Xavier Huillard, Vinci CEO and chairman

Xavier Huillard, Vinci CEO and chairman

Contracting revenue at French-based Vinci was €6.71 billion in the first quarter of 2016 – down 3.6% against the same period last year on an actual basis or down 5.4% like-for-like.

Vinci said that performance varied between business lines and geographical zones.

Revenue fell 8.8% to €1.24 billion at transport infrastructure arm Eurovia – down 8.2% on a like-for-like basis – and fell 6.8% to €3.07 billion at Vinci Construction – down 8.1% like-for-like.

Total group revenue for the first quarter was down 1.8% at €8.0 billion, with strong traffic growth reported at Vinci Airports, and sustained traffic growth at Vinci Autoroutes.

Xavier Huillard, chairman and CEO, said, “The main trends we mentioned when presenting our 2015 financial statements were confirmed in early 2016, with an increase in concessions revenue and lower business levels in contracting, particularly in France.

“However, traffic was higher than expected at Vinci Autoroutes and Vinci Airports, even after adjusting for calendar effects. Order intake also increased in all three contracting business lines.”

He added, “Our first-quarter performance was encouraging, and supports our forecast that results will improve in 2016”

In France, Vinci Construction revenue totalled €1.56 billion, down 13.2% both on an actual basis and like-for-like. The decline was said to be a result of the end of major civil engineering and excavation works on the Tours-Bordeaux high-speed rail line (the South Europe Atlantic project) and lower order intake in previous years.

Outside France, revenue totalled €1.51 billion, up 0.8% on an actual basis but down 2.3% like-for-like.

Vinci said that Sogea-Satom’s business levels fell in Central Africa because of cuts to investment programmes in oil- and gas-producing countries. In the UK, Vinci plc’s revenue was said to be stabilising.

Revenue at Vinci Construction Grands Projets remained firm, while it fell slightly at Soletanche-Freyssinet compared with the high level seen in the first quarter of 2015.

Vinci Construction’s order book at 31 March, 2016, amounted to €17.0 billion, representing over 14 months of average business activity. Excluding the impact of the South Europe Atlantic project, the order book was up 3% year-on-year and up more than 4% since the start of the year, said the group.

Vinci said that it should be remembered that Eurovia’s business was highly seasonal, and its performance in the first quarter could not be extrapolated to the full year.

In France, Eurovia’s revenue amounted to €783 million, down 10.5% on both an actual and like-for-like basis. The road maintenance business continued to be affected by reductions in local authority budgets, it said.

ETF, Eurovia's specialist rail subsidiary, saw revenue fall as a result of the completion of several major projects, including the South Europe Atlantic project.

Outside France, revenue totalled €461 million, down 5.8% on an actual basis and down 4.1% like-for-like. Vinci said growth in Chile, the US and Germany only partly offset declines in Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic combined with the impact of the strong Euro.

Eurovia's order book at 31 March, 2016, amounted to €5.7 billion, down 2% year-on-year but up 6% since the start of the year. That figure was said to represent almost nine months of Eurovia’s average activity.

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