Logistics groups pin hopes on resources sector
With retail and manufacturing in the doldrums, Australia’s two largest logistics providers, Toll and Linfox, are focussing more intently on the resources sector.
Last week, Linfox opened a $70m site in Perth aimed squarely at WA’s robust resources sector.
West Australian Premier Colin Barnett was on hand for the opening ceremony, along with company owners Lindsay Fox and Peter Fox.
More than 130 Linfox and customers’ staff work at the new 80,000m2 Hazelmere facility.
Linfox chairman Peter Fox said: “The centre’s master control room allows our team to monitor and manage our resources warehouse and transport operations throughout Western Australia.
“Linfox has added more than 150 new road trains to its West Australian fleet and 300 new employees in the last 18 months.”
“We bring more than a decade of experience in supporting major resource projects, so Western Australia is a natural area of growth for Linfox.”
Meanwhile, while announcing a disappointing six percent drop in profits for 2012 (excluding charges) to $274m, Brian Kruger, Toll Group’s chief executive, emphasised that the haulage of bulk commodities is the company’s key growth driver for the next 12 months.
He told the Australian Financial Review (AFR): “Given the pipeline of opportunities we’ve got (in resources), certainly from an organic perspective, I expect it to be the most rapidly growing business in the next 12 months.”
Resources contribute $1.1bn of Toll’s $8.7bn in group revenue.
However, analysts spoken to by the AFR said that Toll is still very exposed to retail and manufacturing, with the resources sector unlikely to offset weakness in those areas.