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Portugal's largest builder Mota-Engil posts 2022 profit, order book hits record

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's largest builder Mota-Engil on Wednesday reported a 69% jump in net profit for 2022 and said strong demand had boosted its order book to projects worth a record 12.6 billion euros ($13.37 billion).

The construction company, which operates in more than 20 countries spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, booked a consolidated net profit of 41 million euros in 2022, up from 24 million euros a year ago.

Overall sales increased by 47% to a record high of 3.8 billion euros, "fuelled by a strong contribution from the Engineering & Construction business in Latin America and Africa with the execution of several projects at full speed".

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 31% to 541 million euros in 2022, although the EBITDA margin fell to 14% from the previous year's 16%.

Turnover in Latin America grew 145% to 1.5 billion euros, becoming the region which most contributed to the turnover, followed by Africa, where sales rose 44% to 1.18 billion euros,

In Europe, turnover fell by 16% to 510 million euros, impacted by a 30% year-on-year decrease in activity in Poland due to uncertainty related to the conflict in Ukraine, while in Portugal, the builder has large projects in the pipeline, namely metro expansion works and a high-speed train project.

The company's backlog hit an all-time high of 12.6 billion euros, up 66% from a year earlier, following large project awards mainly in Angola, Mexico and Colombia related to railway infrastructures. The capex rose to 351 million euros.

The builder, which is 40% owned by the Mota family and 32.41% by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), expects turnover to grow around 20% in 2023.

($1 = 0.9422 euros)

(Reporting by Patricia Vicente Rua; Editing by David Latona and Louise Heavens)