Finnish contractor Lemminkainen has confirmed its third-quarter results that have revealed a 23.8% reduction in operating profits.

Despite its performance, the company’s CEO Casimir Lindholm believed the firm’s turnaround after a turbulent twelve months was “proceeding as planned”.

The company had shown an improving picture earlier in the year, which led to overall profit for the first three quarters of 2014 rising €22.5 million compared with 2013 figures.

Its order book for the year so far stands at €1.9 billion and its net sales for January to September were €1.4 billion – up a total of 3%.

However, Lemminkainen’s finances were affected in January after it was ordered to pay €48 million in damages having been found guilty by the District Court of Helsinki of being part of an asphalt cartel.

In June, the company signalled it was to cut up to 265 jobs as part of a financial rebalancing programme that had aimed to save the company €30 million.

It is in the process of restructuring its operations, including splitting its infrastructure construction business into two parts. Its paving, mineral aggregates and earthworks activities will be transferred to its new paving business segment.

According to the firm, foundation engineering, civil engineering and rock engineering will be placed in a newly-created infra projects division.

There has also been a management restructure that includes the appointment of Pauli Mäkelä as executive vice president, building construction Finland, and Robert Blumberg, executive vice president, paving.

Casimir Lindholm, president and CEO, who joined the company in August as part of its financial re-organisation, believed the overall results for the year so far were encouraging.

He said, “Lemminkäinen’s turnaround is proceeding as planned. Our financial condition is already better than it was at the start of the year, thus creating a solid foundation for further development. In September, we conducted a successful €30 million rights offering, for which I would like to thank all of our shareholders.

“Our interest-bearing net debt is clearly lower than at the end of last year, and the bond issued in the spring extended our debt maturity. To strengthen the balance sheet, we will continue the divestment of non-strategic assets and operations,” he added.

“By improving our operating efficiency, we have managed to release approximately €30 million of working capital during the summer and autumn.”

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