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Leighton Declines After Profit Misses Estimates: Sydney Mover

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Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Leighton Holdings Ltd., Australia’s largest builder, fell the most in almost two months in Sydney trading after reporting profit that missed analyst estimates amid a slump in mining industry demand.

Underlying net income was A$255 million, compared with the A$264 million average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The shares fell as much as 6.3 percent, the most since June 20, to A$16.18 before trading at A$16.30 as of 10:43 a.m. in Sydney.

Leighton said it is cutting costs and boosting sales in its infrastructure and property units as its contract book slumped in the first half to the lowest since 2009. Work in hand fell 7.7 percent from the end of December to A$40.13 billion at the end of June, the company said, its lowest level since the six months ended December 2009.

“We’re doing everything we can to reduce our costs,” Hamish Tyrwhitt, chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview after the results were announced. “We’ve gone through these cycles many times before.”

Underlying net income in the full year ending December will between A$520 million and A$600 million, the company said, “subject to market conditions and any unforeseen circumstances.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net