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 international competitors.
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)