Boskalis posts record net profit of EUR 366 million

by Hans | March 13th, 2014

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) achieved revenue of EUR 3.5 billion in 2013 (2012: EUR 3.1 billion). Net profit rose sharply to EUR 366 million (2012: EUR 249 million), partly due to a number of extraordinary items amounting to EUR 97 million post tax. Boskalis intends to distribute a dividend of EUR 1.24 per share and intends to start a three-year share buyback program.


EBITDA also reached a record high level of EUR 800 million (2012: EUR 567 million) and EBIT was EUR 466 million (2012: EUR 336 million). The contribution to the result from Dredging increased, partly due to substantial results on the financial settlement of projects completed at an earlier date, the sale of equipment and the settlement of an insurance claim. Offshore Energy's contribution to the result rose sharply, in part explained by the contribution from the Dockwise activities acquired at the start of 2013. The contribution to the result from Inland Infra fell, partly due to the sale of the 40% stake in Archirodon as well as integration and reorganization expenses. Towage & Salvage had a good year.

 The order book declined slightly to EUR 4,005 million (end-2012: EUR 4,106 million). The acquisition of Dockwise and the sale of the 40% stake in Archirodon on balance had a neutral effect on the size of the order book.

 Peter Berdowski, CEO Boskalis:

"Last year was another turbulent year - both in the market and for our company. A year in which we acquired Dockwise and took another major step in expanding the company. It was also an excellent year from a financial perspective, with the company breaking many of its records.

In order to focus the group and set priorities we have prepared an updated business plan, the key points of which are presented in the 2013 Annual Report. This plan lays the foundation for the further development of Boskalis.

The Business Plan provides for further targeted expansion of the offshore energy activities in the area of Transport, Logistics & Installation by means of selective investments in equipment and the organization. We expect capital expenditure of around EUR 800 million in the next three years, roughly in line with the level of depreciation.

At the beginning of 2013 we issued just under ten million new shares as a capital buffer for the acquisition of Dockwise. In view of our sound balance sheet and projected cash flow we plan to start a share buyback program for ten million shares in the period 2014-2016."

Market developments

The markets in which Boskalis operates are driven by growth in global trade, energy consumption and the world's population, as well as by the effects of climate change. Recent research has confirmed that these trends will continue in the longer term despite regional economic stagnation.

In the short term we are assisted by the growing demand for deep sea ports with the ability to cater to the new generation of bulk carriers and container ships, as well as by the increasing shift towards (complex) offshore locations for oil and gas extraction.

 

Boskalis expects market conditions for its Dredging and Towage activities to be stable in the next three years, with scope for growth mainly seen for Offshore Energy in the area of Transport, Logistics & Installation. There are clear opportunities here for Boskalis with its combination of assets and expertise following the acquisitions of SMIT and Dockwise. Boskalis can further strengthen its position in this segment through targeted investments in ships or through acquisitions, for example the recent takeover of Fairmount with its leading position in the global market for oceangoing tugs.

Outlook

Current information suggests that no major changes are to be expected in the market environment compared to 2013. At Dredging and Offshore Energy we once again expect healthy fleet utilization levels in the first half of the year. After a strong 2013 for Dredging the absence of comparable extraordinary effects will result in a lower operating margin in 2014. The outlook for Offshore Energy, Inland Infra and Towage & Salvage is stable compared to 2013.

The project-based nature of a significant part of our activities tends to make it difficult to give a specific quantitative forecast for the full-year result early on in the year. In light of this we are currently unable to provide quantitative guidance with regard to the 2014 full-year result.

Boskalis has a very sound financial position. Maintaining a healthy balance sheet is an important principle underlying the business plan for the 2014-2016 period, whereby we aim for a net debt: EBITDA ratio in a range of 1 to 1.5 times. Total capital expenditure for the renewal and strengthening of the fleet is projected at around EUR 800 million in the next three years, of which around EUR 300 million in 2014. This amount is in line with the level of depreciation and excludes of any possible acquisitions.

The business plan is based on current expectations with regard to global developments in the market segments that are relevant to us, in particular the Offshore Energy market. Based on these plans we expect to realize a return on equity of approximately 12% in the coming years.

Within this framework and based on these principles Boskalis intends to launch a share buyback program for 10 million shares. The program will be executed in the period 2014-2016, subject to the development of results and maintaining the desired balance sheet ratios. The repurchasing of shares is also subject to annual approval by the General Meeting of Shareholders.

Dividend policy and dividend proposal

The main principle underlying the Boskalis dividend policy is to distribute 40% to 50% of the net profit from ordinary operations as dividend, with Boskalis aiming to achieve a stable development of the dividend for the longer term. The choice of dividend form (in cash and/or entirely or partly in shares) takes into account the company's desired balance sheet structure as well as the interests and wishes of the shareholders. In light of this, Boskalis will propose to the General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on 13 May 2014 that the dividend be kept at the 2012 level of EUR 1.24 per share and distributed in the form of ordinary shares, unless the shareholder opts to receive a cash dividend. The dividend will be payable from 11 June 2014.

>>> Click here for the full version of the press release including all the financial details <<<

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