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UPDATE 2-Builder Skanska looks to Brexit Britain and Biden for support

· 02/05/2021 02:24
UPDATE 2-Builder Skanska looks to Brexit Britain and Biden for support

Adds CEO comment, shares

By Helena Soderpalm

- Skanska SKAb.ST said Brexit Britain and U.S. President Joe Biden should boost infrastructure spending, eventually offseting a cut in its 12-month outlook for Swedish non-residential building and lower-than-expected profits posted on Friday.

Shares in the Nordic region's largest builder and one of the United States' biggest builders fell 3.9% at 0924 GMT, underperforming a 0.3% decline in the Stockholm bourse's blue chip OMXS30 index .OMXS30.

CEO Anders Danielsson said uncertainty had decreased in Britain after Brexit as the government turns to infrastructure spending to revive the economy.

He also told Reuters the inauguration of Biden in the United States was positive, as "enormous infrastructure investments" had been announced.

Skanska still expects weakness in the coming year as lead-times are long and it lowered its 12-month outlook for U.S. civil engineering and infrastructure.

"The pandemic has had a negative impact on demand in the construction market, mainly from the private clients and in commercial and residential building construction," Danielsson said in a statement.

Skanska said it would propose a dividend of 9.50 crowns per share, including an extra dividend of 3.00 crowns.

Operating profit at Skanska was 6.59 billion Swedish crowns ($778.1 million) against a year-ago 2.45 billion. Analysts had on average forecast a profit of 6.84 billion crowns, Refinitiv estimates found. nL8N2K9126

Order bookings at the construction division, which books the bulk of group revenues, shrank to 39.8 billion crowns from 49.0 billion.

Skanska has said pandemic restrictions would continue to squeeze volumes and earnings, but said in November that it had partially recovered from the initial impact. nL8N2HR1MK

($1 = 8.4699 Swedish crowns)


(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Simon Johnson and Barbara Lewis)

((helena.soderpalm@thomsonreuters.com; +46 8 700 10 15; Reuters Messaging: helena.soderpalm.reuters.com@reuters.net))