Paint maker DuluxGroup expects to lift its profit this financial year after posting a healthy rise in annual earnings.
Dulux’s net profit rose 39.4 per cent to $104.528 million in the year to September 30, from $74.998 million.
Including non-recurring items of $7.4 million, which were partly due to integration costs and an impairment charge relating to its business in China, the net profit result was $111.9 million, up 21.4 per cent.
Dulux said it expects its fiscal 2015 net profit will be higher than $111.9 million.
Managing director Patrick Houlihan said the result was driven by strong profitable sales growth in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the contribution of a full 12 months of Alesco earnings.
“The business has delivered more than 20 per cent profit growth, underpinned by strong financial discipline,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“At the same time, we continued to increase our investment in marketing, innovation and customer service, and DuluxGroup is well placed for ongoing growth.”
Mr Houlihan said increased activity in the housing sector helped Dulux record solid growth across its trade and retail channels.
“Our premium brand positions, predominantly centred around the improvement of existing homes, continue to be resilient and provide a stable platform for generating ongoing growth,” he said.
Dulux’s paints and coatings business in Australia and New Zealand lifted sales by 6.1 per cent and earnings by 12.1 per cent, aided by increased housing activity in both markets.
The consumer and construction business, which includes the Selleys and Parchem brands, lifted earnings by three per cent on flat sales.
And its garage doors and openers business increased sales by just under six per cent, while earnings rose by 4.6 per cent.
The cabinet and architectural hardware division lifted its earnings by a 25 per cent on sales that were 8.5 per cent stronger.
The group’s remaining division, which includes the Yates garden care business and its operations in Asia, lifted earnings by 34.1 per cent but sales dropped five per cent.
Dulux will pay a partly franked final dividend of 10.5 cents a share, up from 9.5 cents.