Toyo Construction Post-Tsunami Work May Surpass Kobe Quake

Toyo Expects Quake to Trigger Construction Boom
A man walks past stranded fishing vessels following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, Japan. Photographer: Kimimasa Mayama/Bloomberg

Toyo Construction Co., a Tokyo-based port builder, said work following Japan’s March 11 tsunami may surpass the 60 billion yen ($746 million) it earned after the 1995 Kobe quake, as local governments bolster sea defenses.

“There is going to be a rush to increase safety and security around the country,” Executive Officer Nobuyuki Kawase said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. “People are increasingly recognizing how important concrete is for protection.”

Sea-defense work and reconstruction in areas directly hit by the March tsunami may help Toyo boost civil-engineering orders by 10 percent annually through as long as March 2016, Kawase said. That may help the company avoid a fourth straight decline in annual sales after the government cut public-works spending in a bid to reduce its budget deficit.

Toyo, which helped rebuild Kobe Port following the 1995 quake, has surged 79 percent since March 10 in Tokyo trading, compared with a 13 percent drop for the Topix Index. Toyo fell 3.4 percent to 86 yen at the 3 p.m. close of trading today.

The company posted 122 billion yen of sales in the year ended March 31, compared with 270 billion yen in the year ended March 31, 2001. The company, which gets about half of orders from civil engineering, expects revenue to decline to 115 billion yen this fiscal year, excluding disaster work.

The March earthquake and tsunami caused about 480 billion yen of damage to ports and seawalls, according to Japan’s transport ministry.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of a nuclear power plant crippled by the tsunami, has said it plans to construct a wall to a height of 15 meters (50 feet) above sea level off the coast of its Kashiwazaki Kariwa facility northwest of Tokyo following the March disaster.

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