UPDATE 2-Spain's OHL 2014 results disappoint while peer Sacyr takes off

jueves 26 de febrero de 2015 14:39 GYT

* Analysts say results remain weak, no sign of improvement

* Sacyr posts 30 pct increase in core profits (Adds Sacyr earnings)

By Julien Toyer and Andrés González

MADRID, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Results at Sacyr and OHL exposed contrasting trends among Spanish builders on Thursday as the former published a sharp increase in 2014 core profits while the latter disappointed analysts and investors with a weak set of earnings.

Spanish builders have expanded abroad, focused on services, sold non-core assets and laid off staff to combat a slump in construction activity at home that has left them with high debts and squeezed margins.

While they hope a planned increase in infrastructure spending in Spain will fuel recovery, the full-year results show they are not all at the same stage of the process.

OHL's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 11 percent in 2014 to 1.08 billion euros ($1.22 billion), while revenues increased by 6 percent.

The company's net debt fell to 5.6 billion euros at end-December from 6.5 billion in the previous quarter after it sold assets, including part of its Mexican arm and a 5 percent stake in Spanish toll road operator Abertis.

Meanwhile, Sacyr posted a 30 percent rise in EBITDA to 382 million euros, with sales growth of 8.5 percent to 2.9 billion euros.   Continuación...