Hardie cautious

James Hardie has trimmed its earnings forecast for the year, saying conditions in the housing market remain uncertain. The group posted an operating profit of $US31.5 million in the third quarter to December 31, up from a loss of $US4.8 million a year earlier. The chief executive, Louis Gries, said the US housing market had gained momentum but earnings growth had been constrained by lower sales prices and higher costs. Australia remained subdued and the group did not expect a substantial pick-up soon. It downgraded its full-year earnings forecast, excluding asbestos and other costs, to between $US136 million and $US141 million.

James Hardie has trimmed its earnings forecast for the year, saying conditions in the housing market remain uncertain. The group posted an operating profit of $US31.5 million in the third quarter to December 31, up from a loss of $US4.8 million a year earlier. The chief executive, Louis Gries, said the US housing market had gained momentum but earnings growth had been constrained by lower sales prices and higher costs. Australia remained subdued and the group did not expect a substantial pick-up soon. It downgraded its full-year earnings forecast, excluding asbestos and other costs, to between $US136 million and $US141 million.

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