Bilfinger has lower bottom-line profits

Bilfinger has lower bottom-line profits

"Our acquisition policy will not change," announced chief executive roland koch on monday when he presented preliminary business figures for 2012. Since the summer of 2011, the group has acquired 21 companies. The formerly pure-play construction group plans to further reduce its core business this year.

In the past year, net income decreased by 30 percent to 275 million euros. However, the company pointed out that in the previous year profits had been boosted by a contribution of 174 million euros, mainly from the sale of the australian construction subsidiary. By contrast, operating profit (ebita) increased by 17 percent to a new record level of 466 million euros. However, this value was also influenced by purchases and sales and special effects. Adjusted, the increase was reported to be 5 percent.

Group sales increased by 2 percent to 8.64 billion euros. While there were increases of 12 and 14 percent in the industrial and energy sectors, output in the construction sector fell by one fifth. Bilfinger has recently reduced its construction business step by step; at just over 1.4 billion euros, it now accounts for less than one sixth of output volume. Instead, the company is focusing more on engineering activities and services such as plant maintenance and building operations.

Koch spoke of "very positive figures. 2013 will not be an "exuberant year" economically, but dramatic cuts are not to be expected either. The performance will continue to increase, he announced. Ebita and profits are also expected to increase – adjusted for last year's sales losses from the reduction of the nigeria business.

Bilfinger plans to pay shareholders a dividend of 3 euros per share, but the supervisory board and annual general meeting have not yet given their approval. In the previous year, thanks to a special dividend of 0.90 euros, the total was 3.40 euros.

The company employed a good 66,800 people at the end of the year, 13 percent more than a year ago. 80 percent of the increase in personnel, which is mainly due to acquisitions, is outside europe, Koch said.


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