Veidekke ASA: Veidekke's Economic Activity Report: Growth outlook for building and construction

"Gradual improvements in the international economy provide a positive change of pace for the building and construction markets in northern Europe. We expect total annual growth of 2 per cent in 2014 and 4 per cent 2015 for the Scandinavian marked," says Rolf Albriktsen, Executive Vice President for Strategy with Veidekke. Continued positive outlook in Norway "Despite lower investments in housing, we expect a good Norwegian building and construction market with a high level of activity in 2014. Growth will level off this year, but increase to between 3 and 4 per cent in 2015. While housing investments decline, investments in commercial buildings and construction will rise. Even with somewhat weaker growth this year, access to projects throughout the year will be good for our industry," Albriktsen says. "We are seeing a decline in the number of started homes ahead, with the strongest decline in the market for flats. We estimate the figure to be around 28,000 in 2014 and 26,000 in 2015. In terms of housing prices, we expect normal growth of around 3 per cent in 2014 and 4 per cent in 2015," Albriktsen expands. In the next three years the Norwegian construction market is expected to maintain its high level of growth of around 6% for all segments. Within the road sector significant growth is expected in 2014, dropping to around 4 per cent in 2015. Economic situation improving in Sweden Swedish GDP growth is expected to pick up 2014, and Veidekke's previous forecast of between 2.5 and 3 per cent for 2014 and 2015 remains as it is. Both domestic demand and export are helping growth compared to 2013. Veidekke expects that the overall Swedish building and construction market will have a positive boost as a result of the improved economic situation in 2014, but that growth in the current year will be most pronounced in the housing segment and more limited for commercial buildings. Shifts in public infrastructure investments and low capacity utilization in large parts of the Swedish industry will have a restraining effect. Overall, growth of around 5 per cent is expected in the Swedish building and construction sector in both 2014 and 2015. Gradual improvement in Denmark Growth in the Danish economy in 2014 looks set to aid progress in building and construction. We estimate that growth in the overall building and construction market in Denmark will be around 4 per cent in 2014 and 6 per cent in 2015. "Start-ups of new housing projects are expected to remain at a low level, from 9,000 start-ups in 2013 increasing to 12,500 in 2015. Increased demand entails that the prices of used homes will continue to rise. For private commercial buildings there is a view to growth of 3 per cent in 2014, increasing to 8 per cent in 2015. Within public buildings strong growth of around 10 per cent in 2014 and 2015 is expected to continue," Albriktsen concludes. For more information please contact: Rolf Albriktsen, EVP Strategy, tel 21 05 75 71 / 90 69 11 10, Kristoffer Eide Hoen, Consultant, tel 21 05 77 68/ 97 67 54 34, Communications Manager Helge Dieset, tel. +47 21 05 77 91 / +47 90 55 33 22, Veidekke is one of Scandinavia's leading contractors and property developers with a turnover of NOK 21 billion (2013) and 6,300 employees. Activities include building and construction projects, residential developments, asphalt plants, gravel and aggregates, and road services. Our values are professional, honest, enthusiastic and ground-breaking. Our goals for health, safety and the environment, HSE, have equal status with our financial goals. Veidekke is characterised by a strong corporate culture with employee involvement and co- ownership as important cornerstones. More than half of the employees are co- owners, holding around 20 per cent of the Group's shares between them. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and has always posted a profit since it was founded in 1936. This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act. This announcement is distributed by GlobeNewswire on behalf of GlobeNewswire clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein. Source: Veidekke ASA via GlobeNewswire [HUG#1768208]