Engineering group Downer EDI has lifted its full year profit almost six per cent, despite a slide in revenue from across its infrastructure, mining and rail businesses.

Downer EDI made a net profit of $216 million for the 12 months to June 30, up 5.9 per cent from $204 million in 2013.

But group revenue slipped 16 per cent to $7.37 billion.

Underlying profit was flat compared to 2013, which was hit by significant items.

Downer EDI expects conditions to remain tough and is forecasting a five per cent slide in profit to around $205 million for 2014/15.

It expects to benefit from increased government spending on capital and services in the coming 12 months, but says the outlook for spending from the resources sector was less promising.

Chief executive Grant Fenn said weak conditions in the engineering and construction sector had caused a slide in revenue across the company’s mining, infrastructure and construction divisions.

“The mining-based construction and services markets were subdued during the year and each of the company’s three divisions – Infrastructure, Mining and Rail – reported lower revenue,” Mr Fenn said.

Mr Fenn said the company had worked to cut costs and improve productivity, which resulted in a 16.5 per cent fall in total expenses for the year.

Downer EDI announced a fully-franked final dividend of 12 cents per share, up from 11 cents per share, franked at 70 per cent, a year ago.
It brings the year’s dividend to 23 cents a share, compared with 21 in 2013.

It also announced plans to buy back up to 43 million shares on the market by August 20.