October 23, 2017 / 10:39 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Fletcher Building asks for trading halt amid review of building business

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - Fletcher Building Ltd, New Zealand’s biggest construction and building supplies company, requested a trading halt on Tuesday as it decides whether a review of its building unit will affect earnings guidance.

The company last month hired global auditing firm KPMG to conduct a review of two projects in Christchurch and Auckland after delays and higher costs led to a bigger-than-expected 80 percent drop in full year profit.

In July, the company’s chief executive officer stepped down over multiple profit downgrades stemming from those projects. Fletcher said it expects to announce a new CEO on Wednesday.

Shares of the company are also expected to resume trading on Wednesday after its announcement of earnings guidance for the 2018 financial year, Fletcher said in a statement.

The company said it requested the trading halt while it reviewed “the financial performance of its Building + Interiors business unit ... and the impact of that financial performance on earnings guidance for the 2018 financial year.”

“The Company is taking the necessary time to carefully consider this matter,” it said.

Fletcher did not provide earnings guidance with its 2017 annual results. The company is expected to post a NZ$448.5 million net profit in the 2017-18 financial year, up from NZ$94 million the prior year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimates. (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye and Cynthia Osterman)

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