The Swedish company, already a major player in UK heavy construction, said that it had “been focusing for some time on examining the UK market and preparing land acquisitions”. It said that the financial crisis and dramatic decline in the housing market had created “excellent opportunities for entry”.
The new operation will be headed by Magnus Andersson, who has been with the company 11 years, including as regional manager of Skanska Infrastructure Development.
Skanska president and CEO Johan Karlström said: “We foresee excellent growth potential in residential development in the coming years. In the Nordic region, our target is to become the market leader and in the UK we now have an excellent opportunity to enter the market.”
Karlström announced plans for the UK housebuilding operation as he unveiled Skanska’s new business plan to 2015. The past seven years at Skanska have been a period of consolidation, following seven years of strong expansion and acquisitions. The next phase is “investment in profitable growth”, with a focus on improved profitability, capital efficiency and risk management. “We are well-equipped to commence expansion now. After a few years of consolidation, we currently have a strong focus on risk management and excellent profitability,” Karlström said. “We have also survived the financial crisis and are strongly equipped financially. We now have excellent growth potential in construction operations as well as in our project development.”