By the end of 2020, we all hoped to regain our normal life and freedom in a post-pandemic era. However, new versions of the virus spoiled this early phasing-out of COVID-19 worldwide. With the virus still being a strong threat and once more putting a number of regions under a lockdown regime, the negative pressure continued to be severe. In particular in large parts of Asia, COVID-19 remained a strong disruptive force to supply chains and operational construction processes. As a consequence Jan De Nul Group performance was also adversely impacted in these markets.
Despite the difficult circumstances, Jan De Nul Group still achieved an annual turnover of more than 1.7 billion euro. The EBITDA showed resilience and reached 231 million euro, an acceptable level of 13% on turnover. The loss of productivity due to COVID-19 disruptions over 2021, resulted however in a limited loss of 20 million euro, after a positive EBIT of 16 million euro. Jan De Nul Group continues to present a strong balance sheet, with equity in excess of 2.9 billion euro, resulting in an excellent solvency ratio of 67%. The Group benefits from a net liquidity surplus of 198 million euro.
Looking forward, Jan De Nul Group is confident to reconnect with the tradition of its operational excellence given the strong order book which increased by 43% up to 4.6 billion euro by year end. This order book further increased over the first months of 2022 with additional projects signed for a total value in excess of 1.4 billion euro. This increase is evenly distributed over our different activities and geographies.
In January 2022 we celebrated the launching of our two next generation offshore vessels Voltaire and Les Alizés. Both vessels will be used for the installation of offshore wind farms. This enables Jan De Nul Group to contribute further to the mitigation of the climate change challenge.
Even with these bright prospects, we are very attentive to the fact that we started 2022 in a very turbulent environment given the remaining pandemic supply chain risks, and more recently the developments in Ukraine adding to the pressure on inflation and price instability.
Jan De Nul consolidates its high solvency and net financial debt position
In the financial year 2021, Jan De Nul Group consolidated its strong solvency position with a ratio of 67%. Equity remained stable at 2,951 million euro at the end of 2021. Jan De Nul Group maintains its policy of complete profit retention.
Jan De Nul Group has now been net debt-free since 2014 and has been able to maintain this position even with its constant and strong investment policy. At the end of 2021, no less than four vessels are under construction for Jan De Nul Group: two offshore vessels (jack-up installation vessel Voltaire and heavy lift vessel Les Alizés) and two water injection dredgers. The net cash position at the end of 2021 amounted to 198 million euro.
This solid balance sheet is a unique force, especially in the context of economic volatility and competitive strength.
As a global player, Jan De Nul Group is active across all continents.
With 40%, Europe remains the largest contributor to the Group’s turnover. Asia and the Middle East count for 32%, mainly driven by the Group’s offshore wind activities in Taiwan. Furthermore, Jan De Nul Group continues to be active in Latin America, where it realized 16% of the Group’s turnover. Africa and Australia are contributing for the remaining 12%.
A record-high order book of 4.6 billion euro at the end of 2021 offers a solid outlook.
Customers continue to appreciate greatly the diversity of Jan De Nul Group’s expertise. This translates into a record-high order portfolio of 4.6 billion euro at the end of 2021.
And it is still increasing: this EOY 2021 order book strongly increased over the first months of 2022 with new projects signed for a total value of more than 1.4 billion euro.
The maritime dredging and offshore sector remains the cornerstone of Jan De Nul Group’s activities with 73% of the total turnover.
The maritime dredging activities in 2021 involved dredging works worldwide. The offshore division was once again involved in the construction of several offshore wind farm projects, in and outside Europe.
The maritime dredging activities in 2021 involved maintenance dredging works in the Port of Hamburg, Germany. Furthermore, Willem van Rubroeck, the largest and most powerful cutter suction dredger in Jan De Nul’s worldwide fleet, performed her first projects in Mauritania, Africa. Willem van Rubroeck was employed to deepen the access channel, the port basin and the new berth alongside the new ARISE port terminal in Nouakchott. In the Middle-East, Jan De Nul Group completed the ‘Dibba bulk handling terminal – Package 3 project’, consisting of dredging works in the channel and harbour basin as well as the fishery harbour and port infrastructure works in the United Arab Emirates. In Asia, Jan De Nul Group undertook maintenance dredging works of the existing Rabnabad inner and outer channels in Payra Port, Bangladesh. In Latin America, Jan De Nul Group continues to operate and maintain the access channel to the port terminals of Guayaquil, Ecuador, under a 25-year concession contract.
The offshore division was once again involved in the construction of several offshore wind farm projects, in and outside Europe. In Denmark, Jan De Nul Group installed 72 windmills for the Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm and in France the preparatory works started for the installation of wind turbines for the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm. Outside Europe, more specifically in Taiwan, Jan De Nul Group is responsible for the supply, transport and installation of foundations, cables and wind turbine generators for 21 units of 5.2 MW Hitachi turbines for the TPC Changhua offshore wind farm. The installation works were completed in December 2021. Also in Taiwan, Jan De Nul Group executes the EPCI-contract for the design, supply and installation of 47 WTG foundations, 4 export cables and 47 inter array cables for the Formosa 2 offshore wind farm.
Furthermore, the offshore division carries out other services such as installation works of cables and umbilicals, trench dredging and backfilling works and rock installation works. In Greece, Jan De Nul Group finished the installation of a 135-kilometer long submarine cable for the interconnection between Crete and the Greek mainland. In Senegal-Mauritania, over two million tonnes of rock were installed by subsea rock installation vessel Simon Stevin for the construction of the Tortue LNG hub. Finally, rock installation works started in Taiwan for the Greater Changhua offshore wind farms.
With more than 20% of the Group’s total turnover, the civil activities remain a constant and solid part of Jan De Nul Group.
The civil division has a wide variety of projects in its portfolio, with a focus on complex design and engineering projects, both in Belgium and abroad. The type of projects range from buildings, and transport related infrastructures to water bound constructions such as quay walls and locks. The civil department offers its services to private clients and public parties, and participates in Public Private Partnerships (PPP). In Belgium, Jan De Nul Group constructed together with its partner Vauché SA a new household packaging recycling centre. The recycling centre will be able to treat up to 5,000 waste bags per hour. Furthermore, construction works of the Grand Hôpital de Charleroi continued, and Jan De Nul Group contributed to the renovation of the Annie Cordy tunnel in Brussels.
Our in-house foundations specialist Soetaert contributed significantly to several projects.
Environmental activities maintain a stable contribution to the Group’s total turnover.
Envisan, the environmental division of Jan De Nul Group, focuses on providing circular solutions with focus on valorisation and reducing its ecological footprint. Different remediation works started in 2021 for private clients as well as public authorities. As in previous years, the environmental segment works closely with the maritime and civil divisions with respect to delivering soil and sediment pollution solutions.
Additionally , Envisan collaborates extensively with the project development partner of the Group, PSR Brownfield Developers, which is active in the remediation, repurposing and sustainable development of polluted industrial sites and under-utilised sites.
Jan De Nul continues to invest in its modern and versatile fleet.
Climate-friendly technology is one of the major focus points.
Les Alizés and Voltaire are financed using a 300 million euro green loan.
The green loan has been structured according to the ‘Green Loan Principles’ complying with the Loan Market Association (the sectoral association in which banks, lawyers and other financial parties are represented). The purpose of this is to promote investing in green projects by providing banks and businesses with directives about the characteristics of green loans.