James Hardie profits up but asbestos compo is cut

BUILDING products giant James Hardie has cut its asbestos compensation scheme by more than 40%, despite rising profits.

The firm's interim profit figures released this week showed it earned $US190 million in the past year, up from about $US150 million the previous year.

But its asbestos victims' compensation program was cut by 44%, down from $US113 million last year to $US62 million.

The company said the compensation program was still funded at 35% of its operating cash flow, the same share it had promised to pay out.

After a national scandal, almost $800 million has been paid out under the program since 2007 to victims of asbestos exposure through some of James Hardie's old building products containing asbestos.

- APN NEWSDESK



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