German Hochtief in good shape after strong 2010

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The biggest German construction company, Hochtief, reported solid 2010 results on Wednesday, confirmed its medium-term targets and repeated that it would sell two subsidiaries.

Hochtief's net profit gained 50 percent to 288 million euros ($408 million), and pre-tax profit was 27 percent higher at 757 million euros.

Orders were up by 32 percent at almost 30 billion euros meanwhile, after the group diversified into the industrial services sector, with most of its work now outside Germany.

At the end of 2009, Hochtief had "a forward order book reaching over two years ahead," a statement said.

Directors planned to propose a 33 percent increase in the stock dividend to two euros per share, it added.

That will be good news for the company's biggest shareholder, the Spanish construction group ACS, which owns 33.4 percent and wants to raise its holding to more than 50 percent this year.

Hochtief maintained its 2011 pre-tax profit target of around one billion euros and net profit of 600 million euros.

It also plans to sell its Concessions unit that has holdings in airports, schools and roadways, and its real-estate activity Aurelis.

Concessions has been valued at 1.68 billion euros and is to be sold or floated on the stock exchange this year, Hochtief said.

Aurelis is to be sold in 2012, a year earlier than initially planned.

© 2011 AFP

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