Finance Finance News James Hardie more than doubles profit

James Hardie more than doubles profit

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Building products maker James Hardie has more than doubled its half year profit thanks to stronger sales from its European and US businesses.

James Hardie made a net profit of $US194 million ($A208.52 million) in the six months to September 30, up from $US84 million in the same period in 2012.

Chief executive Louis Gries said the Dublin based company was benefiting from improved sales to Europe and the US.

“The second quarter results for our US and European business reflect increased volumes and a 25 per cent increase in net sales revenue, capitalising on the continued improvement in US housing market conditions relative to last year,” he said.

James Hardie’s Asia Pacific business also increased sales, but the stronger US dollar hampered earnings growth.

Its shares soared in early trade, adding $1.49, or 14 per cent, to $11.91 by 1015 AEDT.

The company’s net operating profit in the six months to September, which excludes items such as asbestos and legal liabilities, was $US108 million ($A116.09 million), up from $US83 million in the previous corresponding period.

James Hardie expects to make a full year operating profit, excluding asbestos liabilities, legal costs and tax adjustments, of between $US180 and $US195 million, up from $US141 million in the previous year.

James Hardie will pay an interim dividend of eight cents per share, up from five cents per share 12 months ago.