Strabag denies Sochi building work delays

Strabag SE chief Hans Peter Haselsteiner has rubbished speculations construction projects in 2014 Olympics host city Sochi are running late.The businessman’s company is just one of a string of Austrian firms which were assigned to carry out building and infrastructure projects in the Russian Black Sea resort.Haselsteiner told the Kurier newspaper today (Thurs): “We are currently in the stage of mobilisation. We will get things going on full scale this year and achieve a  turnover of almost half a billion Euros in Sochi.”Asked whether all projects will finish in time, the Tyrolean-born entrepreneur said: “Yes, of course – and not just the projects we are in charge of but everything the Russians are building as well.”Speaking to the Kurier, Haselsteiner revealed his firm’s aim was to be among the three most-busiest companies in all countries it does business. He said: “We already achieved this in several countries. A company which is the number one in Russia has the chance to become market leader in Europe, because the country (Russia) is so large and of such great importance for the construction industry.”Haselsteiner also praised China which is regarded as one of the most promising global markets of the coming years for various industrial sectors. He said: “The Chinese achieved technical masterpieces like the Great Wall of China when we were still eating with our fingers.  They don’t need a ‘transfer of knowhow’. They have shown being able to do it themselves.”The Strabag chairman announced he still considered Eastern Europe (EE) as a “future market”. He added: “I think the same about the Balkans – all of it from Croatia to Macedonia.”Strabag is Austria’s biggest building firm and one of the leading construction companies in EE. Its earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) climbed by 10 per cent year on year to 192.7 million Euros in the first three quarters of 2010. Analysts expected the firm’s Ebit in that time span to range around 176 million Euros.The Vienna-based firm entered the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG) in 2007. One share cost 21 Euros at 2pm today.Jaroslav Katzer, head of the Strabag’s department in the Czech Republic, made headlines some days ago when he announced plans to lay off up to 15 per cent of the 2,500 people who are currently employed by the firm in the country. Katzer argued Strabag must react due to a 10 to 15 per cent decline in order value in the Czech Republic.