ALS shares are tanking after posting a loss of $240.7 million

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ALS Ltd posted a full year loss of $240.7 million as the oil and gas sector dragged down the rest of the analytical testing business.

A short time ago, ALS shares were down more than 12% to $3.93.

Revenue for the 12 months to March was down 4% to $1.364 billion. The result included non-cash impairment charges of $314 million after tax against oil and gas investments.

An improved performance from the Life Sciences Division was more than offset by a fall in earnings by the Energy Division and the Geochemistry and Metallurgy operations.

“These businesses are exposed to resource commodity cycles and were faced with further reductions in exploration and development activity coupled with aggressive cost cutting initiatives from producers,” the company said.

The company is pursuing growth opportunities in life sciences, particularly in the food sector. It is evaluating a select number of high quality bolt-on acquisition targets in Europe and North America.

“ALS expects that Life Sciences contribution to the overall business will continue to increase at a strong pace, with revenues growing in the high single digit percentage through the next few years,” the company says.

The company declared a final 40% franked dividend of 6 cents a share.

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