AUGUST 21, 2015 — Papendrecht, Netherlands, based Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.yesterday reported a very busy first half year with historically high profit, with good results from all the company's major operating segments: dredging, offshore energy and towage and salvage.
Net profit came in at EUR 306.5 million in the first half of 2015, a rise of 21% (H1 2014: EUR 253.0 million).
Revenue in the first half of the year rose 1.6% to EUR 1.57 billion (H1 2014: EUR 1.55 billion).
EBITDA in the first half of the year amounted to EUR 500.1 million (H1 2014: EUR 466.4 million) and the operating profit (EBIT) was EUR 359.3 million (H1 2014: EUR 338.3 million).
Dredging & Inland Infrastructure had what Boskalis describes as "an exceptionally busy first half from an operational point of view". Good results on the projects in progress, a very high fleet utilization rate together with relatively low repair costs and a substantial contribution from financial settlements on projects completed earlier all contributed.
Offshore Energy also had a good first half year with high utilization of the equipment and good project results. In addition, the stronger U.S. dollar made a positive contribution to the result.
At Towage & Salvage, the result of the harbor towage activities was in line with expectations, but the result of Smit Lamnalco lagged behind. Salvage had a good first half with various wreck removal projects and a substantial contribution to the result from the financial settlement from salvage projects executed in previous years.
During the first half Boskalis increased its stake in Fugro N.V. by 5.2% to 25.1%. In accordance with IFRS this stake is recognized as an associated company as from 2015. Consequently, a positive revaluation result of EUR 28.5 million on the stake in Fugro is recognized in the Holding segment. At the end of the first half of the year the order book stood at EUR 2,963 million (end-2014: EUR 3,286 million). The decline in the order book is mainly attributable to the execution of the sizable Suez Canal project and the sale of the activities of De Jong at the beginning of the year.
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, commented:
"We are especially proud of the successful execution and swift realization of the Suez Canal project, which was on an unprecedented scale and had to be completed within an extremely short timeframe. Partly due to the Suez project the dredging fleet was kept busy plying the waterways in the first half of the year. The high fleet utilization made a strong contribution to the good result. The second half of the year will be a different story in terms of utilization in particular because we will have to catch up on vessel maintenance which will result in more expenses and less revenue.
"We also had a good first half in offshore, partly helped by the strong U.S. dollar. The nature of our activities means that we are largely late-cyclical in offshore and thanks to our order book we were able to keep fleet utilization levels high. Nevertheless we too are increasingly experiencing volume and margin pressure in the short-term, capacity-driven activities.
"We expect a prolonged period of low energy prices and lean market conditions in the offshore oil and gas market, and are therefore tightening things up where necessary in terms of organization, fleet composition and capital expenditure."