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Leighton 9-Month Profit Almost Doubles on Mines, Infrastructure

Leighton Holdings Ltd., Australia’s biggest construction company, said profit in the nine months to March 31 almost doubled on mining and infrastructure building.

Unaudited profit after tax in the period rose to A$400 million ($353 million) compared to A$220 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement. It forecast net income for the fiscal year to June 30 will be more than A$600 million, and said work in hand was A$37.5 billion on March 31.

“These are strong results for the nine months which reflect solid performances in mining and infrastructure, offsetting the difficulties in property and the Middle East - particularly Dubai,” Chief Executive Officer Wal King said in the statement.

Since March, Leighton, controlled by Germany’s Hochtief AG, has won an additional A$1.8 billion of work, the company said. Leighton will add about 1,000 people in Australia, boosting its workforce by 10 percent, as the company’s resources business grows, King told the Australian newspaper last month.

“Sustained demand from China and the rest of Asia for iron ore and coal should drive increases in export volumes which augers well for contract mining opportunities,” King said.

Leighton shares dropped 2.8 percent to A$33.68 at 10:36 a.m. in Sydney; the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lost 1.7 percent.

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