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German-based industrial service provider Bilfinger has reported that 2017 was a year of stabilisation, with some organic growth giving hope for the future.

The company was said to be transitioning from the stabilisation phase of its strategy 2020 to the build-up phase.

CEO Tom Blades, said, “We have structured, stabilized and put Bilfinger on a sounder footing. Our strategy 2020 is taking hold. Progress is noticeable and we are taking bigger operational steps forward.”

In its preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year financial results for 2017, Bilfinger reported 4% organic growth in orders received after three years of decline. Orders came to €4.06, despite a difficult market.

At the end of the year, the company’s order backlog amounted to €2.53 billion, representing an organic growth of 2% on the previous year.

Output volume for the full year exceeded Bilfinger’s expectations, after returning to organic growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2017.

Also, a break-even result of €3 million was achieved in EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization) despite the burden of US legacy projects.

Bilfinger said it saw digitalisation of the process industry as one of the group’s key growth opportunities in coming years, since there was said to be pent-up demand for it among mid-sized companies in the sector.

The company hopes to take advantage of this with its concept of digitalising the process industry, called Bilfinger Connected Asset Performance (BCAP). As a result, Bilfinger plans to invest €20 million in business development in 2018, primarily aimed at further supporting this growth opportunity.

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