May 1, 2008 / 2:02 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-SNC-Lavalin back in black as sales surge

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TORONTO, May 1 (Reuters) - SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO) said on Thursday it swung to a first-quarter profit as the engineering and construction company got a big boost in sales from all its segments.

The company said it had a profit of C$70.9 million ($69.4 million), or 47 Canadian cents a share, for the period ended March 31, up from a loss of C$19.9 million, or 13 Canadian cents a share, in the same period last year.

SNC said its year-ago profit included a net gain of C$84.1 million after taxes for the sale of SNC Technologies.

The company said net income from continuing operations was C$70.9 million, or 47 Canadian cents a share, up from a loss of C$103.9 million, or 69 Canadian cents per share, last year when it took a pre-tax operating loss of C$179 million from its Power segment.

Revenue during the quarter rose nearly 40 percent to C$1.78 billion from C$1.27 billion, due mainly to higher sales at its Services and Packages divisions.

SNC-Lavalin also said it had a backlog of orders in its four revenue categories - Services, Packages, Operations & Maintenance and Infrastructure Concession Investments - that totaled C$10 billion at the end of March.

“Given these positive results, our strong backlog and our solid list of prospects, we continue to be optimistic about the year ahead,” Jacques Lamarre, SNC’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Shares of SNC were up C$1.33, or 2.6 percent, at C$51.84 shortly after the open on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Scott Anderson

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