regarding a sale of my shareholding did not distract investors from the strong ongoing performance of the business.”

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