France's Eiffage reports first-half revenue up 10.4%

The logo of French construction group Eiffage is seen at a construction site in Paris

(Reuters) -French construction company Eiffage on Wednesday reported a 10.4% rise in half-year revenue to 10.4 billion euros ($11.4 billion), citing growth in all divisions, increases in motorway and airport traffic, and a stronger order book.

The company, which builds roads, tunnels and electric infrastructure, also said it had seen an increase of 9.1% in operating profit on ordinary activities in the first six months through June.

The company is Channel Tunnel operator Getlink's main shareholder at around 18.8%, and the co-owner of Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhône (APRR), France's second and Europe's fourth motorway operator by revenue.

In July, APRR reported a 3% increase in traffic and a 76.8% EBITDA margin during the first half of the year. In July and August, traffic only increased by about 0.5 percentage point, Eiffage said.

"I imagine that light vehicle traffic was impacted by the very sharp rise in fuel prices," Chief Financial Officer Christian Cassayre said on an analyst call.

"There was also an undoubtedly unfavourable base effect compared with the summer of 2022, which was a vintage year. It was the first post-Covid summer, and we had some very interesting traffic figures last year," Cassayre said.

The most significant growth in revenue was recorded in the Energy Systems division, which jumped 15.4% in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2022, boosted by investment in new environmental and digital technologies.

The contracting order book rose 10% year-on-year to 19.8 billion euros, while revenue in the concessions division, which groups motorway and airport traffic, increased 10.2%.

The company confirmed its financial guidance for the rest of the year.

($1 = 0.9158 euros)

(Reporting by Gaëlle Sheehan and Mariana Abreu; Additional reporting by Pierre John Felcenloben; Editing by David Holmes and Andy Sullivan)