Construction

OCI posts 28% profit decline as demerger looms

Chairman says construction business to increase focus on infrastructure programmes

Nassef Sawiris says the split will make the company more competitive and widen its investor base.

Orascom Construction (OCI) has said its second-quarter net profit fell 28% to $119.4m from $165.2ma year earlier.

Egypt’s biggest-listed company blamed the decline on start-up costs at new fertiliser factories, as it prepares to split the two businesses, as well as a higher effective tax rate due to a bigger contribution to earnings from its European operations.

OCI said its construction business would increase its focus on infrastructure programmes in Saudi Arabia and Iraq after reporting a 9.2% fall in its backlog of orders from the first quarter to $5.89bn.

The company expects to split its construction and fertiliser businesses into separate companies in October to make them more competitive, widen their investor base and improve their credit profiles, OCI Chairman Nassef Sawiris said.

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