Spain's FCC reports higher profits
Spanish construction group FCC reported on Friday that first-quarter profits were up 9.8 percent at 40.5 million euros ($58.9 million) as higher revenues in its environmental services unit offset declines in building related activities.
Sales dropped 4.9 percent to 2.46 billion euros while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) -- a key measure of profitability -- fell 4.2 percent to 291.7 million euros.
"The results reflect the growth in environmental activities," such water treatment and waste management, "in which the EBITDA grew 11.5 percent, which largely compensated for slower activity in Spain in the construction and cement sector."
FCC has sought in recent years to expand its international profile at the expense of its domestic activities in Spain, which plunged into recession in 2008 as the housing market collapsed.
It is also seeking to lessen its dependence on construction, and its "services and energy" sector, which includes environmental activities, accounts for 64.9 percent of EBITDA.
© 2011 AFP