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Hochtief to meet record profit target 2 years ahead of deadline

Hochtief AG, Germany’s largest builder, said it will meet its profit target two years ahead of deadline as Asian demand booms and closer integration of units helps it win new contracts.

Net income this year will exceed the €100 million ($134 million) goal, the Essen-based company said today. Sales and the order book will probably be little changed. Hochtief AG, in which Spanish rival Actividades de Construccion & Servicios SA yesterday bought a 25% stake, had aimed to hit the target by the end of 2009 at the latest. Earnings will be boosted by Asian spending on roads, bridges and offices and as a broader range of services helps it win higher-margin work.

„This will place special emphasis on joint projects and advance cooperation between all group companies across divisional and regional boundaries, „ Hochtief’s CEO-designate Herbert Luetkestratkoetter said in a statement handed to journalists in Dusseldorf. Net income at Hochtief last year rose to €89.1 million, or €1.37 a share, from €67.7 million, or €1.07, in 2005. Revenue climbed 14% to €15.5 billion. The company plans to raise its annual dividend by 22% to €1.10 a share. (Bloomberg)