Bilfinger Berger services and builds the world's industrial plants and infrastructure. The company has operations in five business segments: industrial services, power services, building and facility services, construction, and concessions. Much of Bilfinger Berger's work is in the repair and maintenance of industrial plants, including oil and gas, chemical, food and beverage, and power plant facilities. Its building and facilities segment provides real estate services in Europe and the US. Its construction segment is mainly focused on building projects in Germany and other parts of Europe. Its concessions group builds and operates transportation and social infrastructure projects such as schools and bridges.
The company is active in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. A majority of its business (some 80%) happens in Europe.
Bilfinger Berger is expanding its services business and seeking to minimize its exposure to volatile or weakened construction markets. In 2011 the company sold its Valemus Australia subsidiary to Australian developer Lend Lease for about €798 million ($1 billion). The company plans to use proceeds from the sale of its Australian unit to help expand its services business. It has about €1 billion ($1.4 billion) to make new acquisitions in that segment.
In early 2011, the company acquired UK industrial service provider ATG for an undisclosed amount. The deal helped expand Bilfinger Berger's capacity in measurement, control, and automation engineering in the UK. It's all a part of the company's effort to dispose of a substantial portion of its construction business and focus on services. By scaling back its construction activity Bilfinger Berger hopes to lessen risk and increase profitability.
Net profit for Bilfinger Berger doubled in 2010. The industrial and facilities services segments enjoyed an upswing in performance that year after there was a downturn in demand due to the global economic recession. Meanwhile the power segment lagged as the financial crisis led to the postponement or cancelation of projects. Bilfinger Berger's focus on construction in Germany has helped the company maintain good results. Public sector construction in the country helped boost demand and by 2010 residential and commercial construction began to recover.
In the US, the group has expanded its industrial and building services through its Fru-Con and Centennial Contractors Enterprises subsidiaries. Virginia-based Centennial provides job order contracting services for the US Department of Defense and other federal and government entities.
The company also is targeting the nascent public-private partnership (PPP) industry in its home country. It has been positioning itself as the go-to builder for schools, prisons, and other public-private projects.
Herbert Bodner retired as chairman of the executive board in 2011. He was succeeded by Roland Koch, a former state premier. – less