Chief executive officer David Stewart said that it was an extremely disappointing result brought about by a number of challenges, particularly the Airport Link and Victorian Desalination projects, which the company has bought to account in the financial year. “Pleasingly though, the Leighton Group maintains a strong level of work in hand, has a strong balance sheet and anticipates reporting an after tax profit of between $600-650m for the 12 months to 30 June 2012. This guidance does not include the potential impacts of the sale of the HWE Mining iron ore business,” he said.
Work in hand at 30 June 2011 was 11% higher than last year, reaching a new high of AU$46.2 billion, with 69% coming from Australia. The order book was boosted by the award of some AU$26bn worth of new work, extensions and variations during the period.
The underlying results across the core contracting business were solid during the year, said Stewart, with good performances from markets such as Asia, telecommunications, and oil and gas related construction. “The Group’s operating companies have been awarded some significant projects in the last quarter which supports work in hand, including contract mining in Australia and Botswana, rail construction in Singapore and Hong Kong, construction work for the NBN and two major hospital projects,” he said.