Italian contractor Astaldi is claiming "healthy growth" during the first half of this year thanks to the contribution of foreign activities - in particular energy and transport infrastructure - a positive performance from transport infrastructure and civil construction projects in Italy, and the start-up of the production phase of recently-acquired contracts.

Stefano Cerri, CEO, said, "Despite the market conditions, these first six months offer extremely precise signals as regards the successful achievement of the targets we have set for the end of the year."

He added, "We are keeping to our planned growth and this will be further boosted by our joining of the motorway and airport concessions market in Italy and abroad."

Astaldi reported a rise in total revenues at 30 June, 2011, of 14.3% to €1.12 billion, compared to €982 million a year earlier.

Operating revenues increased to €1.08 billion, an increase of 17.4% on the € 920 million at 30 June, 2010.

Astaldi said the rise was thanks to a positive performance from transport infrastructure contracts in Italy, Central Europe, Turkey and Algeria. It highlighted the Maxi Lots DG-21 and DG-22 of the Jonica National Road in Italy, the Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest, Romania, the Istanbul underground in Turkey, and railway projects in Algeria.

The company said, "The good levels of growth in production are even more admirable if we take into account the fact that activities in progress in Venezuela were kept at especially limited levels in order to pursue the policy of curbing capital invested in this area."

It said other operating revenues totalled €42.5 million, compared to €62.7 million at 30 June 2010, a figure which illustrated the greater levels of activity recorded in 2010 in relation to additional services performed on contracts in progress in Turkey, which are now in the process of being completed.

Italy accounted for 45.4% of revenues in the first half of 2011. Astaldi said this was a result of the positive performance of the Maxi Lots DG-21 and DG-22 of the Jonica National Road, and also four hospitals in Tuscany and the Officers' Academy - Scuola Carabinieri ­- in Florence, plus progress as planned on the underground railways being constructed - Line C in Rome, Line 5 in Milan, Lines 1 and 6 in Naples.

Foreign activities accounted for the remaining 54.6%, and included a 29.3% contribution from Central Europe and Turkey resulting from intensification of work on the Henri Coanda Airport in Bucharest, and the Istanbul underground in Turkey.

There was a drop in the contribution from the Americas - to 15.5% - as a result of the planned slowdown of works in Venezuela and the completion of transport infrastructure projects in Honduras and energy production plants in Costa Rica.

The Middle East saw an upturn to 1.9% thanks to entry into full operation of the Jubail Project in Saudi Arabia, and there was an increase in activities in the Maghreb region of north west Africa to 8.1%, thanks to railway projects in Algeria.

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