Canada's SNC-Lavalin posts better-than-expected profit

Thu Mar 2, 2017 5:55pm EST
 
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By Allison Lampert

(Reuters) - Canada's SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO: Quote) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast a higher adjusted profit for 2017 from its core engineering and construction business.

The company said it expects 2017 adjusted profit of C$1.70-C$2.00 per share from its core business, compared with C$1.51 reported for 2016.

Last year, SNC undertook a sweeping cost-cutting program in a bid to boost margins in the core business.

Montreal-headquartered SNC said in 2016 it was targeting a core EBITDA margin of 7 percent in 2017. A company spokesman said on Thursday the margin remains a target for SNC this year.

"We're not shying away from the targets that we expect inside the business," SNC Chief Executive Officer Neil Bruce told analysts on an afternoon conference call.

Bruce said the company sees opportunities for organic growth in its infrastructure business in Canada, where it is shortlisted for several contracts, and improved oil and gas margins through work in the United States and Middle East.

The company's outlook does not include potential opportunities in the United States stemming from President Donald Trump's promised $1 trillion infrastructure program, which Bruce said, "would all be upside."

Bruce said SNC is considering growth through acquisitions, but has not yet found a target.   Continued...