Veidekke posts good, stable results
Oslo, Norway – Veidekke’s Q1 2008 performance reflects a continued high level of activity for Construction, and a stable, strong backlog of orders. Conversely, housing sales saw an expected reduction in Norway, while the level of activity remains high in Sweden. "Most of Veidekke’s operations are doing very well. We have clear regional differences but all in all, the level of activity is high", remarks President and CEO Terje R. Venold.
Veidekke’s first-quarter sales totalled MNOK 4 337, compared with MNOK 4 155 in Q1 last year. The operating profit (EBIT) during the period was MNOK 4 (MNOK 50) and earnings before tax (EBT) were MNOK 16 (MNOK 54). The backlog of orders for the Construction was valued at NOK 13.2 billion at 31 March, which is on a par with Q1 2007 and with year-end 2007.
Robust activity in Norway
Norwegian operations continue to maintain a generally high level of activity. This applies to Veidekke Construction in particular, where more activity in non-residential buildings for private and public customers largely compensates for the slow down in housing construction. Heavy construction has also seen a positive trend, thanks not least to many infrastructure contracts for road and rail. In Property Development, however, weaker sales figures translate into the start-up of fewer new projects, but the Group’s robust financial position facilitates opportunities for more long-term investments in land and areas for development. For Veidekke Industry, Q1 is an ‘expenditure quarter’, when costs associated with preparing for a new asphalt season and a substantial boost in activities make their mark on the figures.
Q1 sales in Norway aggregated MNOK 3 028 (MNOK 2 645), resulting in a profit of MNOK 9 (MNOK 42).
Positive in Sweden
Construction, Sweden, has shown a positive trend and improved margins, especially for building activities in Stockholm. The backlog of orders increased by 40 per cent compared with Q1 2007. Property Development posted much stronger profits, and had a sales rate of no less than 96 per cent. Q1 sales in Sweden totalled MNOK 730 (MNOK 703), resulting in a profit of MNOK 34 (MNOK 15).
Further consolidation in Denmark
The results of Danish operations under Hoffmann A/S reflect consolidation and a decline in volume. According to plan, operations are aiming for break-even in 2008. Sales added up to MNOK 535 (MNOK 772) and the result was MNOK -15 (MNOK 6).
Sickness absence for all employees in Norway was 5.2 per cent, up slightly from the same months of last year. Sickness absence was 3.1 per cent in Denmark and 3.0 per cent in Sweden. Both figures are almost the same as last year.
The injury rate (lost-time injuries per million hours worked) was 6.9 (6.1) for the Group as a whole.