Construction firm Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LGTHF.PK,LEI.AX), the Australian unit of Germany's Hochtief (HOCFF.PK), late Monday reported a profit for the first half of the year, compared to a loss in the prior year, amid higher revenues. The company backed its full year profit forecast.
Leighton's CEO Hamish Tyrwhitt said, "This is a solid operating result during a period
when we have made substantial progress on resolving legacy issues and delivered a record
level of work in hand. Importantly, we are repositioning the Group and building the platform that will drive sustainable growth in the future."
For the six months ended June 30, profit attributable to members of the parent entity was A$114.6 million or 34.0 Australian cents compared to a loss of A$625.6 million or 203.7 Australian cents per share. Prior-year results have been derived from year to June 2011, less six months to December 2010. In the preceding period, profit attributable to members of the parent entity was A$340.0 million.
Total revenue climbed to A$11.07 billion from A$9.67 billion, but dropped from A$12.177 billion in the previous half-year.
Group revenue increased to A$9.107 billion from A$8.191 billion, but declined sequentially from A$10.169 billion. The sequential decline stemmed from revenue drops in Construction contracting services, Mining contracting services and property development.
However, gearing increased to 46 per cent as the group incurred increased expenditure in delivery of its legacy projects. Gearing is expected to reduce at year end to within the target band of 35 to 45 per cent.
The company announced an unfranked dividend of 20 Australian cents per share.
Leighton had said in March that during the quarterly reviews of its operating companies, it identified a deterioration in the financial performance of Airport Link and the Victorian Desalination Project.
The deterioration was expected to lead to a reduction in forecast profit of A$254 million before tax in fiscal 2012, which made the company issue at that time an underlying profit forecast in a range of A$400-A$450 million.
The firm today reconfirmed its outlook for underlying net profit after tax of A$400-A$450 million for the year ending December 31, 2012. The guidance excludes the capital gain on the sale of Thiess Waste Management Services, announced on July 9.
In the second half, the company expects to report a stronger operating performance due to the successful completion of the Airport Link Project and the progress on the Victorian Desalination Plant.
LEI.AX is currently falling 1.7 percent at A$16.44 on 865,396 shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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