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PARIS, April 24 Europe's biggest construction
and concessions company Vinci reported a 4.1 percent
rise in first-quarter sales on Thursday, supported by its main
contracting business, which includes construction and road
The company said like-for-like sales rose to 8.6 billion
euros ($11.88 billion), helped by a 4.5 percent gain from the
contracting arm, but order intake for the quarter was down 2.2
percent on last year at 8.7 billion euros. The order book stood
at 30.7 billion euros at the end of the quarter.
Vinci said it expects full-year traffic for its motorways
division to increase by "close to 2 percent" and repeated
previous guidance that total 2014 group revenue would be similar
to its 2013 level on a like-for-like basis.
Like other builders, Vinci has seen construction slow since
the 2008 crisis and has recently been expanding into
higher-growth, higher-margin concessions such as airports and
motorways. It recently agreed to sell the bulk of its parking
lot business to free up cash for acquisitions.
Last week, Vinci's board agreed to extend CEO Xavier
Huillard's mandate for four more years and to appoint Pierre
Coppey as chief operating officer, a new role in which he will
be required to drive the concessions business.
Huillard has said he wants Vinci to become a key player in
airport concessions after it spent 3.1 billion euros on
Portuguese airport operator ANA and 365 million last year to
raise its stake in French airport group ADP to 8
Vinci also paid road-building company Colas about
800 million euros to become the sole shareholder of motorway
operator Cofiroute, which operates 1,100 km (700 miles) of
motorways in western France and the A86 road near Paris.
($1 = 0.7236 Euros)
(Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by James Regan and David