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US engineering giant Jacobs posts $3bn revenue as backlog hits $20bn

Double-digit quarterly growth at American firm follows 2018 contract wins on Etihad Rail and Saudi Aramco schemes

American engineering firm Jacobs has reported double-digit quarterly growth.
© Pixabay / anita_starzycka
American engineering firm Jacobs has reported double-digit quarterly growth.

Revenue and operating profits at Texas-based construction heavyweight Jacobs climbed substantially in the first fiscal quarter of 2019.

Jacobs made $3.1bn in revenue during the three months to 28 December, 2018, marking an increase on the $1.8bn earnings from a year earlier. Meanwhile, operating profits climbed to $113m during the same quarter.

The company’s building, infrastructure, and advanced facilities segment led the generation of revenue, pulling in more than $2bn during the three-month period. Jacobs' aerospace, technology, and nuclear unit generated more than $1bn of revenue, with its total backlog across all sectors valued at $20.3bn, slightly higher than the $18.9bn from last year.

Jacobs is in the midst of offloading its energy, chemicals, and resources business to Worley Parsons in a $3.3bn deal, and expects to complete this divestment by the end of June 2019. With its recent acquisition of US-based CH2M, Jacobs’ chief executive officer, Steve Demetriou, said the business would continue to grow in 2019.

“We are excited about future opportunities for strong profitable growth in the company's continuing lines of business,” Demetriou, a 2018 Construction Week Power 100 figure, said.

Chief financial officer of Jacobs, Kevin Berryman, said the business had already started to see the cost benefits of integrating CH2M “ahead of schedule”, adding: “Our first quarter results demonstrate a strong start to the fiscal year with double-digit revenue and operating profit growth.”

Jacobs is planning to share details of its new business strategy on 19 February, 2019, and may provide details on the time and scope of a plan to buy back $1bn-worth of shares. While the company’s financial statement did not include a breakdown of the financial performance of each region, Jacobs continued its track record of winning work in the Middle East last year.

In July 2018, the firm won a contract to deliver technical consultancy work for the UAE’s 1,200km Etihad Rail Project. This followed an April 2018 contract award, when the engineering heavyweight won what it described as a “landmark contract” to deliver project management services for a Saudi Aramco megaproject in the Zuluf offshore oil field.

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Construction Week - Issue 745
Jun 30, 2019