Boskalis presents half-year results and terminates loss-making low-end transport activities
The operating results of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) decreased in the first half of the year compared to the first half 2017. This decline was mainly due to a sharp drop in the result of the Offshore Energy division where the transport activities at the low end of the market in particular worsened further and are now heavily loss-making. This segment is rapidly becoming a commodity transport market, often not oil and gas-related, that is structurally confronted with (Asian) overcapacity. In addition, the commodity activities do not fit within Boskalis' strategy aimed at a position higher up in the Transport & Installation market. These developments have prompted Boskalis deciding to terminate these activities. Due in part to this decision an extraordinary charge of EUR 397.0 million was recognized in the first half of the year, consisting mainly of a goodwill impairment and a write-off of vessels.
A net operating profit of EUR 34.5 million was realized in the first half of the year (H1 2017: EUR 75.1 million). Including extraordinary charges the company reported a net loss of EUR 361.4 million.
Revenue in the first half of the year amounted to EUR 1.17 billion, a 6.6% increase compared to the first half of last year (H1 2017: EUR 1.09 billion).
EBITDA totaled EUR 167.2 million in the first half of the year and the operating result was EUR 47.4 million, both adjusted for extraordinary charges (H1 2017 EBITDA: EUR 225.1 million, operating result: EUR 101.7 million).
Revenue increased at the Dredging & Inland Infra segment, as did the utilization of the hopper fleet. Large ongoing projects in Oman and India contributed to this. The margins and result were stable compared to 2017.
At Offshore Energy the contracting activities revenue was virtually unchanged, with important contributions from the cable-laying activities and seabed intervention projects such as TurkStream and Nord Stream 2. The sharp drop in the result of the division is largely attributable to the decline at services. Boskalis is able to set itself apart at the top end of the transport market where many opportunities still exist whereas the smaller, predominantly older transport vessels at the low end of the market are now loss-making. This part of the market is at the lower end of the S curve and is not strategically interesting for Boskalis. Therefore Boskalis has decided to exit this market segment and take the closed-stern heavy transport vessels (types IIb and III) out of service. This will result in a structural improvement in the operating result of more than EUR 25 million on an annual basis.
Salvage had a good first half of the year with several smaller emergency response contracts as well as the successful salvage of the ultra-large container vessel Maersk Honam which had caught fire in the Arabian Sea. The volumes at Towage are relatively stable, albeit that margins are under pressure in a number of ports, mainly due to price erosion in container shipping. A loss of margin has resulted in an adjustment of the book value of two joint ventures by means of a goodwill impairment.
Boskalis' financial position continues to be strong, with a solvency ratio of 56.2% and a modest net debt position of EUR 239 million.
HIGHLIGHTS FIRST HALF YEAR 2018
Revenue: EUR 1.2 billion
EBITDA: EUR 167 million
Operating result: EUR 47 million
Extraordinary charges: EUR 397 million
Net operating profit: EUR 34.5 million