SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian parts maker Pacifica Group Ltd. reported on Wednesday a 9 percent rise in 2003 net profit as improved sales were partly offset by the stronger Australian dollar.
But the company reiterated a December profit warning that growth in the year ahead would be less than 10 percent due to the strong Australian dollar, which last week hit a seven-year high above 80 U.S. cents but has since eased back to $0.78
"Overall, assuming an exchange rate with the U.S. dollar in the mid-70s, Pacifica expects to post a modest increase in net profit after tax in 2004, with current estimates being in the range of A$48 million to A$50 million," Pacifica's managing director, John MacKenzie, said in a statement.
He said every one-cent movement in the exchange rate would translate to a A$250,000 movement in net profit after tax.
Pacifica, which makes brake and clutch parts for automakers in the United States, Europe, Australia, Malaysia and Thailand, reported a net profit of A$48.2 million ($37.7 million) for the year to Dec. 31, compared with a year earlier profit of A$44.3 million.
It's profit before one-off items was $46.7 million. Four analysts had on average expected a net profit of A$45.9 million, in line with the group's own forecast that it would report a net profit of about A$46 million before a one-off profit on the sale of its Webforge business.
Pacifica bought Italian brakes maker automotive Products Italia SpA last August for 37.5 million euros, giving it a foothold in Europe, supplying drum brakes and park brakes to Fiat, Ford and Nissan.
The Melbourne-based company is still looking to sell its last remaining construction products business, Melwire.