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James Hardie posts 15 pct sales growth, sees U.S. construction improvement

SYDNEY, May 22 (Reuters) - James Hardie Industries Plc , the world's biggest fibre cement products maker, said on Thursday it expects the U.S. housing construction market to improve as it posted a 15 percent jump in fourth quarter sales.

Sales were $376.4 million for the three months to March 31, compared to $326.8 million for the same period the previous year.

The company's net operating loss for the quarter grew to $186.8 million from $69.5 million a year earlier because of an increase in asbestos adjustments.

(Reporting By Byron Kaye; Editing by Diane Craft)