Australian storms weigh on Hochtief results

17th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

The biggest German construction group, Hochtief, posted on Wednesday modest second quarter results owing to problems with its Australian unit Leighton.

Hochtief reported a quarterly net profit of just 13.8 million euros ($20 million), which was nonetheless better than the 9.1 million euros forecast by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Group sales gained 7.6 percent from the same period a year earlier to 5.46 billion euros, in line with analysts' expectations.

Core earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (Ebita) however were less than a quarter of the year earlier figure, at 54 million euros, in large part owing to cyclones and flooding in Australia earlier this year.

For the first half of 2011, Hochtief fell to a net loss of 155.6 million euros ($224 million) from a profit of 88.1 million in the same period a year earlier.

Ebita showed a loss of 350.3 million euros, compared with a profit of 391.2 million.

"Of course we are not satisfied with these results," the statement quoted Hochtief chairman Frank Stieler as saying.

He added however that with the exception of the group's Asia/Pacific region, its divisions had turned in strong performances.

The company maintained its 2011 targets, including a pre-tax profit that is half the 2010 figure of 756.6 million euros, but a net profit that exceeds the previous year figure of 546 million euros.

© 2011 AFP

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