Jan de Nul reports solid performance despite difficult conditionsCompany News // May 25, 2016
Dredging marine and offshore contractor Jan de Nul has reported increased turnover in 2015 of €2,244 million (+ 10 per cent), record EBITDA of €632 million (+ 51 per cent), net profit of €265 million (+ 83 per cent) and what it described as "an extremely strong solvency ratio" of 56 per cent, thanks to the continued reservation of profit. The company was net debt-free for the second year in a row. It has a stable orderbook of €2.7 billion.
"2015 was in many ways a year of major challenges. There has been a severe slowdown in the growth of the global economy including the BRICS countries and in addition, oil prices reached unprecedented lows. The conditions in which Jan De Nul Group had to deliver a strong result, were – to put it mildly – quite challenging. However, thanks to diversification, with respect to both its activities and geographically, the group more than met the expectations," said the company.
The group’s capital and reserves increased to Euros 2,635 million. As a result, the solvency ratio of the group, now 56 per cent, is among the best in the sector. Despite its continuous investment policy, Jan De Nul Group is a net debt-free company, and for the second year in a row, it strengthened its net cash position. In addition, in early 2016 a syndicated credit facility was renewed so that the group has at its disposal an extra liquidity buffer of Euros 550 million.
"The traditional dredging market showed limited growth. In addition, the share of the free market reached a historical low decreasing to approximately 50 per cent of the normal dredging volume. One positive was the large volume dredging for the Suez Canal project in Egypt. A total of 263 million m³ was dredged by six contractors, of which Jan De Nul Group took on 93 million m3 or 35.4 per cent. An exceptional achievement given the operational risks and time pressure. The successful completion of this project contributes significantly to the strong results of the group in 2015. Furthermore, the group also diversified its activities to the African market with the signing of a number of major dredging contracts.
"The offshore oil and gas sector felt the pressure of a shrinking market," said Jan de Nul. "However the implementation of a diversification policy, with the delivery of the cable-laying vessel Isaac Newton and the acquisition of the jack-up vessel Vole au vent, which will be used to install offshore wind turbines, has generated overall growth in our offshore services segment. With these steps, Jan De Nul is gaining a foothold in the renewable energy market, stimulated by the climate conference of Paris and the 20-20-20 objectives of the European Union."
In 2015, Jan De Nul Group invested in the expansion and diversification of its fleet. Two new multi-purpose offshore vessels, Daniel Bernoulli and Adhémar de Saint-Venant, are under construction in China. These are rock installation and cablelay vessels with a loading capacity of 6,000 tonnes each. In November 2015, the multipurpose offshore vessel Isaac Newton was delivered. The vessel has a loading capacity of more than 12,000 tonnes, which enables it to transport and install extar-long cable. A new cutter suction dredger is being built in the shipyard of Pula in Croatia. This vessel, with 40,975 kW, will be the most powerful cutter suction dredger of the world. Delivery of the 4,000 tonne dynamically positioned crane ship Gulliver is scheduled for mid-2017.
In 2015, Jan De Nul Group also gained a firm foothold in the offshore wind energy industry through the acquisition of the installation vessel Vole au vent. It also acquired Algemene Ondernemingen Soetaert in Ostend, Belgium, which specialises in hydraulic engineering and foundation techniques.
The company secured an EPCI contract for the installation of the foundations and turbines for the Nobelwind offshore windfarm off the Belgian coast. Installation work started in May 2016 with completiion in 2017. Vole au vent is being used for this project.