Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), the country’s largest listed company, on Wednesday said net income for the third quarter dipped 31 percent.

It said this was attributable a seasonal slowdown in the group’s construction work.  Construction is a cyclical industry and follows the direction the economy is taking.

It said net income was $126.8 million which was a little more than the analysts’ consensus of $119.7 million.

Orascom, chaired by veteran billionaire industrialist Onsi Sawiris,  is currently working with the industry watchdog to rip its construction and fertiliser businesses.

Orascom reported a 4.3 percent drop in its logjam over the previous quarter. The backlog at the end of the third quarter stood at $5.64 billion.

“The group is increasing its focus on the United States’ infrastructure programme and petrochemical construction market, in addition to expanding its presence and work in Saudi Arabia and Iraq,” it said in a statement.

“We continue to expect strong demand for our fertiliser products supported by strong fundamentals. Farmers in the United States have witnessed record income despite the fall in yields.”

Orascom’s revenues in the quarter rose 1 percent to $1.37 billion compared to a year ago, in line with consensus.

Consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) sagged 19 percent to $300.6 million, missing the consensus forecast of $311.7 million.

Natural gas supply to its two plants in Egypt have seen radical output cuts in

November as unscheduled strikes in the gas grid for maintenance works continues.

“The natural gas supply shortfalls will have an impact on our fourth quarter production utilisation rates and results,” the company said.


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