January 17, 2018 / 8:14 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Sweden's Skanska warns on 2017 profit, to lay off 3,000 staff

(Adds context, detail, background)

STOCKHOLM, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Construction firm Skanska announced on Wednesday a big restructuring programme including layoffs of about 3,000 staff, as it warned of a lower-than-expected full-year profit.

Shares in Swedish firm had fallen 5.9 percent by 0805 GMT, after losing about a fifth of their value in the past year.

In the first big move under new CEO Anders Danielsson, Skanska said it would undertake a comprehensive restructuring to improve profitability, including management changes and the appointment of a new chief financial officer.

The firm said it expected operating income for 2017 to be about 5.3 billion crowns ($658.04 million), while it proposed an unchanged dividend for the year of 8.25 crowns per share.

Analysts were expecting a 2017 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 6.4 billion crowns, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“Due to the unsatisfactory performance of several construction units Skanska will take the following actions: restructure the construction operations in Poland, leave the power sector in the USA, focus on the core business in the UK and continue to adapt to tougher market conditions in the Czech Republic,” Skanska said in a statement.

It said its Nordic construction units had continued to deliver strong results.

The Swedish firm said it would take a charge of about 1.1 billion crowns in the fourth quarter with a 400 million crown writedown related to Poland, and a charge of about 600 million crowns in 2018, stemming from the proposed restructuring.

Skanska said the estimated cost savings from the layoffs are were expected to amount to about 1 billion crowns a year.

Skanska said it still saw growth prospects in its residential and commercial property development units. ($1 = 8.0542 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Simon Johnson and Edmund Blair)

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