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Aecon Q1 loss narrow to $25.9M despite sharp drop in revenue to$461.9M

TORONTO - Aecon Group Inc. (TSX:ARE) says it reduced its net loss in the first quarter despite a sharp decline in revenue.

The Toronto-based provider of construction, contracting and infrastructure development services reported Wednesday that its net loss was $25.9 million or 49 cents per share, an improvement from a net loss of 29.9 million or 56 cents per share in the comparable year-earlier period.

Revenue in the three months ended March 31 fell sharply to $461.9 million from $567.4 million as a result of lower sales in its infrastructure and mining segments, the company said in a release issued after markets closed.

Aecon said its backlog was $2.18 billion at the end of the quarter compared with $2.07 billion at the end of March 2013, adding that new contract awards of $867 million were booked in the most recent period against with $212 million in the first quarter of 2013.

"Our focus on execution is yielding results . . . ," chairman and chief executive John Beck said in the earnings release. "We anticipate that revenue and therefore profits will be even more weighted to the second half of 2014 than is usually the case due to the ramp up of significant new projects currently underway."

Beck said that with the company's a strong backlog of higher-margin work "we maintain a positive outlook and anticipate making continued progress through 2014 to our adjusted EBITDA margin target of nine per cent in 2015."

On the Toronto Stock Exchange Aecon share closed down 10 cents at $18.50 on Wednesday.

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