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Press release

150 Years of PORR: industry trailblazer since 1869

Vienna, 8 April 2019 – Driving innovation for excellence – that's what PORR has been doing for 150 years. In this anniversary year the PORR Group can look back on a unique success story: since it was founded in 1869, PORR has been a technological leader on many highly demanding projects. It is one of the most significant providers of state-of-the-art solutions in multiple European countries, especially with regard to infrastructure. And today PORR is a trailblazer in digitisation, a development that will transform the future of the construction industry like practically nothing before.

"We are 150 years old and yet we have stayed young, agile and vigorous. With provisional production output for 2018 of around EUR 5.6bn and order books that have surpassed EUR 7bn for the first time, we face the future with confidence. I am grateful to all of our PORRians for their commitment and loyalty. Our passion for innovation will enable us to keep on delivering excellence for another 150 years," said PORR CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss.

Austrian roots – international markets

It's a long time since PORR's comprehensive knowhow was restricted to just Austria. It rightly sees itself as a European company with Austrian roots. PORR started its business activities on the home market of Poland in 1993. PORR S.A. was established in April 2017 following the merger of two independent operating companies - PORR Polska Construction S.A., with a focus on building construction and railway construction, and PORR Polska Infrastructure S.A. with the main competencies of infrastructure, energy and hydraulic engineering. In Poland PORR offers a comprehensive range of services covering every area of the modern construction industry and is one of the most important providers for engineering, railway, bridge and road construction projects.

150 Years of PORR – 150 Years of Innovation

"Allgemeine Österreichische Baugesellschaft" was founded in 1869 and first listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange on 8 April that year. By 1898 the construction company had erected a total of 108 buildings in Vienna. PORR built the Sacher Hotel in Vienna's first district, the pavilion for the World Exhibition in Vienna – one of the commissioners for which was the Egyptian viceroy – and the rail link to Budweis (České Budějovice).

At the start of the 20th century, the inventions of civil engineer Arthur Porr led to a significant breakthrough in concrete construction and secured the technological leadership of "Allgemeine Baugesellschaft – A. Porr Aktiengesellschaft", founded in 1927.

"Our PORR built up its knowhow in practically every area of the construction industry very early on: industrial and residential construction, underground galleries, tunnels, roads and railway lines. So it should come as no surprise that PORR keeps on winning tenders for highly complex projects," said Karl-Heinz Strauss on PORR's trajectory.

From 1930 PORR was involved with the construction of the Großglockner High Alpine Road in a largely undeveloped area at heights of up to 2.600 m above sea level. After World War II, PORR was entrusted with projects such as rebuilding the Vienna State Opera House, erecting the Ring Tower and building the Kaprun power plant. This meant that PORR played an active part in leading Austria into a new and successful future.

In 1982 the young construction engineer Horst Pöchhacker took the reins as Chairman of the Board and General Manager. And he stayed with the company until 2007. In 1998 Klaus Ortner bought his first shares in PORR. His efforts led to the appointment of Karl-Heinz Strauss as CEO in 2010. In the following years, together they acquired the majority of shares in the company, thereby ushering in a new era. A far-ranging restructuring has been underway in the company since 2011, when the powerful PORR Bau GmbH was founded. In 2013 the company shortened its name to PORR AG.

Today PORR stands as one of the largest construction companies in Austria, a leading player in Europe and the oldest share still listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. The people responsible for this success, the PORRians, now number more than 20.000.

"Construction is a people business, every construction project involves people. Those who it's built for. And those who design and build it. That doesn't just include the people you see on the building site, but many, many others working behind the scenes. They all interconnected in a myriad of ways. At the end of the day, a project is only as good as the team that stands behind it," said Karl-Heinz Strauss.

Shaping the future – the digital revolution in the construction industry

Digitisation is changing the way we live and work together. Across every single industry. Highly promising levers of the construction industry 4.0 include the fields of Design & Engineering, Supply Chain Management, Professional Development and of course New Technologies – areas at which is exceptionally well-positioned even today.

Integrated planning via LEAN Design and LEAN Construction, modularisation and standardisation, automation, digital twinning with Building Information Modeling and the application of Artificial Intelligence hold enormous potential and are revolutionising the complete value chain in the construction sector. And employees, developers, customers and municipalities are also benefiting from digitisation. Construction projects can be realised faster, overall costs lowered, quality controls maximised and risks minimised.

PORR is determined to proactively make the most of its opportunities in this changing competitive environment and continue to expand its role as a trailblazer in the digitisation of the European construction industry.

"We recognised the sign of the times early on and are now proactively shaping digital processes. Building on our technological expertise and powerful talent for innovation, we create tangible value-added for customers and end users. And whatever may come our way in the next 150 years, we are ideally prepared for it," said Strauss.

Celebration and PORR publication

Together with representatives from politics and business, PORR has organised a celebratory reception at the Vienna Stock Exchange at 11.30 today, the anniversary of the share's first listing. In the course of the event, PORR Executive Board members will present an impressive retrospective and insights into Austria's oldest listed company. Image material of the celebrations will be available in high resolution from around 3 pm and can be downloaded here.

In addition, the dynamic history of PORR is now available in book form from Brandstätter Verlag. The editor, Dr Manfred Waldenmair, has been an advisor to PORR AG since 2010 and developed the 324-page work with PORR under the title "Construction connects people. PORR AG – 150 years of driving innovation for excellence". German review copies can be acquired from the publisher at presse@brandstaetterverlag.com.

Download press kit

The 150 Years of PORR press kit is available for download here.

The 150 Years of PORR press kit contains:

  • Press release "150 years of PORR: industry trailblazer since 1869" 
  • Set of images including credits and captions 
  • Selected image material on PORR's history and projects 
  • Timeline: PORR's history 
  • OnePager: the PORR history at a glance 
  • Blurb for the book "Building connects people" (in German)

Contact

Sandra C. Bauer
Head of Corporate Communications . Corporate Spokesperson
PORR AG
Mobile: +43 664 626-3338
sandra.bauer@porr.at 

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Cornelia HarlacherCorporate Spokesperson