Bilfinger Berger profits up on Valemus sale

By Helen Wright11 August 2011

Bilfinger Berger reported €264 million net profit for the first six months of the year, up from €118 million in the first half of 2010, boosted by a €161 million gain from the sale of its Valemus Australia unit to Lend Lease at the end of last year.

In addition to the uplift from this sale, Bilfinger Berger reported positive results from all of its business segments, leading to a 3% year-on-year increase in first half revenue to €3.9 billion.

In its construction division, the company said earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased to €11 million from €3 million in the first half of 2010. Meanwhile, output volume increased by €69 million to €845 million and the order backlog was reduced, as planned, to €1.9 billion from €2.6 billion.

The German contractor has been concentrating its construction activities, and has discontinued its construction business in North America in addition to the Valemus sale.

For full-year 2011, Bilfinger Berger said it expected its construction business to be stable year-on-year at €1.7 billion, adding that a further increase in EBIT is expected due to the division's improved risk structure.

Spending cuts

"The public sector spending cuts that are to be expected in Germany and some other European countries will lead to weaker demand for civil engineering work," the company said.

"A stable development is expected in Scandinavia, however, and Poland continues to offer good prospects as it is benefiting from EU funding for infrastructure expansion."

In total, Bilfinger Berger's output volume amounted to €4 billion for the first half of the year, up from €3.8 billion in the first six months of 2010, while the overall order backlog decreased by €531 million to €8.2 billion as a result of the company's consolidation of its construction business.

For the full-year, Bilfinger Berger said it expected to see "slight growth" in its output volume to €8.2 billion, while net profit for the year is forecast to increase to approximately €380 million in 2011, compared to €284 million in 2010.

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