AusRAIL, Market Sectors

BBI report strong results after $2.5bn of investment

<p>Babcock &#38 Brown Infrastructure (BBI) has reported strong profit results in the wake of more than $2.5bn of investment, across five projects, in the past year.</p> <p>BBI said yesterday (Tuesday, March 14) it was keen to expand further after bidding for 12 different assets worth about $7.5bn during the same period.</p> <p>The $68.3m profit, for the six months ending December 31, was largely due to a $58m windfall from the folding of B&#38B Wind Partners last October.</p> <p>Increased volumes at BBI’s export coal terminal at Dalrymple Bay also helped.</p> <p>The company reported a $4.7m profit for the same period last year. </p> <p>BBI reported a doubling of operating cash flow available for distributions to 72.1m, due in part to key acquisitions such as PD Ports &#8211 the UK’s second largest ports operator — and gas distributor International Energy Group, of which BBI took full ownership in May 2005.</p> <p>BBI chief executive Steve Boulton the investment in PD Ports brought opportunities for further expansion.</p> <p>&#8220It’s probably the asset that will have the most aggressive growth for us,&#8221 Mr Boulton said.</p> <p>Speculation continues that BBI is considering purchasing the soon-to-be vacant 50% stake in Pacific National. </p> <p>BBI made its first venture into rail freight with its $835.5m purchase of the Australian Railroad Group’s "below rail" assets &#8211 its tracks.</p> <p>However, Mr Boulton said there was nothing that the company was &#8220actively pursuing&#8221 in the &#8220above rail&#8221 business at the moment.</p> <p>Pacific National did not &#8220necessarily fit within BBI’s investment criteria&#8221, he said.</p> <p>The speculation comes in the wake of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s stunning decision on Saturday to allow Toll Holdings a hostile takeover bid for Patrick Corp &#8211 the current joint-partner with Toll in Pacific National. </p> <br />