Lemminkäinen at a loss
By Steve Skinner12 February 2010
Lemminkäinen reported 2009 sales of € 1,96 billion, down -21% on the € 2,48 billion recorded 12 months ago. Following a 2008 pre-tax profit of € 91 million the Finnish contractor reported a -€ 10 million pre-tax loss for 2009.
The pre-tax loss was exaggerated by € 54 million set aside to settle a Supreme Administrative Court fine and claims for damages resulting from competition violations in Finland's asphalt market between 1994 and 2002.
President and CEO Timo Kohtamäki said, "Sales in all of our business sectors were down on the previous year due to the poor general economic conditions. The impact was strongest in building construction, which had a slow first half of the year. However, a pick-up in Finnish and Russian housing demand towards the end of the year improved the situation.
"Even though the year was challenging, we did achieve some success. In particular, the infrastructure markets of the Nordic countries kept Lemminkäinen's order book at a good level, and the pick-up in housing sales boosted the volume of building construction," he said.
Mr Kohtamäki believes that housing sales will remain stable in 2010, while renovation construction will see steady growth alongside technical building services. "In Russia, the pick-up in the housing market will continue and the volume of construction will probably grow in 2010," he said.
Mr Kohtamäki concluded, "I estimate that sales and pre-tax profits in 2010 will be at similar levels to those of 2009 but without the Supreme Administrative court fine."