Hochtief profits up 25% in first half

German multinational Hochtief is celebrating a good first half of 2016, reporting an operational net profit increase of 25%, to €160m, on the same period last year.

New orders are up 12% to €13.2bn year on year for the company, which owns controlling stakes in Australia’s Cimic Group (formerly Leighton Holdings) and contractors Turner and Flatiron in the US.

Hochtief ended the half year with a net cash position of €113m, an improvement of €88m on the first quarter.

In a statement yesterday the company said its net half-year cash position would have been €808m had it not bought companies Sedgman and Devine in Australia, or launched stock buyback programs at Hochtief and Cimic.

"We are consistently on track and have a strong financial base enabling us to pursue further growth," said executive board chairman Marcelino Fernández Verdes.

All three divisions – Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe – contributed to the increase in profits, Hochtief said.

The Americas saw an increase in new orders of 34%, to €7.6bn, which Hochtief said was a record figure for the first half of any year.

In Asia Pacific Cimic improved its PBT margin by 170 basis points to 6.1% and sales rose in the second quarter.

Europe kept up the positive trend, generating operational net profit of €11m,  up from just €1m in the same period the previous year.

"Our solid order book shows the great confidence that clients have in our expertise and competitiveness worldwide," said Marcelino Fernández Verdes.

Image: The Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland, one of Hochtief’s projects (Hochtief)


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