Lonrho estimates 2012 loss on contract, project delays

Mon Feb 4, 2013 3:11am EST

Feb 4 (Reuters) - British industrial group Lonrho Plc said it would post a net operating loss for 2012 as there were delays in the delivery of certain contracts and implementation of some projects in its core agribusiness.

Lonrho, an industrial group with interests in Africa that operates through four divisions - agricultural operations, infrastructure, support services and hotels, said it expects to report a net operating loss of between 3 million pounds and 5 million pounds ($4.7 million-$7.9 million) for the year-ended Dec. 31.

Analysts were expecting the company to report a pretax profit of 10.45 million pounds on revenue of 223.5 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Lonrho said full-year revenue rose 44.3 percent to 186.1 million pounds.

"Progress in certain areas has been slower than expected in the final quarter, impacting on revenue and profitability in 2012," Lonrho said in a statement.

The company also said the Lonrho John Deere distributor in Mozambique experienced significant import delays of tractors and other equipment arriving into Mozambique in the fourth quarter.

It added that smaller-than-normal fish sizes hurt supply at its seafood production business even though fish volumes were good in November and the first part of December.

Shares in the company were down more than 15 percent at 7.85 pence in early trading on Monday on the London Stock Exchange.