Grontmij Advances After French Divestment Plan: Amsterdam Mover

Grontmij NV, Europe’s third-largest engineering consultancy, rose to the highest level in nine months in Amsterdam trading after the company said it will divest part of its French business.

Grontmij advanced as much as 7.3 percent, the highest intraday level since April, and was trading up 6.4 percent at 3.34 euros at 10:58 a.m. The De Bilt, Netherlands-based company said it plans to divest a French monitoring and testing unit, which doesn’t fit with the rest of the company’s businesses.

Grontmij, which traces its roots back to 1913, said it will focus on profitable growth from 2013 after restructuring the company in 2012. Grontmij’s earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and excluding one-time items were probably about 25 million euros ($33 million) in 2012, the designer of roads and bridges also said.

“The announced divestment is a positive development as Grontmij’s financial position isn’t very strong and the strategic fit is limited,” Edwin de Jong, an Amsterdam-based analyst at SNS Securities, said in a note to clients. The proceeds could be in the 50 million-euro to 80 million-euro range, said De Jong, who has a reduce recommendation on Grontmij.

The French monitoring and testing unit employees about 1,000 people and had sales of about 110 million euros in 2011, Grontmij said.

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