The company's S-1 lays the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the largest initial public offerings of the year, second only to Uber's IPO in May. It's also...Technologyread more
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos' accusations extended beyond GE's management to actuaries, auditors and analysts who he claims overlooked billions in liabilities.Marketsread more
Trump's tweet comes a day after Apple put out a press release describing the money it spends on U.S.-based suppliers and vendors.Technologyread more
CNBC combed through Wall Street research to see which stocks are still a buy after their earnings reports.Marketsread more
President Donald Trump held a call on Wednesday with the CEOs of three major U.S. banks, according to people with knowledge of the situation.Marketsread more
Despite aggressive strides, Waymo needs one thing before their self-driving cars become a seriously useful transportation system: people. We talked to the ones closest to it.Technologyread more
Scientists say the smoke plumes, filled with megatons of tiny, harmful particles, could travel to other areas of the world and cause serious respiratory problems for people.Weather & Natural Disastersread more
Some Weight Watchers loyalists applaud Kurbo by WW. But nutritionists worry Kurbo promotes an unhealthy relationship with food during an especially impressionable time.Health and Scienceread more
Benefits from what President Trump called "the biggest reform of all time" to the tax code have dwindled to a faint breeze just 20 months after its enactment, writes John...Politicsread more
Epstein, 66, was found in his cell in Manhattan federal lockup Saturday morning and transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.Politicsread more
Air travelers faced delays at U.S. airports on Friday afternoon after a computer issue snarled processing of international arrivals.Airlinesread more
* Shares rise
* H1 operating income 2.289 bln euros, up 9.1%
* Sees Vinci Construction margin close to 2.8% after weak H1
* Eyes further growth in 2019 group revenue and net income (Adds CEO comments from call, shares up)
PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - French construction company Vinci reported first-half profit rose 9% thanks to a solid performance from its airports and motorway concessions and affirmed its forecasts for the year, sending its shares higher.
Vinci has been expanding into faster-growing and more profitable concessions such as airports and motorways, as well as engineering projects for the energy industry, to counter weakness elsewhere in the construction sector.
Europe's biggest construction and concessions company said contract disputes in France and weaker demand in oil and gas-related activities halved first-half profit margins at its construction unit to 0.9%, though it forecast improvement.
"On some construction contracts in France, it has become harder to get clients to agree on price increases and other changes. There are signs of tensions with clients in construction," CEO Xavier Huillard told a conference call.
He predicted the operating margin for Vinci Construction for the full year would be "close to the 2.8% achieved in 2018, though possibly on the low side".
Overall, first-half operating profit rose 9% to 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion), while revenues increased 10% to 21.7 billion. Vinci shares were up 3.7% in morning trade.
Operating income from Vinci's concessions business rose 12% in the first half, driven by a 34% jump in the airport segment. Operating income from contracting, which includes Vinci Energies, Eurovia and Vinci Construction, declined 1%.
Vinci, which already runs 45 airports, bought a majority stake in Britain's Gatwick airport in December for 2.9 billion pounds. Gatwick became part of the group in the second quarter of 2019, helping booost passenger traffic at the company's airports units 6.7% in the first-half of the year.
Vinci also owns 8% of Paris airport operator ADP and has in the past voiced an interest in participating in any future privatisation of the group.
The French government plans to sell all or part of its 50.6% stake in ADP, worth around 8 billion euros, but the plan has faced opposition from critics who are demanding a referendum on the issue.
When asked about his plans for ADP, Huillard replied: "The issue is now awaiting the outcome of the referendum. We will see what we have to do, depending on what the state decides, which hinges on that process."
The French Constitutional Council said on Tuesday that 615,000 people had signed an online petition backing the referendum. The referendum will take place if backed by a total of 4.7 million people by the first quarter of 2020.
Vinci shares have risen some 25% so far in 2019, beating a 17% gain on Paris' benchmark CAC-40 index.
($1 = 0.8964 euros) (Editing by Deepa Babington)