Wilson Parking NZ annual profit jumps 22% on growth in parking, security

Its biggest cost increase was leasing costs to property owners.

Wilson Parking New Zealand, the local unit of a business ultimately controlled by Hong Kong's Kwok family, posted a 22 percent gain in full-year profit as sales at its parking and security units rose.

Profit was $12.3 million in the year ended June 30, from $10.1 million a year earlier, according to the Auckland-based company's annual report. Sales rose to $167.7 million from $150 million, with about two-thirds of revenue coming from parking.

The New Zealand business is made up of Wilson Parking, New Zealand's biggest parking company, and First Security, acquired in 2014. Both units have been on an expansion path in recent years. Wilson Parking has bought out rivals including Tournament Parking while First Security added Arrow Security Protection and Total Security Management. Sales of parking services rose 10.5 percent to $108 million in the latest year while security guard services revenue rose 8.8 percent to $72.6 million, offset by a $20 million of remittances to third-party car park owners.

Its biggest cost increase was a 15 percent gain to $52.5 million in leasing costs paid to owners of its car park properties, which a company spokeswoman said was a combination of an increase to existing property owners and the addition of new properties. Employee costs rose 8.2 percent to $61.7 million. Across the two businesses, Wilson Parking employs more than 2,000 people.

Wilson Parking chief executive Stephan Wuffli said uptake of its ParkMate app had contributed to sales growth.

"Parking has experienced strong year on year volume growth attributable to demand for the new ParkMate app payment platform," he said in an email. "The app has reduced a lot of the pain points associated with pay and display parking operations."

The app finds a customer's GPS location and displays the nearest car park which can then be topped up remotely through a smartphone. It is a free download on iTunes and Google Play. On the Google site installs are in a range of 10,000 to 50,000, with the current version available being 1.2.0. User feedback is 2.3 stars out of five on Google and two stars out of five on iTunes.

First Security is owned via the Wilson Security business, which operates in Australia and New Zealand.

Alex Park, First Security CEO, said the business "has seen a strong year across all segments of business nationally". The acquisition and integration of Arrow "have gone to plan and budget. This, along with reinvestment in our operational fleet, has seen extensions of our longer-term contracts," he said.

Notes to the 2017 accounts show Wilson Parking NZ had lease commitments of $338.5 million as at June 30, down from $342 million a year earlier. The company had total non-current borrowings of $75.2 million, up from $66.5 million a year earlier.

The Kwok family control Wilson Parking through its holdings in Hong Kong's largest property developer, Sun Hung Kai Properties, of which Raymond Kwok is chairman and managing director.

The Harvard University-educated Kwok has a net worth of US$17.6 billion, according to Forbes. He was cleared of bribery charges in 2014, while his brother Thomas was sentenced to five years jail, according to Bloomberg. Kwok owns about 18 percent of the company, which had revenue of HK$78.2 billion in the year to June 30, 2017.


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