WELLINGTON Feb 22 Fletcher Building Ltd
, New Zealand's largest listed company, reported a 13
percent fall in half year profit on Wednesday and lowered its
full-year guidance due to weak building activity in key markets.
The company said net profit for the six months to Dec. 31
was NZ$144 million ($120 million), compared with NZ$166 million
the previous year.
Its profits were lower than forecasts issued in November,
when the company warned a construction slowdown had eaten into
first half earnings and it expected a six month profit of around
Fletcher Building said it expected a full year profit to be
between NZ$310 million and NZ$340 million, lower against its
guidance last November of around NZ$359 million.
It declared an interim dividend of 17 cents per share,
compared with 16 cents last year.
Shares in Fletcher Building closed on Tuesday at NZ$6.64. So
far this year it has risen more than 4 percent compared with a
flat showing for the benchmark NZX-50 index.
Fletcher Building has interests in steel, concrete, panel
products, insulation and aluminium products, and is the world's
biggest laminates maker. It dominates the New Zealand building
products market thand competes in Australia with companies such
as Boral Ltd. and CSR Ltd.
($1 = 1.1949 New Zealand dollars)