An upturn in Vinci's French construction business which began in the third quarter of 2010 accelerated through the fourth quarter, according to the company.
Vinci, which claims to be the world's leading concession and construction group, said it was heading into 2011 with confidence. It added that the drivers for medium-term growth in the group's major markets, both in Europe and the rest of the world, remained intact - "urbanisation, mobility, energy needs and environmental challenges".
At the end of 2010, Vinci reported figures for construction of € 14,3 billion, an actual rise of +1,8% but a fall of -1,1% on a comparable structure basis. It said the pace of the upturn in France from the third quarter accelerated to a +7.2% growth on a comparable structure basis. Revenue for the full year there amounted to € 6,9 million which was down -3,9% on an actual basis.
Vinci reported that good performances in French public buildings and the residential sector - public housing, in particular - helped lessen the impact of the decline in the private non-residential and public works sectors.
Outside France, Vinci said that business remained steady during the fourth quarter - +1,5% on a comparable structure basis. Annual revenue was € 7,4 billion, a rise of +7,8%, which was +2,2% on a constant consolidation scope and exchange rate basis.
The group said its specialist civil engineering subsidiaries - Entrepose Contracting, DEME, and Soletanche-Freyssnet - as well as Sogea Satom in Africa, performed well. There was a decline in business, however, in the UK and Central Europe.
Vinci said that over recent years, the group as a whole had increased its international presence and strengthened its technological expertise in contracting through a strategy of targeted acquisitions. It gave examples of Soletanche Bachy in foundations techniques, Entrepose Contracting in oil and gas, Nuvia in nuclear services, EFT in rail works and Tarmac in quarries.
"The synergies between the group's concessions and contracting businesses have led to significant infrastructure successes," said Vinci, pointing to French projects such as the high-speed rail line between Tours and Bordeaux, Notre Dame des Landes airport in Nantes, GSM-Rail, and the Olympic Stadium in Nice, plus the first section of the Moscow to St Petersburg motorway in Russia.
Vinci said it had an order book of € 27,3 billion, up +14% over the year and +3% excluding external growth.