- Stable turnover of € 1,708 million €.
- EBITDA margin of 16% or EBITDA of € 277 million, which is in line with our sector peers
- Net profit of € 31 million
- An exceptionally high solvency ratio of 73% thanks to continuous profit reservations
- Net debt-free for the fifth year in a row
- Order portfolio increased by 27% compared to the end of 2017 (€ 3.3 billion)
- Persistently high level of investment, particularly in the offshore renewable energy industry and with due attention to the climate
Continuing to invest in the future with a very strong balance sheet
It was no real surprise that, as in 2017, the market conditions remained quite challenging in 2018. For several years in a row, our international dredging activities have been faced with a tight market due to a lack of both public and private investments. Furthermore, the offshore industry and the oil and gas market in particular showed little recovery. However, in the past few years, Jan De Nul Group has a strong focus on offshore renewables, resulting in increased activities in this domain, both within and outside Europe (a/o Asia). The civil activities of the group held their ground thanks to a strong real estate market in combination with the traditional infrastructure market. The environment division, serving our smallest niche market, showed a stable performance.
As a result, Jan De Nul Group realised in 2018 a turnover of 1,708 million euro. The EBITDA amounted to € 277 million or 16.22% of our turnover, which is in line with our sector peers. Jan De Nul Group continues to distinguish itself from its competitors by its extremely strong balance sheet, with capital and reserves of over 2.8 billion euro and a solvency ratio of no less than 73%. Furthermore, the group can boast a persistently strong liquidity position with a net cash surplus of 376 million euro.
Also in these difficult market conditions, Jan De Nul Group continues to invest in its future: at the end of 2018, our current investments in newly built dredging vessels represented a total investment value of 400 million euro. In July 2018, we purchased the offshore jack-up installation vessel Taillevent, which immediately enabled us to offer increased capacity to our offshore wind customers. Jan De Nul’s confidence in the future of this market is demonstrated by the order, earlier this year, of the Voltaire, a next-generation wind installation vessel. This ship, due for delivery in early 2022, will be able to install wind turbines with heights up to 270 metre, which is unique in the market.
Jan De Nul Group therefore is about the future. The group can continue to make a difference in what is expected to be a continued volatile market conditions. This is clearly shown by our increasing order book of 3.3 billion euro, an increase of no less than 27% compared to the end of 2017.
ACTIVITIES IN 2018
In 2018, the bulk of the activities of Jan De Nul Group was situated within the maritime, dredging and offshore industry, generating 75% of the total turnover of the group.
Also in 2018, Jan De Nul Group was, among others, active in major coastal protection projects, such as on the Dutch island Texel, where Jan De Nul created a future-proof water barrier in the form of dunes as well as a nature area to protect the island against rising sea levels.
Jan De Nul also executed several offshore wind farm projects such as the Trianel Wind Farm, Borkum Riffgrund 2, Race Bank and Kriegers Flak. Building on the successful delivery of offshore wind farms including Nobelwind Offshore Wind Farm in Belgium and Tahkoluoto Offshore Wind Farm in Finland, Jan De Nul considerably expanded its portfolio in 2018 to build the offshore wind farm Northwester 2 in Belgium. Also in 2018, Jan De Nul won the first contracts for the construction of wind farms outside Europe: the design and installation of offshore wind farms in Changhua, the Formosa 1 Phase 2 project in Taiwan and the installation of offshore wind turbines in the United States.
The financial year 2018 again confirms the importance of the civil activities within Jan De Nul Group, representing 21% of the total turnover of the group. In 2018, Jan De Nul executed a wide variety of civil construction and maintenance projects, a/o residential buildings, school infrastructure, health care institutions, road infrastructure, viaducts, quay walls and locks. Jan De Nul Group is also increasingly active on projects launched by private parties and continues to expand its civil activities in the Netherlands and Luxemburg, particularly for complex infrastructure projects.
Envisan, the environment division of Jan De Nul Group, focuses on environmental technology solutions. It showed a stable performance and generated about 4% of the total turnover. To support these environmental operations, the group operates six treatment and valorisation centres in Belgium and France. As in the previous years, the environment division works closely together with the maritime and civil divisions and, in particular, with brownfield developer PSR Brownfield Developers.
HIGH SOLVENCY RATIO AND NET DEBT-FREE
In the financial year 2018, Jan De Nul Group maintained its high solvency level with a ratio of 73% (75% in 2017). The capital and reserves increased from 2,823 million euro in 2017 to 2,859 million euro in 2018.
Since 2014, Jan De Nul Group has remained net debt-free. This is remarkable considering the group’s major investment efforts. Our net cash position improved in 2018 to 376 million euro (345 million euro in 2017). This solid balance sheet is a major asset of Jan De Nul in view of its future investments in, a/o, new vessels, equipment and opportunities.
GEOGRAPHICAL BREAKDOWN OF TURNOVER
Jan De Nul Group shows a very strong presence in Europe. In 2018, 56% of its turnover was realised on the European continent, which is 10% more than last year. This increase results for the greater part from the expansion of Jan De Nul Group’s activities in the European offshore renewables market. Apart from Europe, Jan De Nul Group was in 2018 active in Asia and the Middle East (19%), the Americas (17%), Africa (7%) and, to a limited extent, Australia (1%).
ORDER PORTFOLIO INCREASED BY 27%
At the end of 2018, Jan De Nul Group had an order book of 3.3 billion euro, a significant increase of 27% compared to the end of 2017. The order book of Jan De Nul Group includes several major projects, a small selection of which is presented below:
- In Ecuador, Jan De Nul Group signed the concession agreement for the deepening and maintenance of the 95 kilometre long access channel to the port of Guayaquil. Jan De Nul Group will not only be responsible for deepening the existing access channel. After the capital dredging works are concluded, it will also operate and maintain the channel under a 25-year concession contract.
- Jan De Nul Group signed the contract for the construction of Northwester 2, the seventh wind farm off the Belgian coast. For this project, Jan De Nul entered for the third time into a partnership with wind farm developer Parkwind. The Northwester 2 wind farm is located 48 kilometres off the coast and will have the largest and most powerful wind turbines currently available on the market with installation works commencing in June 2019. Jan De Nul will design the foundations and will also be responsible for the purchase and installation of the foundations and for installing the cables and wind turbines.
- The Luxemburg Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Works awarded Jan De Nul Group the contract for the extension of the viaduct ’La Passerelle’. This nineteenth-century bridge has UNESCO World Heritage status and is the southern entrance to the city centre and train station. Jan De Nul Group has been engaged to extend the road surface of the bridge.
- In Africa the Beninese Ministry of Living Environment and Sustainable Development awarded Jan De Nul Group a contract for its in-house developed design of a submerged dike off the coast to protect the coastline against the impact of the Atlantic Ocean. The dike has a wave damping effect, which means that the waves of the Atlantic Ocean are broken before they reach the coast. As a result, a wave-free climate develops between the submerged dike and the coast. This will significantly reduce the impact on the beaches, limiting the movement of sand and decreasing the erosion. After the installation of the submerged dike, trailing suction hopper dredgers of Jan De Nul Group will dredge and reclaim sand to restore the affected beaches. The works are scheduled for completion in 2021.
SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE
Also in the current difficult market conditions, Jan De Nul Group continues to invest in the future:
- In March 2019, the Keppel Singmarine shipyard in Nantong (China) delivered the first of three 3,500 m³ trailing suction hopper dredgers: the Afonso de Albuquerque. The two sister vessels, Diogo Cão and Tristão da Cunha, followed in April 2019.
- The Keppel Offshore & Marine shipyard in Singapore booked considerable progress with the construction of two 6,000 m³ trailing suction hopper dredgers, to be named Sanderus and Ortelius. These vessels will be delivered at the end of 2019.
- Also in 2018, the COSCO shipyard in Dalian (China) improved the design of the 18,000 m³ trailing suction hopper dredger and purchased the necessary ship components. In January 2019, the steel structure works for the hull commenced. Construction is progressing on schedule and delivery is expected in 2020.
- In 2018, Jan De Nul Group purchased three offshore platform supply vessels. The vessels are currently being converted into water injection dredgers or WID. This type of dredger is used for levelling or lowering the seabed by injecting water along the seabed thus raising the silt in to suspension and moving it away. These diesel-electric vessels, equipped with a dynamic positioning (DP) system, are renamed Venturi Giovanni, Henry Darcy and Henri Pitot.
- In early April 2019, Jan De Nul Group ordered a large offshore jack-up installation vessel with the shipyard COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry in China. This jack-up vessel will be equipped with a main crane of over 3,000 tonnes and will be able to work in water depths of over 80 metres. As such, the ship will be able to install the new generation of very large offshore wind turbines.
In a world of climate change and overall environmental consciousness, Jan De Nul Group has chosen to equip its latest generation of vessels with an ingenious filter system to eliminate toxic substances from exhaust gases. Vessels equipped with these filters meet the very strict emission requirements of the European inland navigation regulations (Stage V), which are stricter than the current IMO regulations for seagoing vessels. Jan De Nul Group is the first company within the sector to commission vessels that meet the very strict European emission standards. The vessels are certified as ULEv (Ultra-Low Emission vessel) by the independent and globally renowned inspection and classification body: Bureau Veritas.