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Fletcher Building's huge earnings downgrade "raises clear questions around the ability of the chief executive to remain in the role", says the Shareholders Association.
The association issued a statement after Fletcher today revealed that operating earnings for the year to June may be more than $100 million below earlier forecasts. Association chief executive Michael Midgley said it would ask the company for an early meeting to seek a clearer explanation of the issues.
By press time, Fletcher had not responded to a request for comment on the statement.
A big new government project in Christchurch has been partly blamed for the profit downgrade.
The city's new Justice and Emergency Services Precinct has been delayed for months, and building industry specialists say the job is part of the reason for the reduced profit forecast.
Fletcher Building has nearly finished the Criminal Justice and Emergency Services Precinct in central Christchurch. This is how it looks from the air
Fletcher shares plunged after the downgrade was revealed, falling 94c to close at $8.28 and shaving about $652m off the company's value.
Operating earnings for the year ending on June 30 had been expected to come in at $720m to $760m. The figure is now expected to be $610m-$650m.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman confirmed delays to the $300m project near the Bridge of Remembrance.
He refused to confirm whether it caused the downgrade: "You'll need to talk to Fletchers about that."
A ministry statement said Fletcher had revised the handover date for the project. "Fletcher Construction has committed to handing over the Justice Building by 30 June 2017 and the Emergency Services Building by 14 July 2017."
Agencies were expected to move into the precinct during the third quarter of this year. "The ministry is currently negotiating to extend the lease on its current premises." Up to 2000 people will work in the new building.
Fletcher chief executive Mark Adamson said yesterday that an extra 300 people were brought onto one almost-finished project - which he did not name - where 650 people were already working, in an attempt to get it back on programme.