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Alesco Loss Widens on ‘Challenging Conditions,’ Water Business

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July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Alesco Corp., an Australian building materials and home products maker, said its full-year loss widened on charges related to its water business and “challenging conditions” in Australia and New Zealand.

Net loss was A$124 million ($111.8 million) in the year ended May 31, from a A$12.8 million loss a year ago, the company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange. The Sydney-based company reported a profit of A$12.4 million before items, or 24.8 Australian cents a share, compared with A$29.1 million, or 48.1 cents a share, a year ago. It forecast earnings per share of 24 to 27 cents on March 10.

“Alesco’s financial performance and shareholder returns have been unsatisfactory,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Boyd said in the statement. “While Alesco is generating trading profits and good cash flow, operational focus must be sharpened to restore our revenue base and operating margins.”

The shares fell 2.8 percent to A$2.44 at 10:42 a.m. in Sydney. The company won’t pay a dividend this year and will resume payments in March 2011, it said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Johnson at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net

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