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February 14, 2005

Asbestos continues to hurt Hardie

Building products giant James Hardie said Monday that its third-quarter earnings were hit by a multimillion-dollar legal bill linked to compensation claims from victims of asbestos poisoning.

James Hardie's legal costs for the three months to Dec. 31, 2004, totaled US$15.9 million (euro12.37 million), including US$6 million (euro4.67 million) in severance payments to its former chief executive Peter Macdonald and former chief financial officer Peter Shafron, who quit amid harsh criticism of the way the company handled the compensation claims.

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Posted by Tom Troceen