Skanska Q2 construction order intake beats consensus

STOCKHOLM, July 18 Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:43am EDT

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STOCKHOLM, July 18 (Reuters) - Skanska, the Nordic region's biggest builder, posted on Friday a bigger rise than expected in second-quarter order intake and said the overall construction market was improving.

Skanska, whose biggest market is the United States, said operating profit fell to 925 million crowns ($135.4 million) from a year-ago 1.50 billion, slightly above a preliminary figure unveiled July 10 as the group warned writedowns on projects and restructuring costs in Latin America would hit results.

Order intake at the Swedish group's construction unit, which accounts for about 90 percent of group sales, rose to 37.9 billion crowns from 36.0 billion, against a mean forecast of 35.9 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.

"We continue to see improvement in the underlying economy in several of our home markets, which is expected to lead to growth in both construction investments and project development activities in the coming twelve months," Chief Executive Johan Karlstrom said.

($1 = 6.8341 Swedish Crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Rebecka Kihlstrom)

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