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Philipp Holzmann claims turnaround

Germany-based Philipp Holzmann achieved breakeven in 1998, despite ‘large expenditure on restructuring and the need to settle financial claims from previous years’.

Performance varied worldwide, the company said: in Germany Holzmann concentrated on contracts with good earnings margins, while outside its home market the company increased earnings by 3%. In the US, the company says, performance increased by 18%.

The company now forecasts a ‘slightly positive’ result for 1999.

Skanska acquires

SADE Sweden-based Skanska has acquired 100% of the shares of the Argentine construction company SADE Ingenieria y Construcciones, it was announced in early March.

Skanska will pay around US$60M for the company — the final price will be determined by an earn-out over the next three years. SADE is Argentina’s second-largest construction company and it was previously owned by Perez Compane. Its earnings after tax in 1998 were US$10M. Claes Björk, president and CEO, said Skanska had developed an excellent record over 25 years in South America, particularly in hydro and irrigation projects. ‘A strong base in South America through the acquisition of SADE will provide additional business opportunities,’ he said. ‘ SADE is an attractive acquisition that fits well with Skanska’s long term strategy to expand its operations in South America.’

Restructured and renamed

Restructuring of the VA Technology group has meant that some of the familiar names in the hydro industry will be changing.

The plan for global structural reorientation was agreed in late 1998, and it was decided to position VA Tech as a brand name on the world market. As a result all the companies belonging to the VA Tech group will be renamed this year. Among them, Voest-Alpine MCE will be renamed VA Tech Voest, and Hydro Vevey will be renamed va-tech-hydro Vevey.