Spanish contractor Ferrovial recorded a 97% year-on-year drop in net profit for the first quarter of 2012 to €7.6 million - a comparison that the company said was skewed by gains from asset sales during the same period in 2011.

Ferrovial booked €224 million net profit in the first quarter of 2011, boosted by gains from its sale of airport hauling company Swissport and its stake in the M-45 toll road in Madrid, Spain.

In terms of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), the year-on-year comparison was more stable. Ferrovial reported EBITDA of €192 million in the first three months of 2012, up 12% from €172 million in 2011. First quarter revenues amounted to €1.7 billion, a 2.5% increase.

The construction division reported revenues of €898 million and EBITDA of €48 million for the first three months of 2012, up from €889 million and €45 million respectively last year.

International boost

Ferrovial said international business contributed revenues of €577 million, 24.6% more than in the same period of 2011 and boosted by its acquisition of Polish rail construction specialist Budimex, which contributed revenues of €265 million during the quarter.

Ferrovial said the Spanish construction market maintained the trend observed in the last few quarters, with fewer projects executed in building and civil engineering.

The construction and services backlog stood at €22 billion - a strong result that Ferrovial said reflected its internationalisation, with 68% of its construction business and 49% of its services business now located outside Spain.

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