While the annual results were still influenced by a sale that inflated 2011 profits, the company's net profit in the final quarter of 2012 jumped by 24 percent to 1.29 billion kronor.
That largely surpassed the expectation of 1.07 billion kronor by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
Sales rose by 8 percent to 124.5 billion kronor in 2012, with a fourth-quarter gain of 3 percent to 34.2 billion kronor.
"The majority of the units in construction delivered favourable results, even in markets characterized by declining construction investments and intense competition," said chief executive Johan Karlström.
While orders fell by 3 percent, Karlström noted they improved in the fourth quarter, and the company started 2013 with a backlog of 14 months of construction worth 146.7 billion kronor.
Skanska said it expects construction, commercial property development, and infrastructure development to remain steady, but residential development to decline.
Nevertheless, investors pushed the company's share price up by 6.3 percent in morning trade on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, which was flat.