Keller Group said profits fell by nearly a third, in line with its expectations, led by a plunge in revenues in Australia following a decision to wind down construction activity amid deteriorating market conditions. For the six months ended 30 June, underlying profit before tax fell 32% to $29.9m, while revenue of £1,091.7m was slightly ahead versus last year's £1,075.1m, driven by growth in North America and EMEA, offset by a decline in APAC. In APAC, constant currency revenue was down 35% driven partially by market conditions and partially by our actions to reduce capacity, the company said. Its Australia division saw revenue declined 43% and reported an operating loss of £2.6m despite a good performance by ASEAN, which was more than offset by the weak first half in Australia, the company added. The interim dividend was raised to 12.6p per share, up 5% from a year earlier. The board's full-year expectations were unchanged with a stronger second half anticipated, Keller Group said. 'Full year revenue is expected to be broadly flat versus 2018 and an improvement in margin will drive a growth in profit. The group remains on track to meet year-end banking leverage target of net debt/EBITDA between 1.0x and 1.5x,' it added.
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