Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Aecon Construction scissor lift operator, Abel Sousa, looks at Toronto Pearson International Airport's new Terminal 1 check-in area from above the scissor lift on Tuesday Dec. 2, 2003.

Tobin Grimshaw/CP

Aecon Group Inc. is forecasting another year of income growth on the heels of record annual revenue, as the construction firm continues to shore up its backlog of infrastructure projects.

Chief financial officer David Smales predicted revenue growth “in the single digits, but still relatively strong” for 2020.

Mr. Smales cited a full order book and high demand for infrastructure and public-private partnerships in Canada, including urban transit and nuclear refurbishment projects.

Story continues below advertisement

Aecon expects more than 40 per cent of its $6.79-billion backlog – roughly in line with 2018 – will be worked off in 2020, building on a 6-per-cent boost in 2019 revenue to $3.46-billion.

The rosy picture prompted the company to raise its quarterly dividend 10 per cent, despite weaker fourth-quarter results.

The Toronto-based firm will pay 16 cents a share on April 2, up from 14.5 cents previously.

“We always say don’t look at one quarter in isolation,” Mr. Smales said. “Over the course of the year, margins continue to move in the right direction.”

Analyst Frederic Bastien of Raymond James said Aecon “continues to execute admirably, enjoys healthy demand for its core services, and benefits from reduced global and domestic competition.”

The fourth quarter saw Aecon earn 28 per cent less in profits but score three major contracts with a total value $690-million, and the company’s share valued at $420-million.

The trio comprises pipeline construction in Alberta for Trans Mountain Corp., piping installation for Nova Chemicals Corp. in Ontario and a joint venture to upgrade a pair of highways on Vancouver Island and B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

Story continues below advertisement

On Feb. 10, Aecon signed off on a 50-50 joint venture with Spanish conglomerate Acciona SA to replace the Pattullo Bridge in the Lower Mainland, a project valued at $967.5-million.

One week earlier, Aecon announced a $30-million deal to acquire Voltage Power Ltd., an electrical transmission and substation contractor based in Winnipeg.

Benoit Poirier, an analyst with Desjardins Securities, called Aecon’s debt-to-adjusted earnings ratio of 1.8 “a key competitive advantage” to snag new projects.

In 2019, new contract awards of $3.43-billion were booked compared with $5.84-billion in 2018.

A sizable chunk of that comes from a $639.8-million fixed-price construction contract, signed in April, to widen Highway 401 between Mississauga and Milton in the Greater Toronto Area, with Aecon granted a 50-per-cent stake.

Chief executive Jean-Louis Servranckx told analysts on a conference call Wednesday that the novel coronavirus has not interrupted work or supply chains.

Story continues below advertisement

Aecon said it earned $20.2-million, or 31 cents a diluted share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $27.9-million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier.

The company was expected earn 32 cents a share on $934.6-million in revenue, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Quarterly revenue decreased 3.3 per cent to $917.3-million.

For the full year, Aecon earned $72.9-million, or $1.12 a diluted share, on a record $3.46-billion in revenue. That’s up from $59-million, or 94 cents a share, on $3.27-billion in 2018. Analysts expected $1.14 a share in earnings on $3.49-billion of revenue.

Excluding the contract mining business sold in November, 2018, revenue grew 13 per cent instead of 6 per cent posted Tuesday.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies