* Sees 2017 EBIT of 500 million euros
* Expects to turn cash-positive by end-2017
* Shares up 1 pct, outperform Milan bourse
(Recasts, adds detail)
MILAN, March 20 Italy's biggest construction
group Salini Impregilo unveiled lower targets in its
new business plan after posting better than expected 2013 result
Shares in the group outperformed the broader market,
responding positively to full-year operating profit (EBIT) of
234 million euros ($325.5 million) and what analysts viewed as a
more attainable EBIT target of 500 million euros by 2017.
The group, involved in major infrastrucure projects such as
the expansion of the Panama Canal and the huge Grand Renaissance
Dam in Ethiopia, cited continuing uncertainty in the global
economy for scaling back its 2017 target from the previous 2016
objective of 670 million euros.
Salini Impregilo, which completed the incorporation of
Impregilo into Salini in January, said on Wednesday that it had
agreed to sell its waste-to-energy business Fisia Babcock for
139 million euros. On Thursday it said it could also sell its
Todini construction subsidiary by the end of the year.
Over the life of the business plan Salini Impregilo expects
annual orders to average more than 7 billion euros, down from
8.6 billion euros in 2013 and the 7.5 billion euros under the
previous plan. Net debt of 332 million euros at the end of last
year should turn positive at about 500 million euros by the end
of 2017, the company said.
Salini Impregilo is part of the consortium of companies
widening the 100-year-old Panama Canal and which last week
settled a long-running dispute over cost overruns that had put
the multibillion-dollar project in jeopardy.
By 1055 GMT the company's shares were up 1 percent, against
a 0.6 percent decline for the broader Milan bourse.
The company said on Thursday that it is confident about
plans to increase the number of shares freely tradeable on the
market through a capital increase. The free float currently
stands at about 10 percent.
($1 = 0.7189 Euros)
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Lisa Jucca; Editing by David