Egyptian contractor Orascom Construction has seen its half-year net profits increase by 59.6% to $82.5m, following a hike in new contract awards.
Its H1 2018 profit jumped markedly in comparison to the same period a year ago, when Orascom's net income totaled $51.7m for the first six months of 2017.
Profit growth came as the firm revealed it had signed approximately $680m-worth of new awards in the Middle East during the first half of the year. More than half of the monetary value of the new contracts – $430m in total – was added in Q2 2018.
Osama Bishai, chief executive officer of Orascom, said the most recent quarter had been a progressive period for the building firm.
“Our second-quarter results demonstrate our steady progress throughout the year as we generated a healthy bottom line while achieving operational milestones and maintaining our backlog,” he said.
In its core market of Egypt, the company has moved to diversify in all segments of the country’s construction market, which has helped it capture new contract wins. Orascom's focus on water-related projects remains a key part of its diversification strategy, however, and work on several major projects in this field has been reported by the business this year.
Bishai said the company recently completed a 150,000m3 per day water desalination plant ahead of schedule, while it is also executing a second facility of the same size.
Work has also started on the Abu Rawash Wastewater Treatment Plant, which Orascom is building in a joint venture with Spanish organisation FCC Aqualia.
Construction is “well ahead of schedule” on a 250MW build-own-operate wind farm in Egypt, and Bishai said commissioning is on target for the second half of 2019. Orascom is also working on a 500MW wind farm with Egypt’s government.