Industrial equipment maker Bradken has increased its first half profit by nine per cent and is confident of conditions improving during the next six months.
Bradken made a net profit of $46.7 million in the six months to December 31, up from $43 million in the same period in the previous year.
The company manufactures equipment for the mining and rail industries, and is heavily exposed to the iron ore, copper, gold and steaming coal markets.
Managing director Brian Hodges said the business had stabilised and he was confident that conditions would improve in the second half of 2012/13.
"The company's order books have stabilised and there is evidence to suggest that we have reached the bottom of the current cycle," Mr Hodges said on Tuesday.
Mr Hodges said the installation and commissioning of plant and equipment for the first stage of its low-cost Xuzhou Foundry in China had now been finished.
When completed, the foundry was expected to produced 20,000 tonnes per annum of iron.
"With rail margin improvements and the low-cost Xuzhou foundry coming on line, we expect to company's margins to remain strongly defensible and may improve in the period," he said.
"Continued focus on working capital and capex at around $35 million in the second half will ensure a conservative balance sheet."
The company declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 20 cents per share, up from 19.5 cents at the same time in the previous year.