Ausenco slashes guidance

Contractor issues second downgrade in a month, after interim profit slumps.

Engineering and construction group Ausenco (AAX) has slashed its full-year earnings guidance after its interim profit slumped on the back of a huge decline in earnings from its African operations.

A restructuring taken to shore up amid the global mining slowdown also hit its bottom line. 

In the half year to June 30, Ausenco's net profit sank to $3.5 million, from $20.3 million in the previous corresponding period.

The fall came as it booked $4.8 million in redundancy costs and underlying earnings for its APAC and Africa operations fell to $3.9 million, from $22.4 million. 

Since December, it has cut its workforce by 440 people to 3,000. 

Revenues fell to $258.9 million, from $313.3 million in the prior year. 

The group downgraded its full-year results forecast, tipping revenues of between $490 million and $520 million and reported net profit after tax between $14 million to $16 million.

It will pay an interim unfranked dividend of 2 cents per share, well down on the 10 cents paid in the prior year. 

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