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Construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. reported Friday a third-quarter profit of $128.2-million, up from a year-ago $103.1-million, as revenue grew 13 per cent.

The profit amounted to 84 cents per share and compared to earnings or 68 cents per share in the same period of 2009. Much of the gain was attributed to higher operating income from the company's power business.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast 72 cents per share in adjusted earnings, compared to 68 cents a year earlier, and $1.6-billion in revenue.

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"With these good results, we now expect that our 2010 net income growth will surpass our annual long-term growth objective of seven per cent to 12 per cent," president and CEO Pierre Duhaime said in a statement.

"We are also pleased with our recent project announcements and continue to see many opportunities across all our sectors of expertise."

Revenue for the quarter improved to $1.61-billion from $1.42-billion in the comparable period a year earlier, the increase driven primarily by SNC Lavalin's packages division, in which revenues climbed to $666.1-million from $472.5-million.

SNC has 22,000 employees in 100 countries, with offices in 35 countries. It is one of the biggest engineering and construction companies in the world and a major player in the ownership of infrastructure and in operations and maintenance services.

The Montreal-based global construction giant has had a busy couple of weeks.

It secured about $1-billion in new contracts at home and abroad, and cancelled a public offering by subsidiary TransAxio Highway Concession and dropped plans to add another 10 per cent stake in the Highway 407 toll road that passes through Toronto.

Last week, it was awarded a $450-million water supply contract in Libya and a $587-million contract to design and build a hydroelectric power facility near Trail, B.C., for Fortis Inc. and Columbia Basin Trust.

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On Wednesday, it won an $80-million contract to upgrade and increase the capacity of two sulphuric acid plants in Aqaba, Jordan.

SNC-Lavalin said it abandoned plans for Highway 407 due to "adverse market conditions."

That leaves the door open for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to proceed with its $894-million offer to purchase the stake from Cintra Infraestructuras.

SNC-Lavalin has recently boosted its nuclear portfolio as it makes a play to purchase Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

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