MANUFACTURING

Ansell down

Ansell down

Gloves and condom maker Ansell insists it can lift full year earnings despite a steep drop in first-half profit. Ansell reported a 15 per cent fall in net profit to $55 million for the six months to December, despite revenues growing 5.1 per cent to $627.9 million. It also announced a share buyback and raised the interim dividend by 1¢ to 16¢, but the stock fell 5.7 per cent to $15.94.

ENGINEERING

Volatility costly

Engineering giant WorleyParsons posted a flat first-half result and tempered its forecasts for the full year. It reported a net profit of $155.1 million in the six months to December, up 2 per cent. The chief executive, Andrew Wood, said volatility in commodity prices had affected conditions in the first half. Worley declared a fully franked interim dividend of 41.5¢ per share, up 1.5¢.

MINING

Oz turns corner

Analysts said the worst appeared to be behind copper and gold producer Oz Minerals after profit for the year to December fell 44 per cent to $152 million. The company declared an unfranked dividend of 30¢ a share, down from 60¢ in 2011.

LABOUR

Skilled on rise

Labour contractor Skilled Group reported net profit of $28.2 million for the six months to December, up 10.2 per cent on the previous period. Revenue was up 4.2 per cent at $971.7 million. The company declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 7¢, up 2¢.

ONLINE

Carsales climbs

Online classifieds company carsales.com has posted a 14 per cent rise in half-year profit. The company posted an after-tax profit of $37.6 million in the six months to December and will pay a fully-franked interim dividend of 12.7¢ a share.

MORTGAGE BROKERS

Popularity up

Two in five people obtaining their first home loans are using mortgage brokers, research shows. Brokers were responsible for $100 billion worth of home loans written last year, according to Comparator's analysis.

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