Mota-Engil Chairman Says Order Book Exceeds $3.8 Billion

Mota-Engil SGPS SA (EGL) Chairman Antonio Mota said he’s “optimistic” about 2012 earnings as Portugal’s biggest construction company has orders exceeding 3 billion euros ($3.8 billion), helped by expansion abroad.

Mota-Engil rose 4.6 percent to 1.355 euros at the close of trading in Lisbon, the biggest jump since Sept. 3, giving the company a market value of 277 million euros.

The level of orders is “in line” with the company’s estimates, Mota said in an interview in Lisbon. The builder forecast in March that its order book would remain above 3.5 billion euros this year compared with 3.8 billion euros in 2011.

Mota-Engil is among Portuguese builders shifting to emerging markets in Africa and Latin America as Portugal cuts spending to comply with the terms of a 78 billion-euro emergency aid program. The Oporto-based company operates in about 20 countries. By 2015, more than 70 percent of revenue should come from outside Portugal, according to Mota-Engil’s strategic plan.

“Our growth in Latin America and Africa clearly makes up for the decline in Portugal,” Mota said. “Latin America and Africa are growing a lot, and central Europe is stable.”

Projects in Africa, which include construction of a railway line in Malawi for mining company Vale SA (VALE3), are “all under way,” Mota said. Revenue this year from Mota-Engil’s Peruvian unit should almost double, he said.

Payment delays in Angola for work carried for the southern African country’s government are being settled, he said, without providing details as to how much is owed.

Mota-Engil is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings on Nov. 21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at

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