Skanksa profits down for third quarter

Swedish construction group Skanska said on Thursday that its third quarter net profits plummeted to just half of the numbers reported a year earlier, blaming reduced capital gains on divestments, but beat market forecasts.

For the quarter the company reported a net profit of 973 million kronor, down from the 1.8 billion kronor it reported for the same period in 2004.

Before taxes, Skanska reported 1.2 billion kronor in profits, down from 2.4 billion last year, but above analyst expectations of 994 million.

In late morning trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, the company saw its stock price shoot up 4.4 percent to 118.50 kronor per share.

Skanska’s operating income in the July-September quarter meanwhile dropped to 1.13 billion kronor from 2.4 billion for the year-ago period.

On a positive note, the company’s revenue for the quarter remained almost unchanged at 32.2 billion kronor from 32.4 billion in 2004, well above analyst expectations of 30.1 billion.

In addition, order bookings soared 38 percent in the period “and several markets show significant improvements”, company chief executive Stuart Graham said in a statement.

“The earnings trend in Construction remains positive in most of our markets and the operating margin reached 3.1 percent in the third quarter,” he added.

Looking forwards, the company said it was “cautiously positive”.

In the office market, “Skanska has experienced an increase in leasing activity, which over time should lead to new projects being initiated”, the company said, adding however that in the residential market “the local planning process continues to be a restraining factor in a number of markets”.



Swedish firm wins huge New York airport bid

A consortium led by Swedish construction company Skanska has been picked for a $3.6 billion (30.5 billion kronor) project to modernize New York's LaGuardia Airport, regional transport officials have announced.

Swedish firm wins huge New York airport bid
Travellers at New York's LaGuardia Airport in January 2015. Photo: TT

The contract is the largest in Skanska's history and follows the group also winning the contract to build the Metlife Stadium, where the American football teams New York Jets and New York Giants play.

The Skanska team, called LaGuardia Gateway Partners, was tapped by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to demolish the existing central LaGuardia terminal and build and maintain a replacement.

They beat out a competing bid by a team that included major rivals Aeroports de Paris, Goldman Sachs and the architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox.

Other members of the consortium are Walsh Construction, Vantage Airport Group, which manages nine airports around the world, Meridiam, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and HOK, the global architecture group.

Located in the borough of Queens, LaGuardia is one of three major airports serving the New York City region. Port Authority officials described the upgrade as necessary for New York to compete effectively with Tokyo and other global centers.

They said partners in the Skanska consortium have worked on more than 350 aviation and transport projects, including the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York and at international airports in Boston and Los Angeles.

Transport officials said the upgraded airport would replace a facility that currently suffers from overcrowding. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

Several airlines fly between Sweden and New York, with budget carrier Norwegian launching a no-frills service in 2013.