Basil Read: Contracts losses bigger than feared

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Basil Read had found more losses in the loss-making contracts in its roads and civil engineering division that had led it to warn of sharply lower earnings in the six months to June, the listed construction group said yesterday. These losses were recorded while finalising results for the first half. The group said it was finalising claims to be submitted for certain of these contracts but had not included any possible delay damages in projecting the estimated earnings and headline earnings decline for the period. In June Basil Read said earnings a share would fall at least 135 percent and headline earnings a share 270 percent. Yesterday it said it expected to report an interim headline loss a share of between R1.3117 and R1.6031, down from headline earnings a share of 43.69c in the six months to June last year. The loss a share would be between R1.3118 and R1.6033 versus earnings a share of R1.9528 last year. The shares fell 5.25 percent to R5.78 yesterday. – Roy Cokayne

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