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French infrastructure group Vinci's quarterly sales rise above pre-COVID levels

French infrastructure group Vinci's quarterly sales rise above pre-COVID levels
French infrastructure group Vinci's quarterly sales rise above pre-COVID levels   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By Sarah Morland</p> <p><span class="caps">PARIS</span> – French infrastructure group Vinci posted third-quarter sales on Tuesday that surpassed pre-pandemic levels, helped by a ramp-up in public works and more traffic on its motorways.</p> <p>Europe’s biggest construction and concessions firm posted quarterly sales up 7.8% year-on-year to 13.24 billion euros ($15.39 billion), in line with analysts’ forecasts and exceeding the 13.13 billion euros it generated in 2019.</p> <p>Vinci has benefited from several large construction works and a rise in motorway traffic as <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 travel curbs eased across Europe, but labour shortages and high raw material costs have forced it to consider delaying some projects.</p> <p>However, Vinci’s finance chief Christian Labeyrie said that though some projects, in agreement with customers, could be pushed from this year into 2022, this would not impact the firm’s net profits.</p> <p>“We are big enough,” he told analysts in a call, speaking about the group’s core construction business. “We aren’t looking for more volume, but for better quality orders to improve our profit margin.”</p> <p>Despite the introduction of a European Union-wide <span class="caps">COVID</span> vaccine certificate, business at Vinci’s smaller airports arm remained sluggish, with passengers nearly 60% below 2019 levels.</p> <p>This kept revenues from Vinci’s airports division, which includes London’s Gatwick Airport, down almost 55% from 2019.</p> <p>The group confirmed its previous guidance that 2021 earnings would not recover to pre-pandemic levels, but they should rise sharply compared to 2020.</p> <p>It said its energy infrastructure and construction businesses should see full-year growth compared to 2019, while revenues in its motorway division should approach pre-pandemic levels.</p> <p>The company has not given specific financial forecasts.</p> <p/> </div>