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Pierre Duhaime, president and CEO of SNC Lavalin

Jeff McIntosh/Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. has raised its earnings forecast for the year after profits increased by 22 per cent to $97.7 million in the second quarter on higher contributions from infrastructure concessions and its chemical businesses.

The Montreal-based engineering and construction firm earned 64 cents per diluted share for the period ended June 30. That compared to 53 cents or $80 million a year earlier.

Revenue declined three per cent to $1.43 billion, from $1.47 billion in the second quarter of 2009.

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"We achieved good results in the first half of the year; our net income increased, and our backlog and cash position remain solid," stated president and CEO Pierre Duhaime.

Based on this performance, he said the company expects its profits in 2010 will be higher than last year. Revenues should also increase in the second half of the year compared to the first six months.

The total revenue backlog was $11.4 billion, up from $10.8 billion at the end of December.

The backlog does not include the $1.6 billion contract to build the McGill University Health Centre's new mega-hospital in Montreal.

SNC-Lavalin said it had $1.1 billion of cash and equivalents at the end of June.

Excluding the contribution from concessions investments such as Highway 407 in Toronto, AltaLink and the operator of an Algerian power plant, net income decreased 8.4 per cent to $73 million from $79.7 million.

The company experienced lower income in the mining and metallurgy as well as infrastructure and environment segments.

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SNC's board declared a 17 cents dividend payable Sept. 3 to shareholders of record on Aug. 20.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its shares fell 19 cents to $47.10 in morning trading.

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