Skanska posts positive first quarter results, but warns of Covid-19 impact

Swedish contractor Skanska has posted positive results for the first quarter of 2020, but has warned that the coronavirus pandemic will affect those to come.

The firm’s revenue increased 14%, and operating profit rose to $290m from £50m in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, construction orders, which account for most of the group’s business, grew to $4.2bn from $2.4bn.

The results were not affected by the pandemic, as most projects were carried out as expected.

Skanska said although first quarter orders had reminded strong, some projects were being shut down by government decisions, most prominently in the UK and US, and others were progressing more slowly than expected.

Skanska’s board of directors decided not to pay out dividends at the March annual general meeting, but retained the option for the autumn.

Anders Danielsson, Skanska’s chief executive, said: "The near future is currently very uncertain, and we are following the situation closely. We are planning for various scenarios and are taking precautionary actions in many areas.

"Currently it is very difficult to tell how severe the crisis will be and exactly how long it will last."

Recently, Skanska banned international travel for its 35,000 employees. Among recent contract wins were €336m of hospital deals in Finland and Norway, and a $27m bioscience building in Tampa, Florida.

Image: Inside Skanksa’s Stockholm HQ (Skanska)

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