Portugal’s Soares da Costa to Cut Jobs at Home, Expand Abroad

Soares da Costa SGPS SA, Portugal’s third-biggest publicly traded builder, said it plans to continue expanding abroad while cutting jobs at home, where it faces a slump in government infrastructure spending.

The Oporto-based builder began a legal process in April to dismiss workers by “mutual consent,” it said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday. That process has so far resulted in about 250 job cuts, the company said.

In a “worst-case scenario,” Soares da Costa will cut as many as 900 jobs, said a company spokeswoman, who declined to be named, citing company policy. Chief Executive Officer Antonio Castro Henriques said Sept. 2 the company was looking to acquire a “medium-sized” company in Brazil next year.

Soares da Costa cut its full-year revenue forecast to 925 million euros ($1.2 billion) from 1 billion euros on Aug. 31, citing a “serious crisis” in demand in Portugal, where the economy is expected to contract 2.2 percent this year and between 2.2 percent and 2.3 percent in 2012, according to government estimates.

Mota Engil SGPS SA is Portugal’s biggest publicly traded builder in terms of market value and Teixeira Duarte SA is the second biggest.