ACS and Qatar raise stakes in Hochtief
Frankfurt, March 23, 2011
Hochtief's key shareholders ACS and Qatar strengthened their hold over Germany's largest builder, which rewarded them with forecast-beating profit and a bigger-than-expected dividend.
ACS now controls more than 39 per cent in Hochtief, while Qatar has upped its stake to more than 10 per cent from around 9 per cent, the German builder said on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Essen, Germany-based company posted full-year pretax profit of 756.6 million euros ($1.08 billion), a 27 per cent rise from the year earlier, beating the 11 per cent rise forecast in a Reuters poll.
'2010 results came in well above our and consensus estimates,' analysts at Equinet wrote in a note, echoing the views of analysts at WestLB and DZ Bank.
Hochtief shares were trading 0.6 per cent higher by 0945 GMT, in line with the STOXX 600 European construction and materials index which was up 0.7 per cent.
The group also proposed increasing its dividend to 2.00 euros from 1.50 euros in the previous year, more than the 1.72 euros expected by analysts.
It said it expects 2011 earnings to be boosted by the sale of its Concessions unit, and the sale of its 50-per cent stake in former Deutsche Bahn subsidiary aurelis Real Estate.
It reaffirmed its earnings targets for 2011 and 2012, adding the disposal of Concessions this year would contribute to achieving pretax profit of around 1 billion euros.-Reuters