Newspaper article The Canadian Press

SNC-Lavalin May Sell Stake in Highway 407 Toll Road Quicker Than Planned

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

SNC-Lavalin May Sell Stake in Highway 407 Toll Road Quicker Than Planned

Article excerpt

SNC-Lavalin earns $32.1 million in Q2

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MONTREAL - Engineering consulting and construction firm SNC-Lavalin says a decision on selling its investment in Ontario's Highway 407 toll road is proceeding quicker than planned.

"We still expect that action may occur sooner rather than later, within our original midterm of one-to-three-year projection," CEO Robert Card said Friday during a conference call to discuss its second-quarter results.

He said the Montreal-based company isn't pressed to sell but sees the market as "largely favourable".

The evaluation on the sale comes as the company anticipates a stronger second half to the year in its core engineering and construction business as it continues to reduce the number of troubled legacy projects.

These include the $1.3-billion McGill University superhospital, which is on track to be completed on Sept. 30 if SNC receives about $200 million for additional work.

"We will be turning over the hospital not one second before the money's in the bank," Card told analysts.

Card said Ste-Justine Children's Hospital and highway projects in Western Canada are making progress.

The company reiterated its EPS guidance for the year at $2.80 to $3.05, excluding the gain on the sale of AltaLink, the Alberta utility, and the impact of the planned $2.1 billion acquisition of purchasing of U.K.-based Kentz Corp. Ltd., a global engineering firm that provides services to the oil and gas sector, announced in June.

"Our challenging project situation continues to get better even though it's frustrating...So we're counting on that to be less bad," he said when asked to explain his outlook for the rest of the year.

SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) continued to face challenges in the second quarter, missing expectations despite swinging to a $32.1 million profit on a 12.7-per-cent drop in revenues.

The company said net income attributable to shareholders equalled 21 cents per share for the three months ended June 30, compared to a 25 cents per share or $37. …

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