Australia and NZ operations buoy Computershare results

Good results in first half of year but no certainty next half results will match it

Computershare (ASX:CPU) has announced its financial results for the half year to December 31, 2009, recording modest revenue growth of three per cent.

The share registry and financial technology services company reported a statutory net profit after outside equity interest (OEI) of $174.4 million. Total revenues grew three per cent against the first half of 2009 to $807.5 million.

The company also announced management adjusted earnings per share of 31.38 cents, an increase of 20 per cent over the prior corresponding period.

In an ASX statement the company said the result was underpinned by a focus on expenditure, with controllable costs, excluding cost of sales, falling three per cent on the January to June period in 2009 despite acquisitions and large project-related work in relation to Hong Kong initial public offerings and the company's US Mutual Fund proxy solicitation business.

Focusing on its local operations, the company said its Australia and NZ business had delivered a positive outcome in the first half of the 2009/10 financial year with EBITDA climbing 24 per cent on the prior six months to $57.4 million.

“High levels of secondary capital raisings were the catalyst for the improvement, assisted by the stronger Australian dollar,” the company said. “Revenue for the region grew four per cent over the previous corresponding period whilst costs were three per cent lower. Investor services drove the uplift as corporate actions persisted whilst the Communication Services business saw revenues fall. New Zealand maintained earnings at similar levels to 1H09.”

The company also runs US, Canada, Asia, and EMEA operations.

Looking at the year ahead, Computershare’s CEO, Stuart Crosby said there is was no certainty that some of the larger transactions behind the company’s 2009/10 first half result would be matched in the second half of the year.

“These factors, combined with the fact that over the past few years 1H has been stronger than 2H, leave us anticipating management earnings per share growth for the full 2010 financial year of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent,” the ASX-statement reads. “This guidance assumes that equity, interest rate and FX market conditions remain broadly consistent with current levels for the rest of the financial year.”

In January the company signalled that its forthcoming results for the six months to 31 December 2010 would exceed expectations.

At the time, the company said preliminary numbers indicated that management earnings per share will be approximately 20 per cent higher than they were in both the first and second halves of financial year 2009.

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