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A consortium led by Austrian contractor Strabag has lost out in a court decision in Italy in a legal dispute over the Pedemontana motorway project.

The dispute involving the consortium followed the client of the motorway project in northern Italy invoking a guarantee earlier this year.

The consortium regarded this invocation as unjustified, and on 15 March, 2018, filed a request with the competent court in Milan to issue an injunction against this recourse.

The request has now been denied in a written decision. The consortium said it would lodge an appeal against this decision and would review alternative possibilities to prevent the guarantee from being paid out.

In the event that the guarantee amount of up to about €260 million has to be paid out temporarily, the consortium said it believed that a claim for restitution existed that would be capitalised in full.

This claim is also to be asserted in the pending legal disputes related to the construction delays and the accompanying considerable cost overruns. Strabag said the pay-out of the guarantee would not influence the legal position of the consortium in these pending court proceedings.

With this in mind, Strabag confirmed its forecast of an EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin of at least 3.3% from the operating business for the 2018 financial year.

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