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Maire Tecnimont upbeat on 2011, 2012

CEO confirms 2010 targets for new orders, core earnings.

August 5, 2010 8:59 by

Italian engineering and construction firm Maire Tecnimont said its record $8.1 billion order book made it very upbeat about prospects for 2011 and 2012 despite posting lower profits on Wednesday.

Chairman and Chief Executive Fabrizio Di Amato reaffirmed the group’s 2010 guidance for flat core earnings compared to 2009, as well as for 2.5 billion euro ($3.31 billion) in new orders. “We confirm the guidances. Even though for new orders just one contract is enough to beat (the target). We want to keep a prudent approach,” Di Amato told Reuters in an interview.

Maire Tecnimont, whose peers include Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas and U.S. group Fluor, had already reached its 2010 new orders target by the end of July. Its order book rose to a record level of over 6 billion euros.

“This order book is much more profitable, thanks to its business mix, with a prevalence of oil and gas. We are looking at 2011 and 2112 with a lot of confidence,” Di Amato said.

Maire Tecnimont posted a first-half net profit of 31 million euros, down about 12 percent, dragged by lower revenues and provisions on costs for the earthquake in Chile.

Di Amato said there were several acquisition opportunities on the market as funds seek a way out from their investments and small- and medium-sized companies struggle to compete.

Maire Tecnimont is looking at expanding beyond its traditional areas of activity like Russia and the Middle East, he said, mentioning Vietnam, Indonesia, South America, Egypt and Libya as new markets.

Di Amato said the company wanted to enhance the value of its infrastructure unit, which accounts for a tiny fraction of its results, but no sale was on the agenda at present.

Maire Tecnimont shares ended down 0.35 percent at 2.88 euros before the results were released. The broader Milan index closed unchanged.

(Editing by Michael Shields)

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