Peab’s operating profit for the first quarter of the year moved up 12% to SEK140 million (€15 million), despite a -1.5% fall in net sales to SEK8.88 billion (€946 million).

The company also saw a 5.3% increase in its order intake compared to a year ago, with SEK9.56 billion (€1.02 billion) of new work won. This took its backlog to SEK26.8 billion (€2.85 billion).

Peab president & CEO Jesper Göransson said, “After several years of growth that led to diminished profitability we implemented an action plan in 2013. Among other things we became more selective about the projects we take on. As a direct consequence, net sales in Peab are now levelling out, which we believe is the right road to take in a market going through intense change and with limited access to resources.”

Among the highlights in the company’s order intake in the first quarter of the year was a 56% increase in work won by Peab’s civil engineering business to SEK3.09 billion (€329 million). This offset falls in the order intake for its other construction and project development divisions.

Göransson added, “In recent years we have been the largest construction company in Sweden in terms of net sales and number of employees. Now we are taking the next step by setting our ambition to be the best company. In order to achieve this we have established three target areas: most satisfied customers in the industry, best workplace in the industry and most profitable company in the industry. These targets are firmly rooted in our organisation and the work to achieve them has begun.”

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