Hochtief beats forecasts with a jump in orders and airport disposal progress

City A.M. Reporter
GERMANY’S largest builder Hochtief beat forecasts for second-quarter earnings, thanks to a rise in new orders, and said it was pleased with the progress in selling its airports division.

The company also confirmed its full-year outlook for 2011-2013, and said it expected its troubled Australian unit Leighton to return to strong performance soon.

The group added that it was encouraged with the progress of the sale of its airports business, and expected the deal to be completed by the end of the year.

“We are very satisfied with the course of the process so far,” chief executive Frank Stieler said in a statement, declining to comment further on the bids.

The group withdrew a comment by Stieler in the press statement, in which he said the bids were “significantly higher than the figures launched on tactical grounds in the media”.

HNA Group, parent of Chinese airline Hainan Airlines, has said it is bidding, while sources have said Vinci and Fraport have also put in offers, with the bids seen at over €1bn (£604m).

Hochtief posted second-quarter earnings before tax of €10.2m.

It had been expected to report a pre-tax loss of €7.46m, according to the average estimate of eight banks and brokerages.