Eiffage – slight improvement
By Sandy Guthrie01 September 2010
The construction division of Eiffage, one of the leading European companies in the concessions and public works sector, recorded a slight improvement in profitability in the first half of 2010, despite a sharp contraction in the level of activity.
A -9,8% decrease in activity was recorded in France during the first half. The group said that this was because of the expected decline in property business and, more generally, in orders from the private sector.
However, it reported that in the rest of Europe, activity had held up in Belgium, while an upturn in Poland had partly offset another fall in activity in the Czech Republic.
Eiffage operates in five areas - concessions and public-private partnerships (PPPs), construction, public works, energy and metal.
After declining in 2009, the group's consolidated operating margin on ordinary activities stabilised at +6,4% , thanks to an increase in the contribution made by the concession division, which partially offset another decrease in the operating profit on ordinary activities from contracting as a result of even keener competition. Eiffage said that, as in past years, the first-half results of the contracting division were "not highly significant because of the sensitivity of these activities to weather conditions".
The public works division contributed an operating loss on ordinary activities of € 31 million in the first half. The energy division's profitability held steady and the metal division made a higher contribution thanks to good performances in France.