Investor Alert

May 20, 2012, 7:12 p.m. EDT

James Hardie's Q4 operating profit slips 4%

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By Ray Brindal

CANBERRA (MarketWatch) -- Building supplies company James Hardie Industries SE Monday reported a 4% on year decline to US$32.1 million in operating profit in its fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, while its full-year operating profit rose 20% on year to US$140.4 million.

The operating result, which is the measure that analysts focus on for the Dublin-based company, was slightly in advance of consensus expectations among of US$137.7 million.

Sales in the fourth quarter rose 7% to US$309.3 million, while full year sales rose 6% to US$1.24 billion.

For the full year, the company reported a net profit including one-time items of US$604.3 million compared to a US$347.0 million loss the year before, a result that included receipt of a US$396 million cash refund from the Australian Tax Office from a favorable outcome from litigation.

Chief Executive Louis Gries described operating earnings for the full year as solid with revenue up in Europe and the U.S. but with some rises in some costs constraining profitability.

The company announced a final dividend of 38 U.S. cents.

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