UPDATE 1-Spain's OHL mulls more asset sales after profit hit

viernes 29 de julio de 2016 14:40 GYT

(Updates with CFO, CEO comment, details)

By Amanda Cooper

MADRID, July 29 (Reuters) - Spanish construction group OHL saw net profit almost wiped out in the first half, after a big hit on a Canadian hospital contract, and said it was open to more asset sales to get back to profitability.

OHL, which builds everything from motorways and gas pipelines to hospitals and hotels, posted a 94 percent drop in first-half net profit to 3 million euros ($3.4 million), and while its working capital improved, it remained in the red.

To shore up its finances it is selling assets such as a stake in Spanish toll road operator Abertis and this week said it was in talks to take its OHL Mexico unit private.

OHL halved its stake in Abertis in late June, when it raised around 894 million euros to pay down debt and secure finances for its concessions business.

Enrique Weickert, OHL Chief Financial Officer, said that while the tie-up with Abertis hadn't delivered the results hoped for, there were no plans to cut its stake any further for now.

"We were expecting to have some kind of synergy... after almost four years from that entrance we are happy with the stake, because it has been very profitable, but the reality is that we have not any kind of synergy with Abertis," he said.

Tomas Garcia Madrid, OHL Chief Executive, said under no circumstances would the parent company invest more money in OHL Mexico, in which it has a 56-percent stake.   Continuación...