Investor Alert

July 27, 2014, 7:26 p.m. EDT

Leighton Holdings' profit falls 20% in first half

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By Rhiannon Hoyle

SYDNEY-- Leighton Holdings Ltd. said its first-half net profit fell 20%, weighed down by restructuring costs compared with the year before, when its bottom line also had been bolstered by the sale of its telecommunications assets.

Australia's biggest construction company has faced a turbulent couple of years, marred by financial losses and boardroom infighting, while the effects of the global financial crisis and a downturn in mining work curbed revenue. On Monday, Leighton said net profit for the six months through June fell to 291.3 million Australian dollars (US$273.7 million), compared with A$366.2 million in the year-earlier period.

A poll of four analysts produced a median first-half profit estimate of A$271 million.

Leighton said profit rose 25% to A$319 million after stripping out one-off items, which included A$24 million in restructuring charges and A$4 million of impairments against property it owns. This underlying performance led the Sydney-based company to lift its interim dividend by 27% to 57 cents a share.

Leighton is controlled by Germany's Hochtief AG, which has been run for the past four years by Spain's Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA, or Grupo ACS. Earlier this year, Hochtief increased its controlling stake in the company to 70% and ousted Leighton's top management, including its chairman and chief executive.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

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