13 Mar 2018

Royal HaskoningDHV reports a return to organic growth and an improved operational performance which delivered a net result of €12.8 million in 2017. The company’s strategic focus on its core strengths and developing new innovative services is resulting in a strong order book and a pipeline of transformational innovations.

Erik Oostwegel, CEO: “I am pleased to report a successful start of our new strategic direction through which we aim to create sustainable impact through innovation and co-creation at the core of our business. More and more, we connect the digital with the physical world. Working together with our clients and partners, we put a strong focus on using data and algorithms to translate insights into foresights. I am really proud of the progress made by the team.”

Financial performance

Royal HaskoningDHV improved operational performance in 2017 with a net result of €12.8 million (after profit sharing with staff of €8.5 million) compared to €12.1 million in 2016. Profitability (EBITA margin, recurring) rose to 4.9%. A focus on project management considerably improved project results.
There was an organic growth in operating income of 1.4% compared to 2016.
Restructuring costs were higher than in 2016 at €4.7 million. They mainly relate to streamlining support functions. Furthermore the local operations in Belgium were sold.

The free cash flow improved to €33.8 million (2016: -€2.2 million). This, together with an equity ratio of 45.6% leaves the business in a healthy financial position. Return on staff-owned depositary receipts amounts to 10.6%.

Good sales across all business lines resulted in a significant increase in order book to €341 million at the end of 2017.

Financial key figures

(€ million, unless stated otherwise)
20172016
 Operating income608.6
601.1
 Added Value479.0475.7
 EBITA recurring*
29.624.5
 Net result12.812.1
 Operating margin (recurring)4.9%4.1%
 Free cash flow33.8-2.2
 Total workforce (year-end headcount)5,7715,902
 *EBITA recurring excluding non-operational costs.

Nynke Dalstra, CFO: “We managed to find the right balance as the positive net results have been achieved while investing in the business and sharing profit. We will continue to invest in innovation and the digital transformation of our company and support our clients in their transformation. This can only be fruitful when our clients and employees are satisfied. Hence, we continue to view client and employee satisfaction as important indicators of our performance and are pleased to see that these too increased in 2017.”

Digital transformation

Leading services, geographies and innovation are at the core of Royal HaskoningDHV’s new strategic focus. The company is committed to better leverage leading services, key geographies, technology and innovations to create sustainable impact. Transformational innovations are being developed to take their place alongside solutions like Nereda® and Aquasuite®. For example, Flowtack is a smart transport data system predicting traffic flows to reduce congestion and emissions; the iReport is an accessible online digital platform where information is visual and dynamic, enabling it to be rapidly shared and understood at the touch of a button.

Digital engineering capabilities have also been strengthened. For example, during the Gorinchem - Waardenburg dyke improvement project in the Netherlands, integrated digital delivery is helping to forge a new way of working. The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), 3D design, parametric calculations and iReport are improving the accuracy of modelling, the ability to quickly incorporate changes as well as the transparency and communication around the project which save stakeholders crucial time.

The new strategic focus has been supported through hiring new talent and a programme of cultural renewal which builds on existing strengths while stimulating entrepreneurship, co-creation and innovation. Global ‘hackathon’ teams, Digital Immersion Days and an Innovation Academy have all assisted the digital transformation.

Collaboration remains an essential part of the company’s ability to accelerate radical innovation to meet the challenges facing society. In 2017 it partnered with The Green Village, which aims to accelerate innovation for a sustainable future, and the tech start up incubator YES!Delft. It also joined the Mobility Centre for Africa, a platform for the research, testing and deployment of future smart mobility solutions across the continent.

Sustainable operations

Royal HaskoningDHV is focusing on specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in projects and in operations. In 2017 carbon footprint per employee shrank by 6.3% and the company announced its transition to 100% electric vehicles within its fleet in the Netherlands. Its new Amsterdam office demonstrates sustainability in action following a renovation which kept as closely as possible to circular economy principles. Also in 2017, the company became one of the first engineering consultancies to achieve Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) accreditation in South Africa.

Outlook

The year ended with a strong order book and a demand for new colleagues to deliver outstanding projects.

Erik Oostwegel, CEO: “Looking forward, increased business revenues are anticipated both in traditional activities as in the new solutions being brought to market. The prospects for further growth, increased profitability and new possibilities built on technological innovation are good, and the company’s commitment to enhance society together is stronger than ever.”