Australia's James Hardie Q1 profits rise 11 pct

Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:06pm EDT

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Australian building materials manufacturer James Hardie Industries Ltd on Monday posted an 11 percent rise in first-quarter net profit due to a pick-up in demand in its U.S. businesses, beating market expectations.

The world's largest maker of fibre cement products said net operating profit for three months to June 30, excluding asbestos and tax adjustments, rose to US$43.8 million, compared with a forecast of US$42.3 million in to a Reuters poll of five analysts.

Net profits were up from US$39.4 million a year ago.

Net sales came in at US$339.7 million and earnings rose 2 percent to US$57.7 million before interest and taxes, and excluding asbestos and tax adjustments.

James Hardie said it expected full-year earnings excluding asbestos, ASIC expenses and tax adjustments to be in US$140-160 million range, assuming an average exchange rate of US$1.01/A$1.00 through March 2013.

James Hardie said the very early stages of a recovery in the U.S. residential market appeared to be underway.

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