16 Feb 2015

Oz business expected to hit Fletcher result

7:07 am on 16 February 2015

Fletcher Building's first half earnings result is expected to show a strong New Zealand performance somewhat diminished by difficult trading conditions in Australia.

When the construction and building products firm reports on Wednesday, Forsyth Barr is expecting gross operating earnings to rise about 2.5 percent to $395 million in the six months to December.

Its head of research, Andy Bowley, said while construction activity remained robust in New Zealand, it could be 18 months before Fletcher Building began to see a turnaround in the Australian business.

He said while things there were currently somewhat depressed, he would expect to see an uplift in non-residential activity, driven by spending on infrastructure.

Some of that would be funded by the state and other public money, he said.

At its annual meeting in October last year, Fletcher Building forecast full year operating earnings before significant items of $650 - 690 million.

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