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SNC Lavalin hurt by weak infrastructure spending

SNC-Lavalin Group (SNC-T) reported a 16-percent drop in quarterly profit on Friday dragged by lower contributions from its infrastructure segments, sending shares down sharply.

SNC-Lavalin, Canada's top engineering company, said it earned $100.7 million, or 66 cents a share, in the three months to end-June. That compared with earnings of $119.1 million, or 78 cents a share, in the same period last year.

The company blamed lower contributions from its infrastructure and environment segment and its infrastructure concession investments segment for the lower profit, which was partly offset by higher contributions from all other segments.

Revenue rose 23 percent to $1.67 billion in the quarter.

"Our revenues increased, our cash position and revenue backlog remained strong, and our list of prospects remains promising," said Chief Executive Pierre Duhaime in a release.

He added that the company expects full-year 2011 earnings to be in line with 2010's, adjusted to remove one-time items.

Duhaime also highlighted an agreement in late June by subsidiary Candu Energy Inc to buy the commercial nuclear reactor division of government-owned Atomic Energy of Canada.

"With our expertise and experience in the nuclear sector, we believe that Candu Energy Inc. will allow us to open new markets and capitalize on existing ones," he said.

Under government management, the unit suffered a net loss of $435 million over the past two years.

SNC-Lavalin declared a cash dividend of 21 cents a share, payable on Sept. 2. CTV Two CTV News CTV News Channel BNN - Business News Network CP24