Fletcher Building in trading halt

Fletcher Building, the country's biggest construction firm, is in a trading halt pending a review of the financial performance of its construction division and the impact on earnings guidance previously provided to the market, the company said.

The Auckland-based company's shares rose 1% to $9.22 before the halt was put in place this morning, and have dropped 14% so far this year. The company requested the halt on the NZX and ASX exchanges.

"An announcement regarding earnings guidance for the 2017 financial year is expected to be made prior to the NZX and ASX exchanges opening on Monday, March 20. Until then the trading halt will remain in place," Fletcher Building said.

Last month, the company posted a 2% gain in first-half profit, disappointing expectations with a weak performance from its construction division which including a loss running to the "tens of millions" on a major contract. At the time, it said it expects full-year operating earnings before interest, tax and significant items to be in the range of $720 million to $760 million.

The building company's stock had been outperforming on the expectation it would benefit from a construction boom in New Zealand's biggest city.

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