Our history

We began in Sweden in 1887 as a maker of concrete—a fitting start, the foundation for everything that’s built to last. We were driven by a dual purpose: to innovate, and to build what’s good for people and society.

We grew to construct churches, roadways and power plants. Word of our work spread throughout Europe and the world. Today we design and build some of the largest, most complex structures on earth. And yet we continue to hold those founding values at the heart of everything we do.

Important milestones in our history

1887 Construction company Skanska Cementgjuteriet is formed by Rudolf Fredrik Berg in Malmo in Southern Sweden and expands across Sweden.

1897 The first contract outside Sweden was for hollow concrete blocks for telephone cables in the UK.

1906 Founder R.F. Berg dies. He was a driving force in establishing the Swedish national telephony network and railway system. He also initiated Sweden’s first employment service and brought in pensions for the Company’s skilled workers and collective agreements between employers and unions.

1954 The Spinneriet district consisting of offices, stores and hotels in Malmo becomes the first of the Company’s investments in Commercial Property Development

1956 The first overseas construction project in modern times builds silos in Iraq.

1960–2000 Power plants, irrigation plants, infrastructure, schools and hospitals are constructed in several developing countries such as Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Colombia, Panama and Peru.

1964 Sales exceed SEK 1 billion for the first time.

1965 AB Skanska Cementgjuteriet is registered on the A list of the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

1965–1974 Under the Million Program (Miljonprogrammet), Skanska constructs around 10,000 homes a year.

1965 The Abu Simbel temple in Egypt is relocated.

1971–1978 The first projects in the U.S. – subway systems in New York and Washington D.C.

1982 The Al Rasheed luxury hotel in Baghdad is built.

1984 Name change to Skanska.

1989 The first company acquisition in the U.S. Slattery is followed by Karl Koch, Sordoni and others.

1993 Commercial Property Development operations are launched in Poland and the Czech Republic.

1994–2000 International expansion. Construction companies are acquired in Finland, UK, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic and Argentina. Revenue increases to SEK 165 billion and the number of employees to around 80,000 (2001).

1996 BoKlok is launched in cooperation with IKEA.

1997 Environmental incident in Hallandsas. Marks the beginning of a process of environmental adaptation of all operations.

1998 Shares in the wholly-owned real estate company Drott are allocated among the shareholders. The book value is SEK 10 billion.

2000 Oresund Bridge is officially opened.

2000 The first global construction company to be environmentally certified to ISO 14000.

2000–2008 Restructuring to increase profitability is started. Focus on selected home markets. Operations in Africa, Asia and Russia are divested.

2002 The Skanska Code of Conduct is introduced.

2004 The safety initiative Skanska Global Safety Week is introduced.

2005 Zero visions are introduced for workplace accidents, ethical breaches, environmental incidents, defects and losses.

2007–2014 The UN headquarters are renovated.

2008 Commercial Property Development operations are launched in the U.S.
2010 The New Karolinska Solna hospital is built under a public private partnership (PPP).

2011–2015 Business plan for profitable growth.

2011 PPP project Autopista Central in Chile is sold – profit after tax SEK 4.5 billion.

2011 Commercial Property Development operations are launched in Bucharest, Romania.

2012 Elizabeth River Tunnels project is the first PPP contract in the U.S.

2014 Entre Lindhagen, the new head office, is officially opened in Stockholm.

2014 An initiative to increase diversity and inclusion begins. 

2015 Skanska share’s price reaches a record high of SEK 208.40.

2015 The Skanska values are re-written – Care for Life, Act Ethically and Transparently, Be Better – Together, Commit to Customers.

2016–2020 New Profit with Purpose business plan. The goal is to create value for shareholders while contributing to a sustainable future for Skanska’s people, customers and communities.

135 years of shaping the way we live

See how it all began and take a trip back in time as we launch a series of films highlighting Skanska’s proud 135-year history. We will look back on what we have achieved, and explore how our past inspires our future.

Read about Skanska 135 years