Eiffage falls foul of weather

By Sandy Guthrie08 May 2013

A fall in sales for French-based group Eiffage is being attributed to the bad weather conditions in Europe at the start of the year.

The group said that sales in the first quarter of 2013 were down 4.4%, with the unfavourable weather conditions having had an impact on the figures.

Consolidated sales for the first quarter of 2013 were reported to be €2.9 billion, down 4.4% year-on-year on a reported basis and by 4.7% like-for-like.

The unfavourable wintery weather conditions in France and much of Europe were largely to blame for this decline in activity, said Eiffage. It said that building, and road construction and maintenance were particularly affected.

Its concessions division, however, recorded an increase in revenue, mainly thanks to traffic having held up on motorway operator APRR’s network and having increased on the A65 motorway. APRR is a subsidiary of a consortium headed by Eiffage.

With the group’s contracting activities, sales declined to €2,388 million, down by 5.8% on a reported basis and by 6.1% like-for-like.

In France, Eiffage Construction recorded sales of €619 million, down by 12.9% on a reported basis and by 11.6% like-for-like, with building construction particularly affected by the adverse weather.

In public works, sales were €704 million, down by 5.8% on a reported basis and by 6.7% like-for-like.

In France, Eiffage Travaux Publics recorded a 2.5% decrease in sales to €587 million. However, the group pointed out contrasting performances. Whereas the adverse weather conditions led to a sharp decrease in activity for road construction and maintenance, activity was stable for civil engineering and increased sharply for large projects.

In addition, it said that the Bretagne to Pays de la Loire (BPL) high-speed rail line project would begin its full contribution to the division’s sales in the second quarter.

In the rest of Europe – €73 million, down 34.2% – conditions were difficult in the first quarter in Germany and also in Spain, where it pointed out that the economic environment remained depressed.

In the rest of the world – €37 million, up 37.0% – the construction of the Autoroute de l’Avenir in Senegal was said to be proceeding to plan.

Eiffage said its order book stood at €12.8 billion at 1 April, 2013. This, it said, represented a 5% increase compared with 1 January, 2013, but a 9.6% decrease year-on-year.

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