Australian Foundation Investment (AFI) has lifted half-year profit 15.6 per cent, thanks to a boost in investment income.
The company, which invests in a portfolio of Australian equities including Rio Tinto, Brambles, AGL Energy among others, says profit was $136.4 million in the six months to December 31, compared to $118.3 million in the prior corresponding period.
Revenue also grew, by 13.6 per cent to $154 million, compared to $135.5 million in the prior corresponding period.
Driving the profit gain was an $18.5 million increase in investment income due to a lift in dividends across a range of companies – particularly resource companies – and including participation in the Rio Tinto off market buyback.
The mining giant in September announced it would return proceeds from the $US2.7 billion sale of its NSW coal operations to shareholders through a share buyback of $US2.5 billion.
AFI said the best performing companies in its portfolio – outside the large resource companies – were Wesfarmers, Westpac Banking Corporation, Treasury Wine Estates and Transurban.
It said it will continue to look for quality companies that can provide good long-term growth, including dividends.
AFI shares rose 5.0 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $6.35 on Monday.
AFI HY RESULTS AT A GLANCE:
* Profit up 15.6pct to $136.4m
* Revenue up 13.6pct to $154m
* Interim dividend of 10cps, fully-franked, unchanged.