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AWF Madison first-half profit falls 13%

AWF Madison first-half profit falls 13% on weaker demand for construction workers

By Jonathan Underhill

Oct. 26 (BusinessDesk) - AWF Madison Group, the country's biggest contract labour firm, said first-half profit fell 13 percent after what it said were "difficult winter conditions in the construction market".

Profit fell to $3.4 million in the six months ended Sept. 30 from $3.9 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 20 percent to $143 million.

AWF flagged a weaker first half last month, when it cited a decline in construction activity and said "the wet winter has reduced chargeable hours" for its construction and civil customers. Today it reiterated that view, saying it had "softer sales at its blue-collar recruiter AWF" as timing and weather issues saw building and maintenance activity ease off after the June quarter.

"Despite a disappointing trading performance from AWF, the strength of our cash generation and current activity levels give us confidence we will deliver a good financial performance for the full March 2018 year," said chief executive Simon Bennett.

That would be helped by the start of work on the 2018 Census contract in the second half, he said.

The jump in revenue reflected "a strong performance" from its IT recruiter, Absolute IT, while sales for its white-collar recruiter Madison fell, the company said.

The company will pay a fully-imputed interim dividend of 8 cents a share, unchanged from a year earlier, on Nov. 27 to shareholders registered on Nov. 20, it said.

The shares last traded at $2.40 and have declined 7.7 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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