Strabag upbeat despite less activity

Strabag SE chief Hans Peter Haselsteiner is optimistic despite a decline in building activity.Haselsteiner said today (Mon) that his Vienna-based construction company carried out assignments worth 12.78 billion Euros last year, down by 1.9 per cent compared to 2009.He said: “We will be able to increase our performance by five per cent to 13.5 billion Euros this year.”Haselsteiner – a former Liberal Forum (LIF) politician – added he saw potential to achieve one-digit growth rates in the coming years.The Strabag boss explained the whole business sector benefited from public investments in infrastructure projects across Europe carried out by governments as part of their bids to boost the economy.Haselsteiner added that the “building boom” in Poland also helped his company, adding that Strabag suffered by declining investments into traffic network investments in Germany in Hungary.Strabag was contracted to modernise and expand 150 kilometres of main roads in Romania for 106 million Euros earlier this month. Züblin, its affiliated company in Germany, was recently assigned to finish building the European Central Bank’s (ECB) new headquarters in Frankfurt. Züblin’s rival Baresel was initially asked to get the project underway.Strabag has around 73,600 employees and is Austria’s leading building firm. The company’s earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) climbed by 10 per cent year on year to 192.7 million Euros in the first nine months of 2010. One Strabag share was valued at 21.68 Euros at the Vienna Stock Exchange’s (WBAG) Prime Market at 11am today.