May 12, 2020 / 4:37 PM / 19 days ago

Eiffage construction revenue tumbles as lockdowns hit activity

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French construction group Eiffage is seen at a construction site in Cannes, France May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

(Reuters) - French construction group Eiffage (FOUG.PA) on Tuesday said first-quarter construction revenue slumped 13.0% due to lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

France’s third-largest builder behind Vinci (SGEF.PA) and Bouygues (BOUY.PA), reported construction sales of 807 million euros ($877.37 million) compared to 923 million the previous year from group revenue totalling 3.75 billion euros, down 5.3%.

The group said it expected a sharp decline in activity in the second quarter, more pronounced in France than abroad.

France, where Eiffage generated 74% of sales last year, began a gradual easing of its strict lockdown on Monday, allowing non-essential shops, factories and other businesses to reopen for the first time in eight weeks.

Eiffage, which operates construction projects, urban development and toll roads, said it was difficult to make projections regarding its full-year results, but the lifting of lockdown measures could have a direct impact on traffic.

The group said it had continued to prioritise services such as hospital maintenance, utilities, road, rail and airport infrastructure.

Earlier on Tuesday, French transport infrastructure group Alstom (ALSO.PA) said the pandemic, which has hit many of the world’s transport networks, would impact its orders, net profit and sales for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

After initially forecasting full-year growth, the group warned in March that its 2020 earnings would “inevitably fall” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting by Sarah Morland and Dagmarah Mackos in Gdansk; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and David Evans

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