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Macmahon chief executive Ross Carroll. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian.
Macmahon chief executive Ross Carroll. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian.

UPDATE 1.20pm: Shares in Macmahon jumped after the contractor returned to the black with a $19.4 million first-half profit.

The result compares with a $37.6 million loss in the previous corresponding period, which was weighed down by blowouts on the company's troubled construction division, which it has since exited.

The profit was achieved on revenue of $574.9 million, which included that generated from joint ventures.

Macmahon said it expected full-year revenue to remain in line with previous guidance of $900 million to $1.2 billion, issued in November last year.

Chief executive Ross Carroll said the company was focused on driving productivity gains and cost efficiencies to adapt to market conditions and remain competitive.

"There is no denying that current market conditions are extremely challenging, however our commitment to business improvement over the past six months has enabled us to maintain our renewed momentum," he said.

Mr Carroll said the company's new dedicated mining strategy was working well.

"Our order book is currently $2.8 billion and currently we have funding headroom to manage future growth as and when market conditions improve," he said.

Mr Carroll said the company expected tough market conditions to persist for some time.

"However, with domestic mining production forecast to increase over the next three years, combined with continued strong economic growth in Asia and Africa, we are confident that we can secure future work and generate improved returns for shareholders," he said.

Macmahon shares were up 1.5 cents, or 12 per cent, to 14 cents at the close.