Skanska profits boom in upbeat report

Skanska profits boom in upbeat report
Skanska CEO Johan Karlström
Swedish construction firm Skanska has reported a profit after financial items of 936 million kronor ($120 million) for the first quarter 2010, an improvement of 108 percent on 449 million kronor posted in the period last year.

“We are now seeing the beginning of a turnaround in the trend of order bookings in Construction, mainly in the Nordics,” CEO Johan Karlström said in a comment on the report.

“After many quarters of lower order bookings, we now have a positive trend in which order bookings are higher than revenue, both during the first quarter of 2010 and during the twelve months to March 31st,” he said.

The result was considerably better than forecast by analysts who had projected a profit of 781 million kronor according to a Reuters poll.

Turnover amounted to 25.84 billion kronor, in comparison with 30.11 in the first quarter 2009.

Order bookings for the firm’s construction business increased 6 percent to 25.6 billion kronor (24) and by 15 percent when adjusted for currency effects. The firm currently enjoys an order backlog totalling 137.7 billion kronor (141.7), equivalent to 13 (12) months of construction.

Since the end of the first quarter the firm has succeeded in securing contracts for several large projects including a combined congress center, concert hall and hotel in Malmö and three public-private partnership (PPP) projects: the Antofagasta Toll Road in Chile, three schools in Essex, UK and New Karolinska Hospital in Solna in Sweden.

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