Skanska builds on improved margins

Swedish building group Skanska said on Thursday that it had increased its earnings in 2005 owing to improved margins in its core construction business.

Net profit measured 3.89 billion kronor from 3.19 a year earlier and sales increased to 124.7 billion kronor from 121.3 billion kronor, the company said.

In the fourth quarter alone, net profit rose to 1.08 billion kronor from 206 million thanks to strong growth in sales, which increased to 36.1 billion kronor from 30.6 billion.

Skanska said it had made “good progress” towards its own performance targets last year and saw “great opportunity” to increase earnings in construction by boosting margins further.

The market outlook in all of Skanska’s businesses was stable to good, it said.