Bechtel, the largest U.S. engineering company, posted 18 percent revenue growth in 2011 and a surge in project backlog to $104 billion, suggesting a loosening of purse strings by its energy and government clients around the world.
The company's $32.9 billion in revenue represented a rebound from a 9 percent drop the previous year, and the $53 billion in new orders was double what Bechtel landed in 2010.
The San Francisco-based company cited two Australian liquefied natural gas projects as among its most "exciting" last year. "Bechtel's LNG prospects have never been brighter than they are in Australia," the company said in its annual report.
Bechtel also said it had signed multi-project arrangements with two mining customers, while creating a separate business line for offshore oil and gas and another to form alliances like its deal with Linde AG to build and expand ethylene cracker plants in North America.
Privately held Bechtel, which does not report profits, had to increase its headcount only slightly last year, to 53,000, after it grew by 8 percent the previous year to 52,700.
Managing projects from nuclear reactors and oil refineries to government services and transport, Bechtel competes with Fluor Corp, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc and URS Corp.
Revenue at Fluor, its nearest U.S. rival, rose 12 percent in 2011 to $23.4 billion.
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