Stormy Australia weighs on Hochtief results

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Stormy Australia weighs on Hochtief results

The biggest German construction group, Hochtief, posted on Wednesday modest second quarter results owing to problems with its Australian unit Leighton.


Hochtief reported a quarterly net profit of just €13.8 million ($20 million), which was nonetheless better than the €9.1 million forecast by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Group sales gained 7.6 percent from the same period a year earlier to €5.46 billion, in line with analysts' expectations.

Core earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (Ebita) however were less than a quarter of the year earlier figure, at €54 million, in large part owing to cyclones and flooding in Australia earlier this year.

For the first half of 2011, Hochtief fell to a net loss of €155.6 million ($224 million) from a profit of €88.1 million in the same period a year earlier. Ebita showed a loss of €350.3 million, compared with a profit of €391.2 million.

"Of course we are not satisfied with these results," the statement quoted Hochtief chairman Frank Stieler as saying.

He added however that with the exception of the group's Asia/Pacific region, its divisions had turned in strong performances.

The company maintained its 2011 targets, including a pre-tax profit that is half the 2010 figure of €756.6 million, but a net profit that exceeds the previous year figure of €546 million.



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