Dec 7 (Reuters) - Swedish builder Skanska on Thursday named company veteran Anders Danielsson as its new CEO from January, replacing Johan Karlstrom who plans to retire after a decade at the helm.
Skanska, whose single biggest market is the United States where it is one of the main players, has seen construction margins shrink after project writedowns in the past couple of years in the United States, and lately also in Britain.
“My main focus will be to improve profitability in the Construction business, and to continue to develop our project development,” Danielsson, a Skanska employee since 1991, said in an interview.
“We need to be more selective and choose contracts that we can earn more on,” he said.
On the property development side, Danielsson highlighted the potential to roll out commercial development to new cities in existing markets, such as to U.S. west coast cities beyond Seattle where it is present already.
He also sees potential to grow within residential development, despite signs of a slowdown in the division’s key market Sweden.
“We follow (Swedish market) developments very closely now, it’s hard to predict how it will develop. We have a good position, we have projects that sell,” he said, adding that customers were, however, more cautious about signing contracts.
Danielsson, currently based in the United States as head of Skanska’s U.S construction business and Infrastructure Development division, said he was moving back to Sweden for his new role.
Karlstrom will remain as a senior advisor until January 2019, when he will retire.
Skanska’s shares were up 0.6 percent at 1404 GMT, roughly in line with the wider market in Stockholm. They are down 15 percent this year. (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)