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CFE Cuts 2012 Profit Forecast as Order Backlog, Net Debt Surge

Cie. d’Entreprises CFE SA, the construction company that owns half of Dredging Environmental & Marine Engineering NV, cut its full-year profit forecast after saying revenue will show “only moderate growth” this year.

First-quarter revenue increased to 417.5 million euros ($535.9 million) from 393.8 million euros, the Brussels-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. CFE said major dredging orders will start generating revenue as of next year and net debt increased to 405 million euros at the end of March because of DEME’s fleet expansion.

“Full-year earnings are likely to approach those of 2011,” CFE said in the statement, cutting its Feb. 24 forecast of an increase in profit. “The outlook for 2013 and 2014 remains very bright, supported by the dredging and real-estate development businesses.”

CFE’s order backlog surged 23 percent in the quarter to 2.93 billion euros at the start of April and the construction company said almost 60 percent of the backlog will translate into revenue in 2013 and beyond. CFE’s backlog includes more than 1.68 billion euros of orders that were awarded to DEME including recent contract wins in Australia and Qatar.

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