Economy

Good and bad for billionaires – Westfield’s profit slumps while Transpacific soars

SmartCompany /

It’s been a mixed morning for two of Australia’s richest men, Westfield founder Frank Lowy and Australia’s golden garbo, Transpacific Industries founder, Terry Peabody.

It’s been a mixed morning for two of Australia’s richest men, Westfield founder Frank Lowy and Australia’s golden garbo, Transpacific Industries founder, Terry Peabody.

Lowy has had a bad year; not only has he been embroiled in tax investigations in Australia and the United States, but Westfield has been shunned by investors in recent months. It reported a 35% fall in net profit for the six months to 30 June to $1.29 billion.

The company is weathering a downturn in the global property market, falling retail spending and volatile investment markets, but Lowy’s sons, Peter and Steven, said they were pleased with the result given the challenging environment. The company’s forecast for 5.5% growth in operational earnings remains in place.

Waste management giant Transpacific reported a 70% increase in net profit to $175.25 million for 2007-08, with revenue soaring 70% to $2.2 billion.

The company, which is famous for its seemingly inexhaustible acquisition drive, says it will focus on organic growth and paying down its $2.3 billion in net debt over the next financial year, but is still confident of posting double digit growth for 2008-09.

Oil and gas giant Woodside produced one of the more spectacular profit results of the reporting season, with first half profit leaping 67% to $1.016 billion on the back of soaring oil prices and increased production.

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