Hochtief results overshadowed by Leighton troubles
By Helen Wright09 May 2012
German contractor Hochtief reported a net loss of €34 million for the first quarter of 2012, a year after the same problems at its Australian subsidiary Leighton led to a 2011 first quarter loss of €160 million.
Leighton continues to be hit by write downs on major contracts in Australia that also dragged Hochtief to a full-year loss last year.
Hochtief CEO Frank Stieler said, "Contrary to our expectations, the first three months of the fiscal year were again impacted by the two problem projects in Australia. As a result, I must again present you with results that we are not happy with. Those figures are not representative of the course we are pursuing. Our business continues to develop positively."
Indeed, Hochtief said sales increased 13.3% year-on-year in the first quarter to €5.6 billion, while a record order backlog of €50.3 billion was also reported, representing an increase of 10.2% compared to the figure at the end of the first three months of 2011.
However, Hochtief said it expected full-year 2012 sales and order backlog to be lower than the results achieved in 2011. The company forecast full-year net profit of €180 million, lower than its initial 2012 forecast of €288 million, but still an improvement on the €160 million net loss it posted last year.