Sharp drop in profit for Strabag in 2012

Austrian construction company Strabag announced on Tuesday a sharp drop in profit in 2012, insisting however that this was well within expectations and predicting growth for the coming year.

Profit dropped to 60.6 million euros ($79.2 million) last year, less than a third of the 2011 result of 195 million euros, Strabag said in a statement.

Underlying profit as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) meanwhile fell by 38 percent to 207.2 million euros.

Strabag blamed these results on "one-offs as well as construction site losses", noting this would thus have no impact on the coming year.

"Therefore, we reiterate our goal to achieve double-digit growth in earnings in 2013," said CEO Hans Peter Haselsteiner.

Strabag added the drop in profit had been foreseen and even the low EBIT figures "significantly beat own expectations and the expectations of the market."

The one-offs included compensation payments for a failed acquisition and the loss of joint ventures, it said.

For 2013, the company predicted "another slight worsening of the business environment in the European construction sector."

But without the one-offs that impacted last year's result, EBIT was due to grow "to at least 260 million euros... This corresponds to an increase of at least 25 percent," it said.