A major Australian engineering firm says it has been hit hard by a recent downturn in resource spending and abandoned construction operations.

In its latest profit announcement, Perth-based Macmahon Holdings says it incurred a net loss after tax of $29.5 million in 2012/13. The company says the result is worse than a $10-$20 million loss previously expected, because of provisions associated with disputed claims, doubtful debts, asset impairment from economic uncertainty and a pull-back in mining operations.

Macmahon says it delivered an underlying profit after tax from continuing operations of $43.6 million, excluding write-downs and some provisions.

The firm has undergone a substantial transition since selling-off its construction operations. Macmahon now says it is focused exclusively on mining. The company provides mine management services for surface and underground operations from engineering and mine development to materials delivery.

The company’s chief executive officer, Ross Carroll, acknowledges the latest results were disappointing, but believes the transformation of the company will leave it well-placed to profit next year. Carroll says, “while the overall financial result has been disappointing, we are now better positioned to deal with the current challenges facing the market and to continue the growth of our mining business.”