SHARES of JSE-listed Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon fell 4% on Thursday after the industrial holding company advised shareholders that headline earnings per share for the six months ended December 31 2013 would decrease by up to 22.5% from the same period the previous year.

Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon is the holding company for a group of companies that operate in several sectors, including building, contracting, civil engineering, roads and earthworks.

It said the decrease in earnings was primarily due to losses at Capital Star Steel, its pipe factory in Mozambique, as well as a loss from the disposal of Symo, a shelving business within Capital Africa Steel.

Additionally, subdued mining activity in West Africa has affected both revenue and profit generated from the roads and earthworks business, the company said.

At 2.26pm on Thursday, the stock was down 4.64% to R147.10.

The group’s interim results for the six months to the end of December are expected on February 24.