Van Oord concluded 2023 with strong results: revenue reached record high and profits more than doubled. Compared to last year, the contractor saw revenue growth across both its Dredging & Infra and Offshore Energy business units, which resulted in a significant revenue increase of 42 per cent to EUR 2.9 billion from EUR 2.0 billion in 2022.

Net profit doubled to EUR 127 million from EUR 60 million in 2022. High fleet utilisation and the continued sharp focus on risk and contract management contributed to the improved results. Solvency was stable at 32.5 per cent and the net debt position improved to EUR 152 million as of 31 December 2023, despite an extremely high investment level.

The order book increased by three per cent to EUR 4,429 million from EUR 4,300 million in 2022. From an operational and financial perspective, 2023 proved to be an extremely busy year for Van Oord and one of substantial growth and recovery.

Also read: Kooiman delivers first new Water Injection Dredger to Van Oord

Fewer challenges, increasing demand

Following the challenges in the two last years, Van Oord says that its markets are steadily stabilising. Global inflation returned to more normal levels, alleviating some of the cost pressures experienced in 2021 and 2022 as a result of severe supply chain disruptions. Moreover, there were no more Covid-19-related travel restrictions or quarantine requirements.

In 2023, Van Oord carried out a significant repositioning, which involved the consolidation of four separate business units – Dredging, Netherlands, Offshore Wind and Offshore – into the two business units Dredging & Infra and Offshore Energy. The company states that this strategic repositioning allows it to sharpen its focus on its core markets.

Increasing demand is clearly reflected in revenue growth across both business units. The Dredging & Infra business unit grew its revenue to EUR 1442 million (2022: EUR 1214 million) including amongst others the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link project and Afsluitdijk. Compared to 2022, the Offshore Energy business unit had a busy year with EUR 1424 million in revenue (2022: EUR 807 million) due to the Saint-Brieuc, Hollandse Kust Noord and Sofia offshore wind projects.

Also read: Van Oord wins large offshore wind project in Poland

Fifth generation

‘In April 2024, after more than 15 years as CEO, I am pleased to hand over this company to a new generation and entrust my cousin Govert van Oord with the leadership of Van Oord,’ states Pieter van Oord. ‘The transition from the fourth to the fifth generation of the Van Oord family marks an important milestone in our company’s history. I would like to thank our colleagues around the world for their commitment and contribution to this successful year, and for the last 30 years in helping me to make Van Oord a successful company. After a difficult period, we have proven that with resilience and hard work, we are able to meet our clients’ expectations and return to healthy margins.’

Also read: Ecowende contracts Van Oord to build most ecological wind farm yet

Strategy and outlook

Over the last few years, Van Oord has been implementing its strategy Building the Future Together. As part of this strategy, the company continues to build and expand its synergistic portfolio of maritime activities. That requires profitable growth, and the contractor expects its business will continue to grow over the coming years.

After facing challenging market conditions for over five years, Van Oord witnessed a clear market recovery in 2022 and 2023. Climate adaptation, the energy transition and corresponding need for marine infrastructure are the drivers of this recovery. Looking ahead, Van Oord says it remains optimistic about its markets. The order book is expected to increase further this year, with margins continuing to improve barring any unforeseen events.

Van Oord’s year in numbers

  • Revenue: EUR 2.9 billion (2022: 2.0 billion)
  • EBITDA: EUR 379 million (2022: EUR 243 million)
  • Net profit: EUR 127 million (2022: EUR 60 million)
  • Operational cash flow: EUR 381 million (2022: EUR 62 million)
  • Order book: EUR 4.4 billion (2022: 4.3 billion)
  • Net debt EUR 152 million (2022: EUR 178 million)
  • Solvency ratio: 32.5% (2022: 32.4%)
  • Investment in equipment: EUR 298 million (2022: EUR 227 million)
  • Number of employees (FTEs): 5,766 (2022: 5,243)
  • Number of nationalities: 84 (2022: 89)
  • Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions (x 1,000 tonnes of CO2e): 602.6 (2022: 475.3)
  • Relative scope 1 emissions per euro revenue (tCO2e/ million EUR revenue): 210.3 (2022: 235.2)

Picture: Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus installed twelve turbines at the South Fork offshore wind farm. The first offshore wind project in the US State of New York (photo Van Oord).