Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin has reported a 17% increase in its profit in the first quarter of 2016, compared with the same period last year.
According to the report, profits for the three months to March 31, stand at CAN$ 122.1 million (US$ 95.1 million), with revenue for the same period at CAN$ 1.9 billion (US$ 1.5 billion).
The positive result for SNC-Lavalin is in part attributed to stringent cost-cutting measures, as well as the sale, for around US$ 94 million, of its 15.5% stake in the Malta International Airport.
The company has also invested heavily in oil and gas projects in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), and has a quarter of all its staff currently working in the region. It is also reported that one fifth, or CAN$ 9.6 billion (US$ 7.5 billion), of its annual revenue in 2015, came from its MEA business operations.
The report from SNC-Lavalin further revealed its order backlog currently stands at a record CAN$ 13.4 billion (US$ 10.4 billion), following an increase of CAN$ 3.4 billion (US$ 2.65 billion) during the first quarter of this year.
The company hit the headlines in 2012, when corruption and fraud charges were brought against it, relating to its business undertakings in Libya.
The charges took an immediate and heavy toll on SNC-Lavalin’s bottom line, but it has since fought back, installing a new management team and new CEO, Neil Bruce, as well as initiating enhanced ethics and compliance practices.
While the charges pending against SNC-Lavalin continue to hamper its project acquisition in some parts of the world, the company came to a recent agreement in Canada, which now gives it the right to do business with the federal government.
It is also pushing for amendments to the current laws on corruption in Canada, which would allow it to avoid any trial or a guilty plea and instead simply pay a significant fine.