STOCKHOLM, July 18 Skanska, the Nordic
region's biggest builder, posted on Thursday a slightly higher
second-quarter operating profit than expected and said
competition on its markets was intense, mainly from new
Skanska, whose single biggest market is the United States,
stood by its outlook for its markets for the next 12 months.
The overall market for construction is stable but there are
large differences between geographies and segments, it said.
Operating earnings rose to 1.50 billion Swedish crowns
($227.8 million) from a year-ago 1.30 billion, against a mean
forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts for 1.40 billion.
Order bookings at the construction unit, which accounts for
nine tenths of sales, were up more than expected at 36.0 billion
crowns, against a forecast 33.6 billion.
($1 = 6.5849 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom)