Jan De Nul Group 2016: Steady performance in a highly volatile market

Jan De Nul Group proves its strength in challenging market conditions.


  • Turnover exceeding the 2 billion Euro mark for the sixth year in a row.
  • EBITDA of 339 million Euro.
  • Net profit totalling 102 million Euro.
  • Record solvency ratio of over 60% thanks to continuous profit reservations.
  • No net debt for the third year in a row.
  • Stable order portfolio of 2.55 billion Euro.
  • Consistent and targeted investment policy.


Also in 2016, the persistently difficult climate throughout the world for investments in infrastructure, sustained low oil prices and the invariably weak growth of the world economy had a significant downward impact on the markets in which Jan De Nul Group is active. In spite of these conditions, Jan De Nul Group succeeded in stabilising its excellent performances.

With a turnover exceeding the 2 billion Euro mark for the sixth year in a row, Jan De Nul Group confirms its position as a global player in its target markets. To maintain this position, Jan De Nul Group devotes much attention to the permanent innovation and diversification of its activities within the industry.

Its maritime operations are and will remain by far the core activity of Jan De Nul Group. Still, the group focuses more and more on offering its clients overall solutions, including design, construction, maintenance and, more frequently than ever, financing. Besides, thanks to the young, multifunctional fleet of Jan De Nul Group, the Maritime Division can always ensure the most cost-efficient solution. In 2016, we executed major port infrastructure works in France (Dunkirk and Calais), Congo (Pointe-Noire), Ghana (Takoradi), Morocco (Nador), Mozambique (Maputo), Panama, Russia (Sabetta), Egypt (Abu Qir) and Belize. We also had large land reclamation projects in the Netherlands, France, Guinea, Nigeria, Italy and Turkey.

Within the maritime cluster, the Offshore Division of Jan De Nul Group offers specialised services for the installation of submarine structures, both for the renewable energy market and the oil and gas market. Such as, amongst other services, the installation of cables, foundations and platforms. Often, we offer our clients a combination of these services, upon request also according to EPCI contracts (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation). Jan De Nul Group focuses strongly on the further diversification and growth of its activities on the renewable offshore and wind energy market. There is a worldwide ambition to increase the share of sustainable energy sources in the overall energy production to 60% by 2040, which is why these activities have become a major focus point for Jan De Nul Group. In 2016, we built, among others, the Nobelwind wind farm off the Belgian coast.

Within the Civil Works Division, Jan De Nul Group mainly operates within the Benelux. Some reference projects in 2016 were Résidence Palace in Brussels and the Kieldrecht lock in Antwerp, both in Belgium. Jan De Nul Group also presents itself as a reliable partner for Public Private Partnerships, realising under this project structure, among others, the Schools of Tomorrow, the A11 highway Bruges–Westkapelle, which will be delivered according to schedule in September 2017 and currently the Princess Beatrix lock in the Netherlands, for which works were started in 2016. The acquisition of foundation expert ‘Algemene Ondernemingen Soetaert NV’ in 2015 by Jan De Nul Group contributed significantly to our result in 2016 because it helped us to win projects for which we could offer a foundation solution tailored to the client’s specific needs. Examples of such projects are the construction of a container terminal in Panama for PSA and the construction of a tunnel on the R41 bypass in Aalst (Belgium). 

Soil and groundwater remediation, environmental dredging and sediment treatment, treatment and valorisation of waste and brownfield development are the key activities carried out by Jan De Nul Group’s Environment Division (Envisan®). In 2016, this division continued to build new soil and sediment treatment centres across Europe. It also supported the dredging and civil works division by offering environmental solutions to their respective customers, thus enabling the latter to offer overall solutions.

This cross-fertilisation between the different business units of Jan De Nul Group is definitely on the rise. In Panama and Ghana, the civil and dredging divisions worked together on the construction of a quay wall and in Malta, Norway and Sweden, the dredging and environment division joint forces for port remediation projects. Its dynamic organisational structure helps Jan De Nul Group to win and realise contracts for such integrated projects.


For the sixth consecutive year, Jan De Nul Group turnover exceeds the 2 billion Euro mark, amounting now to 2,044 million Euro. Compared to the financial year 2015, the turnover dropped by 9%, which takes us back to the 2014 level. However, 2015 was an exceptionally strong year because of the successful completion of some major dredging projects, the construction of the Suez Canal in Egypt for one.

The EBITDA for the fiscal year 2016 amounts to 339 million Euro or 17% of our turnover. Compared to the record year of 2015, this is a decrease but the average 2-year EBITDA shows a very healthy 23%. The net profit in 2016 amounted to 102 million Euro.

In 2016, Jan De Nul Group generated 72% of its turnover from its dredging and offshore activities, 25% from its civil activities and 3% from its environmental activities. This distribution is practically the same as in the previous years.


The Group’s capital and reserves amount to 2,752 million Euro, an increase by 117 million Euro compared to the previous fiscal year, which, as usual, can be attributed to the continuous and complete reservation of the fiscal year’s net profit. Accordingly, the Group records in 2016 an exceptionally strong solvency ratio of more than 60%.

Despite the continuous investment policy during recent years, Jan De Nul Group is a net debt-free company, now achieved for the third year in a row. The net cash position (positive balance) in 2016 amounts to 271 million Euro.


The construction works for the new lock complexes (Third Set of Locks) for the Panama Canal started in 2009. Jan De Nul Group participated for 15% in this huge project, which was executed by the consortium GUPC (Grupo Unidos Por El Canal). The new lock complexes, both on the Atlantic and Pacific side, were officially inaugurated on 26 June 2016.

The successful delivery of this prestigious project had however a considerable impact on the Group’s financial figures for 2016. To be able to compare the results with those of previous years, we did not consider this impact in the above text and figures. Following the delivery of the project, the turnover for 2016 increased by 495 million Euro to 2,538 million Euro.

By derecognising the works in progress on the asset side and the advance payments and provisions received on the liability side of the balance sheet, the balance sheet total decreased by 722 million Euro. Accordingly, the ratio between our capital and reserves (2,749 million Euro) and the balance sheet total (3,836 million Euro) shows an extremely strong solvency ratio of 72%.


2016 was concluded with an order book of 2.55 billion Euro, which is a stable result compared to 2015 and a strong performance considering the persistently lowered level of investments worldwide in our target markets.

The order book of Jan De Nul Group includes some very challenging projects, such as, among others:


  • In Monaco, the world’s smallest country but one, the dredging division of the group will expand the territory of the Monegasque state by reclaiming almost 15 acres from the sea. The civil division will build the foundations for the caissons. The environment division Envisan will also be involved in this project, treating no less than 60,000 m³ of sediments. This project is a brilliant example for the Group’s integrated project approach.
  • The cable-laying vessel Isaac Newton will be used to install 200 km of cable for the construction of the NASR offshore oil platform about 131 km northwest of Abu Dhabi in the Arabian Gulf. Also our new multi-purpose vessel Daniel Bernoulli will be used for, among other things, installing rocks on the seabed to protect the cables.
  • For repeat client Dong Energy, Jan De Nul Group will execute the foundation works as well as the installation of 32 monopiles for the 450 MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 Wind Farm Project in the German part of the North Sea. For these works, the Group will use the world’s largest rock installation vessel, Simon Stevin, as well as the Vole au vent, which will be deployed for the installation of monopiles. In addition, Jan De Nul Group will supply and install the interconnector cables for both this wind farm and the Trianel Wind Farm in Borkum.

Also in 2017, the A11 highway between Bruges and Westkapelle, i.e. the biggest infrastructure project that is currently being executed in Belgium, will be ready for delivery, completely according to schedule. The project includes a number of technically complex engineering structures such as a semi-integral viaduct and a double movable bridge. The acceptance of the works will be followed by a 30-year maintenance period.

Since early 2017, some other major contracts have been signed such as the construction of a submarine 4,000-metre breakwater in Benin (Africa), the construction of a port in Mumbai (India) and capital dredging works in the port of Veracruz in Mexico.


In July 2016, Jan De Nul Group ordered two hopper dredgers with a capacity of 3,500 m³ each. The vessels will be built on the shipyard of Keppel Singmarine in China. In January 2017, we gave the final go-ahead for the construction of a third similar hopper dredger. The vessels will be delivered in the second half of 2018.

In mid-May 2017, we placed a new order with the same shipyard for a 6,000 m³ trailing suction hopper dredger, also including an option for a sister vessel.

In China, on the AVIC Weihai shipyard, the multipurpose vessels Adhémar de Saint-Venant and Daniel Bernoulli are being outfitted. Their delivery is scheduled for mid-2017, after which they will both be sent off to their first job: one for rock installation works in Denmark, the other as trenching vessel in the Persian Gulf.

On the Uljanik shipyard in Croatia, Jan De Nul Group’s newest and largest self-propelled cutter suction dredger is being built. It’s installed diesel power amounts to more than 40,000 kW, about 50% more than the current most powerful cutter suction in the Group’s fleet, the J.F.J. De Nul. The launch of this new vessel is scheduled for the summer of 2017.


The annual report and detailed results of Jan De Nul Group can be downloaded on http://annualreport.jandenul.com.