MONTREAL — WSP Global sees a lucrative horizon despite fallout from the pandemic, with an updated guidance predicting strong earnings comparable to its pre-COVID-19 expectations.
The outlook, which was suspended after the outbreak, projects net revenues of between $6.7 billion and $7 billion in 2020, with adjusted earnings of at least $1 billion – roughly five per cent below WSP’s previous guidance.
The fresh forecast comes after a quarter where revenues nudged downward but the backlog grew five per cent year over year and profits remained flat in spite of interruptions sparked by the coronavirus.
CEO Alexandre L’Heureux says the five per cent contraction in revenue stemmed from hurdles in Canada and the United Kingdom.
In Canada the depressed oil and gas industry hit WSP’s market sectors, though the company derives only about five per cent of its revenues from the power and energy industry. The pandemic also prompted construction sites shutdowns.
In the U.K., L’Heurexux says the pandemic “proved to be too much” for an economy that had already entered 2020 in a weakened position due to an uncertain political and business environment brought on by Brexit.
WSP won several big contracts last year, including for Montreal’s next massive infrastructure project – repairing the 51-year-old Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel that connects the island with the South Shore.
The engineering firm says it generated net earnings of $88.3 million or 83 cents per share in the three months ended June 30 on revenue of $2.2 billion.
© 2020 The Canadian Press