FCC’s international boost

By Sandy Guthrie09 March 2011

Esther Koplowitz - FCC's main shareholder

Esther Koplowitz - FCC's main shareholder

Spanish-based FCC has reported a net profit of € 301 million for 2010 - an improvement of +1,8% over the previous year, although the construction and cement segments both recorded declines.

FCC, whose core shareholder is Esther Koplowitz - said to be the wealthiest woman in Spain - claimed that it had advanced its internationalisation strategy during 2010 and now operated in 54 countries.

Foreign revenues, it said, totalled € 5,6 billion, which made up 46% of the total, with international order intake increasing by 7%. It added that as a result, the backlog amounted to € 35,3 billion, which was up +2,2% year-on-year and equivalent to almost three years' revenue.

Chairman and CEO Baldomero Falcones said, "During the two most difficult years of the economic crisis, FCC obtained a net profit of over € 300 million, proof of its strong geographic and business diversification and effective cost containment policy."

Revenues expanded in some sectors which went some way to offset the decline in construction (-7%) and cement (-14,4%). Energy was up +5,4%, Versia - handling, logistics, urban furniture, conservation and systems, parking and passenger transport - was up 3,2%, and Services rose +2%.

FCC said that the group's 2010 revenues totalled € 12,1 billion, down by -4,6% during what it described as "a complicated year for the whole sector due to the economic crisis."

However, it said that despite this, it ended 2010 with an improvement in its profitability and margins. FCC cut structural and other indirect costs by € 64 million in the year. It created a centralised procurement department.

The group's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) reached € 1,4 billion, with services and energy accounting for 60%.

It claimed to have been particularly successful in the area of railway construction in 2010. It said FCC Construction obtained € 3,1 billion in railway contracts in consortium. In October, the company was awarded the contract to build the Panama City Metro for over € 1 billion euro. In May, it clinched the contract to build a railway line in northern Algeria for € 935 million. Subsidiary Alpine, in consortium, obtained a contract in December from Crossrail to build tunnels in London for around € 295 million. The company also obtained a contract in February for the construction of a city railway tunnel in Karlsruhe, Germany, for € 310 million.

In Spain, FCC claimed to have retained its leading position in high-speed railway construction. In November, it was awarded a contract valued at €129 million to connect the Mediterranean Corridor with the Madrid-France line. In September, the company won two projects worth € 122 million to build the Madrid-Lisbon and North-Northwest railway lines. FCC obtained a contract in Guipúzcoa to build a section of line - € 106 million - and in Sagrera, Barcelona, for railway station accesses - € 223 million.

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