Bilfinger sticks to mid-term targets on economic recovery

MANNHEIM, Germany, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:00am EDT

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MANNHEIM, Germany, March 20 (Reuters) - German engineering and services group Bilfinger kept a medium-term target on Thursday of boosting annual net profit to around 400 million euros ($556.4 million) by 2016, helped by cost cuts and an improving European economy.

Bilfinger, which develops, builds and operates plants and buildings, generates four fifths of its business in Europe, where economic weakness led to delays in contract awards early last year, mainly for bigger and higher-margin projects.

Last year, net profit fell by a third to 173 million euros, while output was down 1 percent at 8.51 billion as governments tightened budgets, dampening demand for infrastructure projects, while companies were reluctant to make investments.

The company said its output volume should reach 11 billion to 12 billion euros by 2016.

Bilfinger launched an efficiency programme last year, which includes plans to cut about 1,250 administrative jobs over the next two years.

It also reiterated plans to make further acquisitions to boost output, while targeting organic growth of 3-5 percent by 2016 and a profit margin of around 6 percent based on earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA).

($1 = 0.7189 Euros) (Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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