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Aveng Earnings Slide as Mining Order Book Falls, Debt Rises

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Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Aveng Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest construction and engineering company by market value, said first-half earnings fell as much as 25 percent as its mining order book shrunk and borrowings rose.

Earnings per share for the six months through December were 78.8 cents to 84 cents, the company said in a statement today. That compares with 105 cents in the same period in 2012. Aveng’s mining unit made a lower contribution to total profit and the company borrowed more to fund work on a liquefied natural gas project in Australia, it said.

“This is reflective of the embedded order book being bad, aggressive pricing on work it’s currently completing and tough operating conditions,” Dirk Noeth, an analyst from Avior Research Pty Ltd., said by phone from Cape Town.

Aveng shares fell 2.6 percent to 22.75 rand, an eight-year low, at the close in Johannesburg. More than three million shares traded, or triple the three-month daily average. Aveng will release first-half earnings on Feb. 25.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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