Hochtief back in profit

14 August 2013

Marcelino Fernández Verdes

Marcelino Fernández Verdes

German contractor Hochtief reversed last year’s first half net loss of €50.6 million and returned to net profit of €126.2 million for the first six months of 2013.

The result was boosted by asset sales as it seeks to streamline its business.

Revenues stood at €12.6 billion at the end of the first half, up 5% year-on-year, fuelled by gains in the company’s Americas and Europe divisions.

However, the order backlog at 30 June, 2013, amounted to €45.3 billion, down 14.4% year-on-year. Hochtief said this was due to negative exchange rates effects, mainly relating to the Australian and US dollar.

Hochtief – which itself is owned by Spanish contractor ACS – said its strategy of disposing non-core assets was going according to plan.

This year it has sold its airports business for €1.1 billion and its Service Solutions business for €250 million, while its Australian subsidiary Leighton sold its telecommunications business for €475 million in the second quarter.

Leighton – in which Hochtief owns a 56.4% stake – also reported improved results for the first half. Revenues were up 4% year-on-year to AU$11.5 billion (€7.89 billion), while net profit soared 218% to AU$366 million (€251 million). This jump was fuelled by the telecommunications sale.

Hochtief CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes said, “We are well on course to implement our strategy and position Hochtief as a global infrastructure group.”

Looking ahead, Hocthief forecast net profit of between €160 million and €200 million for the full-year. It said this guidance did not include any earnings from the assets it has sold this year.

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