Offshore contractor Boskalis has recorded a net loss of more than EUR 96 million in the first half of the year as a result of a substantial write-off on ships and goodwill of almost EUR 150 million. Nevertheless, the group is satisfied with an ‘operationally very good first six months’.
The gross result (EBITDA) rose from EUR 136 million to EUR 204 million and the net operating profit turned from a loss of EUR 41 million in the first half of last year to a plus of EUR 47.5 million this year. Turnover fell slightly, by five million euros, to EUR 1.261 billion.

Roller coaster

CEO Peter Berdowski describes the past six months as a ‘roller coaster in which we had to pull out all the stops to get the company through the corona crisis’. He believes that ‘despite the unprecedentedly challenging circumstances, an excellent operational result has been achieved’.

The maritime contractor expects the 2019 operating profit of 376 million euros to be matched this year. This does not take into account the write-off in the first half of the year. The group will resume the previously suspended share buyback program. Investors responded enthusiastically to the figures. The share price shot up by 11 per cent at the opening of the Amsterdam stock exchange.

Overhead expenses

The Dutch group also says it has significantly reduced overhead costs by cutting ‘non-project-related costs’. In view of the corona crisis, the cash outflow has also been reduced by halving this year’s investment program, suspending the share buyback program and cancelling the dividend. As a result, about EUR 300 million euros has saved in the past six months.

The order book amounted to EUR 4.6 billion in the middle of this year, about EUR 300 million more than a year earlier. Thanks to the well-filled order book an important part of the turnover for 2020 has already been secured, Bosklais states. The group expects to invest around EUR 200 million this year, including expenditure on major vessel maintenance.

This story first appeared on Nieuwsblad Transport, a Dutch sister publication of PCJ.