Los Angeles-based engineer Aecom has announced plans to exit more than 30 countries around the world in an effort to increase profit and lower risk.Â Â
The company commented in its press statement that it would "prioritise investments in markets with higher growth prospects and where its competitive advantages are greatest".
We are taking strategic actions from a position of strength that we expect will substantially improve our profitability– Michael Burke, Aecom chairman
It also announced a plan to cut its general and administrative expenses by $225m, primarily in the design and consulting segment.
The announcement was made in Aecom’s fourth quarter results, which reported earnings of $5.3bn. This gives a full-year revenue of $20.2bn, a year-on-year rise of 9%. However, pre-tax profit was $84m, a fall of 5% on the previous fourth quarter.
The company’s full year profit was $136m.Â Â
The company highlighted its order book of $54bn, a growth of 14%, and a record $28.4bn of projects won, a rise of 23%. It also reduced its debt by $256m executed a $150m share buy-back. Â
Michael Burke, Aecom’s chairman and chief executive, said: "We are proud of these many accomplishments. However, our adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter and full year were below our expectations due to the timing of Aecom Capital asset sales, which we now expect in 2019, and execution challenges on a handful of projects in the construction services segment.
"Importantly, we are taking strategic actions from a position of strength that we expect will substantially improve our profitability and position us to fully capitalise on our record $54bn backlog, which is reflected in our guidance for 12% adjusted EBITDA growth in fiscal 2019."
Image: Aecom’s offices (CC 1.0)