Hochtief profit rises 36% despite slight fall in turnover

The German construction group Hochtief reported a 36% increase in operating profit for the first nine months of the year, from $170m to $230m, despite a slight drop in turnover, from $24.1bn to $23.3bn. 

The rise in profit was partly the result of strong performances at the firm’s American and Australian subsidiaries. New orders rose by 25% in the US, where Hochtief is represented by subsidiaries Turner Construction and Flatiron, and in Australia, where it owns Leighton Holdings. 

The firm also paid back $410m of its debt, which it acquired along with its overseas subsidiaries.  

Marcelino Fernández Verdes, the chairman of the executive board, said: "As the results illustrate we are delivering a solid performance which we aim to sustain, and improve upon, going forward." 

The contractor, which is 50.16% owned by Grupo ACS of Spain, and 10% owned by Qatar Holdings, has an order book worth about $50bn.  

Notable projects won during the year so far include a 30-storey office tower in Atlanta and the $200m West Approach Bridge Seattle, which was awarded to its Flatiron subsidiary.  

In Australia, Leighton is part of a consortium that has been chosen to build the $7.8 billion North West Rail Link in Sydney (pictured). 

Hochtief Solutions, which is part of Hochtief’s Europe division, was awarded contracts including construction of the $390m Rastatt rail tunnel, part of a railway line between Karlsruhe in German and Basle in Switzerland, and the Cherbourger Strasse harbour tunnel in Bremerhaven. 

Hochtief has disposed of some of its peripheral businesses in recent months in an attempt to concentrate on its core contracting and PPP operations.  

Last month, Belgian marine contractor GeoSea bought its marine assets, including the jack-up vessels that are used for oil exploration and erecting offshore wind farms, for an undisclosed sum. This decision was thought to be linked to the Germany government’s reduced wind energy capacity targets. 

Earlier in October it also sold Formart, its residential property arm, to German investor Activum Capital Management.

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