Leighton loss hammers Hochtief H1 results

18 August 2011

Hochtief recorded a net loss of € 156 million (US$ 223 million) for the first half of the year, compared to a € 88 million (US$ 126 million) profit last year due to a full-year net loss by its Australian affiliate Leighton of AU$ 409 million (US$ 425 million).

By other measures, Hochtief had a strong six months. Its revenues were up +9.3% to € 11.6 billion (US$ 16.6 billion) and its order intake for the first half of the year was € 13.0 billion (US$ 18.7 billion) - +1% more than for the same period last year. This took Hochtief's order backlog up +11.1% compared to a year ago to € 47.0 billion (US$ 67.2 billion) and the rise in activity over the start of the year has seen its headcount rise +6.9% to 74961 employees.

The growth in revenues came largely from Hochtief's Asia Pacific Division - Leighton - with the value of work done rising +16% to € 6.86 billion (US$ 9.8 billion). However, instead to the € 247 million (US$ 353 million) profit made in the first six months of 2010, problems on projects in Australia and Dubai for Leighton and its affiliates saw the division report a pre-tax loss of € 598 million (US$ 855 million).

Hochtief Europe also saw growth over the first half of the year, with revenues rising +7.6% to € 1.68 billion (US$ 2.41 billion) and pre-tax profits leaping almost +150% from € 16.6 million (US$ 23.7 million) in the first six months of 2010 to € 41.3 million (US$ 59 million) this year. Hochtief said the improvement was due mainly to a strong second quarter for its real estate business, and added that several large infrastructure project wins had boosted its European order backlog +5.3% to € 6.13 billion (US$ 8.76 billion).

In contrast, Hochtief saw a decline in its Americas Division's business in the first half of the year. Revenues were down -2.5% to € 3.01 billion (US$ 4.32 billion) and a decrease in new order wins saw its backlog fall -13% to € 7.73 billion (US$ 11.1 billion). Hochtief said this was due to the weakening of the US Dollar since last year, and said that its sales were up on a like-for-like basis. Despite its exchange rate problems, Hochtief saw pre-tax profits rise an impressive +74.7% for the division to € 85.8 million (US$ 123 million).

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