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STOCKHOLM, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Swedish construction group Skanska posted on Friday a surprise rise in fourth-quarter operating profit helped by stronger-than expected performance at its property development operations.
Operating profit grew to 3.30 billion crowns ($377 million) from 3.06 billion a year ago. The mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts was for 2.86 billion crowns.
A British motorway project sale contributed to the rise in earnings, helping to offset impairments in its Commercial Property and Infrastructure Development units and writedowns at its Commercial Property Development business.
Order intake at the Construction unit, which accounts for the bulk of sales, also beat forecasts with an increase to 39.6 billion crowns from 29.9 billion, against forecast 34.4 billion. ($1 = 8.7620 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)