Bilfinger to sell offshore unit

GERMANY: Engineering firm Bilfinger has put its offshore and marine units up for sale following an "unsatisfactory" financial year.

Bilfinger has produced foundations for projects in the North and Baltic seas
Bilfinger has produced foundations for projects in the North and Baltic seas

In a statement, Bilfinger only explanation for the decision was it fell outside of its "risk profile". Its offshore turbine foundations activities and its production facility in Poland are up for sale.

The group is disbanding its offshore systems and grids division, with its overhead power lines business being incorporated into its power systems business.

Last year proved difficult for the company, with its orders backlog falling 16% in 2014. The company's pre-tax earnings fell 43% year-on-year in 2014 to €198 million.

Bilfinger had been contracted to install the monopiles at Vattenfall and Stadtwerke Munchen's 288MW Sandbank project in the North Sea. It had previously worked on the foundations at the neighbouring DanTysk projects and the UK's London Array development.

There appears to be a bit of a trend of divestment in offshore services recently. In November 2014, Ballast Nedam sold its offshore assets to Van Oord. And in October, Hochtief Europe sold its offshore unit to long-term partner GeoSea.

Both Hochtief and Ballast Nedam had reported poor financial results prior to the sale of their respective offshore divisions.

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