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Queensland business briefs: Your daily Sunshine State update


The latest business news on Youfoodz, Sunland, Orocobre,  Megaport, Autopact, Austral Resources, PPK, ASIC, Skytrans, LPE, Ampol, Michael Hill, QRC, Tamawood, Hypersonix, QEM, Cromwell, Terracom, QSuper, Sydney Airports, Metro Mining

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Youfoodz revenue up

July 23: Brisbane-based Youfoodz said it recorded a rise in gross revenue of almost 20 per cent for the June quarter.

The company, which has entered into a scheme of arrangement for an agreed takeover from HelloFresh, said the revenue of $203 million was ahead of guidance, but EBITDA would be at the lower end of guidance of between $1 million and $2 million.

Chief executive and founder Lance Giles said its business-to-consumer division performed strongly and delivered significant uplift in order volumes and revenue.

Sunland sells Ingleside

July 23: Developer Sunland has sold properties in Ingleside, NSW, for $35 million.

The company, which is liquidating its assets and returning capital to investors, said it would record a profit of $11.9 million from the sale.

The funds will be used to repay debt and as working capital.

Orocobre soars

July 22: Share in lithium producer Orocobre jumped more than 7 per cent this morning after the company posted its quarterly results which showed improving cash flows and sales prices.

Prices were up 170 per cent over the past nine months, the company said.

The proportion of battery-grade production reached a record level and market conditions continued to improve.

It said discussions continued with Toyota Tsusho Corporation regarding an expansion of its lithium hydroxide production to meet forecast growth in demand.

Megaport gets bigger

Brisbane internet company Megaport has reported an 8 per cent increase in customers for the fourth quarter.

The company said it there were record net increases in the quarter across all major operating metrics.

Monthly recurring revenue increased by $735,000, or 11 per cent, for the fourth quarter.

BoQ adds a ME director to board

Former ME Bank director Deborah Kiers will join the Bank of Queensland board following the finalisation of the takeover.

Kiers will be considered an independent director and BoQ said her appointment would support the integration of ME into BoQ.

The board seat became available following the resignation of Kathleen Bailey-Lord.

Two more for ASX

July 22: The rush to raise capital in a booming market has led to two more Queensland companies readying for a float and listing.

Reports suggest copper producer Austral Resources and Autopact are getting ready for the transition to a listed company.

Austral is reportedly after $100 million. It currently operates the Lady Annie mine, near Mt Isa.

Li-S prospectus lodged

July 21: PPK and Deakin University spinoff Li-S Energy has lodged a prospectus to raise $34 million which would give it a market valuation of about $550 million.

The offer is for 40 million shares at 85 cents a share and a priority offer of up to $8 million in shares to existing shareholders in the company will be included. The offer is not underwritten and will not proceed unless it is fully subscribed.

Li-S will produce lithium sulphur batteries that have been touted as a game-changer for the sector through the use of boron nitrate nanotubes that act as an insulator.

The funds will allow Li-S to scale up its development and production team, install a pilot production plant and retrofit Li-S Energy batteries into a range of products to demonstrate the performance advantages.

Li-S has no immediate prospect of generating significant revenue.

Gold Coast adviser banned

July 21: ASIC has banned former financial adviser Adam John Bevan for five years from providing financial services, controlling a financial services business, or performing any function in relation to carrying on a financial services business.

Bevan was an authorised representative of Gold Coast based Australian financial services licensee, Trade Wind Financial Services Pty Ltd (Trade Wind FS) between 25 July 2017 and 18 May 2020. During that period, Mr Bevan was also the sole director of Trade Wind FS.

ASIC found that Mr Bevan failed to act in the best interests of three Trade Wind FS clients when he failed to make reasonable enquiries about their existing superannuation funds and when he did not put in place measures to ensure their funds were transferred in accordance with his advice.

ASIC also found that Mr Bevan is not a fit and proper person, having regard to his connection to a refusal or failure to give effect to a determination by AFCA.

ASIC has also cancelled the AFSL of Trade Wind FS, effective 26 May 2021. ASIC took this action due to a failure by Trade Wind FS to co-operate with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and pay two AFCA determinations on time.

Trade Wind FS also failed to lodge its 2019 and 2020 audited financial accounts and comply with several licence conditions including failing to notify ASIC of the change in the key person for the AFSL.

Skytrans bids for 5 routes

July 20: Skytrans will bid for five regulated routes throughout regional and remote Queensland in the upcoming tenders for regulated air routes across the state.

The tender closes on August 9 and chief executive Alan Milne said the Queensland-owned company would be demonstrating how Skytrans services would better connect communities and support economic and jobs growth in the regions.

The five routes it was bidding for were:  Western 1: Brisbane-Toowoomba-St George-Cunnamulla-Thargomindah; Western 2: Bris-Toowoomba-Charleville-Quilpie-Windorah-Birdsville-Bedourie-Boulia-Mt Isa; Northern 1: Townsville-Winton-Longreach; Northern 2: Townsville-Hughenden-Richmond-Julia Creek-Mount Isa and Gulf: Cairns-Normanton-Karumba-Mornington Island-Burketown-Doomadgee-Mount Isa.

LPE maiden profit

July 20: Sunshine Coast-based energy company LPE said it had produced a maiden profit for 2021 on revenue growth of 27 per cent.

Its EBITDA for the year was $3.7 million and its net profit was $900,000.

The company has a shared-solar product it markets to strata communities in Queensland and NSW.

Michael Hill still booming

July 19: Jeweler Michael Hill said its same store sales for the June quarter were up 7.5 per cent on last year and up 116 per cent on an all-store-basis.

For the year, sales were up 8.6 per cent and 10 per cent on 2019.

Margin improvements have been maintained and it expects its earnings to be in line with expectations or above.

Digital sales were up 51 per cent for the year.

Tamawood hit by delays

July 19: Home builder Tamawood said its final dividend would be 13 cents a share giving it a 24 cent payout for the year.

The company said the last quarter had been impacted by wet weather as well as labour and materials shortages. Delayed bank approvals for customers had also had an impact.

It expected the delays to continue for the next six months.

Lytton improves

Ampol’s Lytton refinery has boosted its margins and is expected to post an operating profit for the second quarter.

It follows a decision by the company to accept $40 million from the Federal Government as a subsidy to keep the refinery operational.

Ampol said the refinery’s margin was $US6.29 a barrel, up from the $US5.48 in the first quarter but still below historical averages.

Miners thinking green

July 19: About 70 per cent of Queensland resources companies were investing in low emission technology (LET) research and development, up from 40 per cent two years ago.

The Queensland Resources Council’s State of the Sector report also found that 65 percent of chief executives of resources companies expected to undertake investments to reduce emissions from their own operations over the next 12 months.

Almost a quarter (22 percent) were already using renewable energy to power parts of their operations.

The report also confirmed the global economy remained the biggest concern for chief executives but that the industry’s social licence to operate had risen from fourth to second in the list of concerns.

Romar signs with Hypersonix

July 19: Romar Engineering has teamed up with space company Hypersonix under an agreement that will mean the two companies will work to develop scalable solutions for sustainable space flight.

They will collaborate on 3D printing and other techniques.

Romar was recently awarded a $5.8 million grant from the Federal Government under its modern manufacturing iniatitive.

QEM gets hydrogen thumbs up

QEM said a pre-feasibility study indicated wind farms at its Julia Creek oil shale and vanadium project would be suitable for the production of green hydrogen.

Managing director Gavin Loyden said the study’s success brought the company one step closer to becoming a green hydrogen producer.

The study showed capacity for 21 wind turbines generating 126 megawatts of capacity. Further studies would be needed and a second stage of the pre-feasibility would include a solar farm.

Cromwell gets a new director

July 9: Cromwell has appointed Jialei Tang as a non executive director. It follows the previous appointments of Rob Blain and Ooi Eng Peng to the board.

Cromwell chair Gary Weiss said Tang brought real estate experience in investments, property, asset management, architecture and urbanism gained from her work in Singapore, the US and China.

Tang is the chief executive of Silver City Properties, a property and investment company in the US.

Former Rio executives step into Metro

July 6: Metro Mining managing director Simon Finnis has resigned following the completing of its capital raising.

He will be replaced by Simon Wensley, a former chief commercial officer with Rio Tinto’s energy division and managing director of the bauxite, alumina sales and marketing division. He was also chairman of Queensland Alumina.

Another Rio senior executive Doug Ritchie has also joined the board.


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