Investors in Coffey International remain focussed on the turnaround prospects for the company following further disappointing progress in the December half, with a further slide in earnings.

Shares were up 6.9 per cent to 39 cents in early trading.

Ongoing softness in mining services demand resulted in earnings per share diving to 1.5 cents from 2.5 cents for the December half, due to restructuring charges.

Overall revenues for the half rose to $359.8 million from $334.9 million a year earlier, but with net profit falling to $3.8 million from $4.8 million after booking another $1.9 million of restructuring charges.

Debt levels also remain elevated at $111.5 million compared with equity of $136.8 million and while there has been an increase in cash held, an unspecified amount is tied up in performance bonds and the like.

Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of the geosciences division, the group's largest, fell to $12.1 million from $16.3 million a year earlier, with the international development division contributing $8.9 million up from $8 million.

Geoscience division revenue was hit by clients becoming more ''risk averse'' and deferring major projects, it said. This saw mining revenue of the division fall to $37.5 million from $42 million a year earlier, but with oil and gas revenues rising to $26.8 million from $15.6 million.

The profit margin of the geosciences division fell to 9 per cent from 12 per cent.

"A turnaround is never an overnight story," the company's managing director Mr John Douglas said.

The company was wary about calling a pick up in the second half, pointing to the improved margins and lower interest expense expected from a debt refinancing to lead to a rise in the net profit in the second half.