Boskalis half year result 2019 tainted by offshore projects
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) realized a net profit of EUR 1.3 million in the first half of the year (H1 2018: negative EUR 361.4 million), the company said in its release.
Revenue in the first half of the year increased 8.6% compared to the first half of last year to EUR 1.27 billion (H1 2018: EUR 1.17 billion).
EBITDA in the first half of the year totaled EUR 135.7 million and the EBIT was EUR 9.1 million (H1 2018 EBITDA: EUR 167.2 million, EBIT: negative EUR 349.6 million).
A strong decline of the result was caused by operational and contractual issues on a limited number of offshore projects, partly in decommissioning but mostly in offshore wind cables. In the offshore wind market circumstances have changed as a consequence of the move to zero subsidies and increased competition. This has resulted in a recent and unexpected change in the attitude of clients, which is reflected in a sharp increase in the number of disputes and protracted claim negotiations. Following a thorough review of the projects in hand, provisions of slightly more than EUR 100 million have been made on a limited number of onerous contracts. The entire order book was reviewed when determining these provisions.
Extraordinary items impacted both the 2018 and 2019 half year result. In 2018, these were related to (impairment) charges of EUR 397.0 million pre tax whilst in 2019 a book profit of EUR 42.2 million is included in the earnings, relating to the sale of the Kotug Smit Towage joint venture and the sale of a vessel. The extraordinary items are accounted for at group level.
Within the Dredging & Inland Infra segment, revenue increased with the strongest growth realized outside Europe. Large projects in progress in Oman, Singapore, Canada and the Indian subcontinent contributed to this. The results were virtually stable compared to the same period last year.
At Offshore Energy, revenue from contracting activities increased with important contributions from the cable laying activities and seabed intervention projects such as Nord Stream 2. Within the services cluster, the developments were in line with expectations. The subsea and survey activities had a relatively busy first half year. Within heavy marine transport, revenue decreased in part due to the decision taken last year to exit the low-end transport market. The sharp decline in the division result is fully explained by provisions for onerous contracts of more than EUR 100 million.
Salvage had a very good first half year with high-profile and successful salvage operations. The contribution from the Towage joint ventures decreased, which is entirely attributable to the (intended) sale of our interest in Kotug Smit Towage and Saam Smit Towage. The contribution from the remaining joint ventures was higher compared to the same period last year.
The net debt position increased to EUR 419.8 million in the first half year, partly due to ongoing investments, acquisitions, the share buy-back program and the effect of an all-cash dividend. With the proceeds of the (intended) sale of our share in two harbor towage joint ventures (Kotug Smit Towage and Saam Smit Towage) combined with the operational outlook, the net debt position will improve substantially in the second half of the year. Boskalis' financial position remains strong with a solvency of 50.9%.
The order book, excluding our share in the order book of associates, increased to EUR 4.36 billion at the end of the first half year (year-end 2018: EUR 4.29 billion).