AECOM recorded a net loss of $261 million for its full fiscal year on an as-reported basis. That was due in part to a $588 million non-cash goodwill impairment related to its at-risk, self-perform construction businesses, which it is currently in the process of moving away from, the company noted.
On an adjusted basis, the AEC giant reported net income of $440 million — an increase of 1% year over year.
AECOM's Construction Services segment recorded a fourth quarter and full year operating income of $36 million and $153 million, respectively, on an adjusted basis. Those figures were up from $21 million in operating income in 2018's fourth quarter and a loss of $109 million in the full fiscal year of 2018.
The Construction Services segment provides construction services for energy, sports, commercial, industrial, and public and private infrastructure clients.
Revenue for AECOM’s Construction Services segment decreased 3% on an organic basis, to $7.8 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 27, the firm reported yesterday.
Fourth quarter revenue for the division was $1.9 billion. The company attributed the year-over-year decrease to the completion of large, fixed-priced power projects and to a nearly completed large combined cycle gas power plant project that was not replaced with new work due to the company’s decision to extract itself from the fixed-priced, combined-cycle, gas-powered plant market.
Full-year revenue of $20.2 billion for the Los Angeles-based company overall, which increased 2% on an organic basis from the prior year, set a new record. Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA increased 12% over the prior year to $261 million and full year adjusted EBITDA increased by 13% to $948 million.
CEO and Chairman Michael S. Burke said the positive overall results were due in part to "de-risking" actions the company announced late last year as well as continued progress on the firm's plans to exit more than 30 countries. Burke said this plan is about 50% complete and company leaders don't anticipate any impairment charges from the pullouts because they are being done slowly and carefully.
"We will continue to look for ways to simplify this organization over time," he told investors during an earnings call on Nov. 12. "We want to ensure that we are spending our management's time and energy focused on the highest-margin, lowest-risk, highest-growth markets and not getting distracted by some of these small countries that we're currently operating in."
A highlight of the fiscal year, he noted, was the firm's selection to deliver the new Terminal 1 at JFK Airport in New York. He also noted that the firm is winning work at a strong pace and that its backlog remains near an all-time high at $60 billion — representing four years of revenue — up 45% compared to the year before. The company is No. 4 on Engineering News-Record's list of the top contractors in the country.
Just last month, the company announced it sold its Management Services division for $2.4 billion, resulting in a cancellation of a previously planned spin-off transaction into a standalone government services company. The sale is expected to close in the second quarter of next year, Burke said, adding that the company will use the proceeds to help reduce debt and purchase stock.
When asked if company leaders see economic headwinds in the near future, Burke and CFO W. Troy Rudd had a positive outlook for the company overall and the Construction Services segment in particular.
"As I mentioned, our backlog in that space is up almost 50% this year, so we continue to see a very robust opportunity for that type of work," Burke said. "We've been saying for quite some time that we don't see that kind of growth in backlog increasing forever, but it just keeps coming. And so right now, we're not seeing signs of a slowdown on that side of the business."