APA Group sales soar 20% for 2013

APA Group (ASX: APA) announced its 2013 full-year results today, making moves on both its top and bottom line. Total revenue clocked in at $1.27 billion, 20% higher than 2012’s sales. At the same time, the company squeezed even more out of more with a 27% boost in adjusted profit.

Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business seems to be making the most of its 14,000 km of gas transmission pipelines, pushing operating cash flow up 29% to $433 million. Transmission businesses are sought after by many investors due to their “toll booth” model that pulls in piles of cash with low operating costs after the initial investment.

APA also increased its dividend 1.4% to $0.355 for fiscal 2013, a move that should leave income investors satisfied. However, the company’s payout ratio also headed 1.2 percentage points higher to 68.2%, meaning APA has fewer funds to focus elsewhere on maintenance, R&D, capital expenditures, or other investments.

But APA’s distribution increase doesn’t seem to be slowing down the company. It continued and/or completed $1.5 billion in expansion projects, and is increasing its national coverage through acquisitions and developments. The company is diversified across Australia, but Queensland took the cake for 2013. EBITDA headed 105.8% higher for the state, while Western Australia & Northern Territory added 17.3%, Victoria & South Australia increased 2.2%, and New South Wales contracted 0.4%. As of this writing, APA shares are up 0.85% for the day.

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Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

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