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Ausdrill shares continued their bullish run yesterday, hitting a near three-and-a-half year peak and closing within reach of the group's highest price since it was floated in 1994.
The West Australian Ausdrill shares continued their bullish run yesterday, hitting a near three-and-a-half year peak and closing within reach of the group's highest price since it was floated in 1994.

UPDATE 1.15pm: Shares in Ausdrill defied the broader market to gain ground after the company announced it expected a stronger second half with a full-year profit matching that of its 2012 result - $112 million.

Ausdrill gave the positive outlook as it announced an 11.9 per cent slide in first-half profit to $48.1 million.

The result was achieved on revenue of $580.2 million, up 13.4 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

The company will issue a 6.5 cents fully franked dividend matching its previous interim dividend.

"While revenues have increased as a result of increased activity in Africa, the group's profits were impacted by a number of significant items as well as a general slowdown in activity in the Australian mining sector from September 2012 onwards," the company said in a statement.

"After adjusting for the effects of the significant items the group reported results that were in line with the previous corresponding half…".

Ausdrill managing director Ron Sayers said strategic acquisitions and building businesses from the ground up had given the firm a comprehensive portfolio of services to offer customers across every stage of the mining process.

"This strategy has resulted in Ausdrill maintaining operating profitability even though the mining sector experienced a slowdown in activities from September 2012 onwards," he said.

The company said the resources industry was expected to remain strong over the medium term in Australia and Africa and Ausdrill remained very well placed for continued growth beyond the current financial year.

However it cautioned that the mining industry was looking to reduce costs and defer discretionary expenditure which, along with increased competition and surplus equipment, could lead to tighter margins.

Ausdrill shares closed up 12 cents, or 4.11 per cent, at $3.04.