Linfox investment focus to shft from Victoria and NSW

WA leads the way as logic of growth and expansion becomes inescapable

By Rob McKay | April 8, 2011

Linfox will focus on resources logistics in Australia and its Asian expansion as growth and income in Victoria and New South Wales fail to perform, Chief Executive Michael Byrne has told ATN.

The company unveiled a $68 million, eight hectare investment in a ‘supersite’ at Hazelmere, north of Perth Airport, yesterday and says it will look to buy more industrial real estate.

"It took us 54 years to make a $400 million business in New South Wales," Byrne says.

"It’s taken two and a half years to make a $200 million business in WA."

He pointed to heavy attraction wrought by the resources boom and admitted Linfox was prey to the same forces as the rest of the Australian economy.

This had led to a boar decision in February to shift focus.

"Our businesses on the east coast, our historical businesses that have been so good for us for 50 years, aren’t performing as they have been, so we do believe there are real structural changes in the Australian economy and some of this is a part of that strategic analysis that means we will be putting more investment in WA, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Asia," he says.

"We won’t be walking away from our business here - $800 million of our $2 billion is in these two states - we’re just thinking about where the growth and the opportunities going to come from."

Byrne says the Hazelmere supersite would contain a 400,000-500,000 litre fuel tank to help ease the pressure of fuel prices, which had risen 34 percent in the 12 months to February.

Linfox had been able to claw back 96 percent.

Some customers had said they were unable to afford the extra cost but this had meant a $47 million impact on the company’s bottom line, Byrne says.

Another supersite was due to open at Erskine Park, in Sydney’s west, in June.

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