Earnings before tax were NOK 194 million (142 million) for the 1st quarter. This corresponds to a profit margin of 5.0% (5.4%). Earnings per share were NOK 1.33 (0.89). The order backlog was worth NOK 19,451 (15,984) at the end of the quarter.
AF Gruppen is in a very strong financial position. Net operating cash flow was NOK 126 million (415 million) for the 1st quarter. As at 31 March 2018, AF Gruppen had net interest-bearing receivables of NOK 1,017 million (1,063 million). The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of NOK 5.00 (5.00) per share for the first half of 2018.
AF imposes the same strict requirements on all its partners and suppliers as on its own employees, and figures from subcontractors are included in injury statistics. The LTI rate for the first quarter was 1.3 (1.1).
AF works systematically to avoid work-related absence. The goal is overall sickness absence of less than 3.0 per cent. The absence due to illness for Q1 was 3.5% (3.5 %).
Sweden was established as a new business area for AF Gruppen as of 1 January 2018. The business area consists of the units Kanonaden Entreprenad and subsidiaries, Pålplintar, AF Härnösand Byggreturer, AF Bygg Göteborg, AF Bygg Syd and AF Projektutveckling.
"AF Gruppen began 2018 with solid growth in both Norway and Sweden. We need a continuous supply of new colleagues and are experiencing great interest in both AF Gruppen and our industry. Recently published surveys by Universum and Karrierebarometeret showed that Engineering students see AF as the most attractive employer among contractors in Norway.
It is part of the AF culture to be curious and look for new solutions. The possibilities for innovation and the use of digital tools in the construction process are almost limitless. Improving existing processes is a natural part of our project operations and the key to increased productivity and quality. Meanwhile, innovation and digitalisation make us more attractive as an employer for the smartest brains. To further enhance our competitiveness, AF has built an organisation dedicated to increasing innovation and digitalisation, as well as facilitating new business models. AF has also, in cooperation with OBOS, established a separate venture aimed at innovative start-ups in the construction industry. The ambition is to enable good technology solutions to be realised," says Morten Grongstad, CEO of AF Gruppen.