August 21, 2012 / 9:08 PM / 5 years ago

NZ's Fletcher Building year profit falls sharply

WELLINGTON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - New Zealand's Fletcher Building Ltd on Wednesday reported a 35 percent fall in annual profit as lower revenue from the struggling Australian and New Zealand markets weighed.

Net profit for the year to June 30 fell to NZ$185 million ($150.26 million) from NZ$283 million a year earlier.

Profit before one-off and unusual items was NZ$317 million from NZ$359 million a year ago and at the lower end of a guidance range of NZ$310 million-NZ$340 million reconfirmed by the company in June.

The company said it had taken one-off charges of NZ$132 million, including NZ$74 million for the restructuring of its Laminex business.

A Thomson Reuters poll of 10 analysts had expected a pre-abnormals profit of around NZ$313 million.

Fletcher Building, the biggest building products firm in Australasia, has struggled in 2012 because of due to weakness in the home building markets of New Zealand and Australia. While the New Zealand market has started to show signs of improvement in past months, Fletcher said Australia continues to struggle.

The company is spearheading reconstruction projects in the Canterbury region, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2011, but ongoing delays have restrained earnings. Fletcher Building said reconstruction would begin in earnest in 2013.

Shares in Fletcher closed at NZ$6.66 on Tuesday, having risen around 7 percent so far this year against a 12 percent rise in the benchmark NZX-50 index.

$1=NZ$1.23 $1 = 1.2312 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu

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