Weather hits Watpac profits

The Brisbane-based company said consolidated profit for the six months to December 31 was likely to fall in the range of $3-5 million after tax, much lower than the $10.4 million profit reported in the previous corresponding period.If the wet weather continues into the current quarter, Watpac said it was unclear whether its full-year results would exceed the previous year’s figure of $26.9 million.The company will provide a full-year guidance once the full impact of the weather is known.Production volumes for Watpac’s mining contracts in the Bowen Basin have been below budget and weather-related provisions for stand-down costs on those jobs have now been exceeded.The company said a civil project in Victoria had also been hit by the wet weather, resulting in difficult ground conditions.“While I expect the remainder of FY11 to be a challenging year for the contracting businesses in light of ongoing weather-related disruptions, Watpac continues to deliver on its long-term strategy of building our forward order book and delivering on the first of a number of property disposals which will return equity to the group,” Watpac managing director Greg Kempton said.Watpac currently has work on hand totalling $1.6 billion and says it is well positioned to capitalise on rebuilding opportunities in Queensland following the floods.The company is also expecting mining companies in the Bowen Basin to accelerate production to make up for lost output.

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