Swedish construction and property group NCC has released its 2014 performance results that revealed an improved order book, despite an overall dip in sales.

The company recorded 61,379 orders, compared against 56,979 for 2013, with improvements in its industrial business activity – particularly its road services providing a positive outlook for 2015.

NCC's construction operations were said by the company to be “moving in the right direction” and had been bolstered by an improving picture in its property sales.

However, sales results for 2014 were SEK56,867 million (€6.08 billion), down from a figure of SEK 57,823 seen in 2013 (€6.18 billion).

Peter Wagstrom, CEO of NCC, explained he was encouraged by the results from the final quarter of 2014, which had given the company optimism moving into 2015.

He said, “I am satisfied with the Group’s performance during the fourth quarter. Orders received were high and we have a healthy order book as we enter 2015.

"We were also successful in completing, selling and starting considerably more housing units in the quarter. Cash flow was healthy and profit after financial items for the fourth quarter was SEK 1,017 M (€108 million).

“Earnings in 2013 were the best ever for NCC with several major property projects being recognized in profit in quarter four of 2013, while only one property project was recognized in profit in the corresponding quarter of 2014.”

He added that profit after tax results for the full-year totalled SEK 1,829 M (€195.7 million) and said that return on shareholders’ equity after tax was 22 percent, which was above its target of 20%.

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