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Skanska UK's profits fall but group's margins rise

FINANCE

PROFITS at Skanska's UK arm dipped in the first quarter of this year as the firm continued to cherry pick work.

Operating profit fell to £5.5 million from £7.7 million as revenue dipped to £164 million from £233 million in the same period a year ago.

Skanska chief executive David Fison said: 'We're not chasing volume.We want contracts that have the right return and we are being more choosy.

'By the end of this year, I would expect our order book to have doubled but I'm not interested in chasing work - I want the right work.'

Skanska's margins rose to 3.4 per cent from 3.3 per cent over the year and the business has a £1.2 billion-order backlog.

With revenue falling, the UK arm is only the group's fourth largest contributor with Norway, where revenue boomed to £186 million, in third place.

Despite civils slumping by a third this year, the US remains Skanska's biggest source of jobs, with Sweden the next biggest contributor.