The interim earnings of Basil Read have been severely dented by loss-making contracts and the sale of a group business. The listed construction and engineering group expected its headline earnings a share for the six months to June to be at least 270 percent lower than the 43.69c recorded a year earlier, it said on Friday. It expected its earnings a share for the period to be at least 135 percent lower than the R1.9528 in the prior period. The results to June last year included the R183 million profit on disposal of Basil Read’s wholly owned mining consultancy business, TWP, to WorleyParsons for R900m. It attributed the interim losses to road and civil engineering contracts. The board decided not to declare a dividend for last year. Basil Read’s stock fell 5.12 percent to close at R7.78. – Roy Cokayne