Global giant’s profit falls 55% but European construction business is on the up

Global giant Lend Lease has seen its European profits fall 55% in the second half of 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier.

In interim results, published today, the firm said operating profit after tax for its European arm had fallen 55% in the six months to December 2011 - from £64.2m (Aust $94.6m) to £29.2m (Aust$43m) - compared with the same period in 2010.

The firm said the profit included the sale of three healthcare and education PFI assets and the sale of its interest in the Chelmsford Meadows retail centre.

The firm said its European construction business had reported higher earnings “despite continuing difficult market conditions”.

Lend Lease group chief executive and managing director Steve McCann said the outlook for the firm in the UK was strong as major regeneration projects were on track.

“The UK business remains well placed with its major urban regeneration projects expected to contribute to future earning as the market recovers,” he said.

Posting its half-year results to the Australian Securities Exchange, the firm said total group operating profit, after tax, had edged up from £149.5m (AUS$220.2m) to £149.8m (AUS$220.8m).

The group’s Australian business makes up 65% of revenue and 70% of profit.