Australia-based shipbuilding company and defence contractor Austal has reported a 24.6% fall in annual revenue in the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY2021) due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the 12 months that ended on 30 June 2021, the company recorded total revenue of $1.14bn (A$1.57bn). The figure was $1.51bn (A$2.09bn) in the previous fiscal.

Austal’s earnings before interest & tax (EBIT) fell 12.1% in FY2021 to $82.85m (A$114.6m) from $94.27m (A$130.4m) in FY2020.

Net profit after tax (NPAT) was $58.63m (A$81.1m), compared to $64.34m (A$89m) a year ago.

In addition to the pandemic, other factors that affected FY2021 performance are appreciation in the average USD to AUD exchange rate and reduction in Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) volume among others.

Despite the fall, Austal’s FY2021 results are the second-highest on record.

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The board also declared a final dividend of 4 cents per share, which brings dividends related to FY2021 to 8 cents per share.

Austal also decided not to provide EBIT guidance for FY2022 at this point as it anticipates that the Covid-19 situation will continue to remain dynamic.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said: “Our robust earnings and bottom line were underwritten by increased shipbuilding margins at both our US and Australasia operations, as we continued to deliver across our naval programmes.

“Subsequently, we have been able to maintain total FY2021 dividends at 8 cents per share with a final dividend of 4 cents per share.

“This is a testament to the durability of our operations and our ability to maintain a robust financial base, even amidst the challenges of a Covid-19 impacted environment in FY2021.”