Buoyant Aecon raises dividend

By Chris Sleight06 March 2012

Canadian contractor Aecon saw its revenues rise +5.3% last year to CA$ 2.90 billion (US$ 2.92 billion), while net profits were up +37.8% to CA$ 57.6 million (US$ 57.9 million). As a result of these improvements, combined with a strong order backlog, the board of directors has proposed a +40% increase in its dividend to CA$ 0.28 (US$ 0.28) per share.

Aecon chairman and CEO, John M. Beck said, "Aecon's outlook entering 2012 is as positive as it has been in years. New project awards are strong, demand continues to build in our core transportation, resources and power sectors, and our focus on project execution and risk management is generating improved earnings."

Having said this, Aecon's bookings and order backlog were lower at the end of 2011 than in 2010. The company booked, CA$ 2.84 billion (US$ 2.86 billion) of work last year, a -5% drop on 2010. Its backlog at the end of the year was CA$ 2.39 billion (US$ 2.41 billion), -2.5% lower than it was a year previously. However, Aecon added that expected revenues from alliances and partnering arrangements were not included in these figures. Such arrangements cover most of the company's mining and utilities business.

Aecon's biggest operating segment is its infrastructure business, where revenues were up +4% last year to CA$ 1.7 billion (US$ 1.7 billion), while operating profits for the segment rose +24.2% to CA$ 52.4 million (US$ 52.8 million). The company said it saw an increase in mining and utilities work, which offset a decline in the building segment.

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