Efforts have been focused on developing existing business and seeking growth within countries and markets where the company already has a strong position. Client satisfaction remains consistently high and a new integrated approach to project management has been introduced to further raise the bar on project success. In a move to encourage closer internal collaboration and faster decision making, the company structure has been streamlined from 8 to 4 Business Lines. The new structure supports delivery of the increasingly integrated solutions which are required to solve the complex challenges faced in society.
Sound financial performance and strong growth in ordersProject wins spurred the company’s growth with an order portfolio up by 27% at the end of 2015. Increased activities in Aviation and Buildings produced healthy organic growth of 2%. Business in the Netherlands was good and after difficult market conditions the previous year, the South African operation recovered in 2015 while part of the UK business struggled. The company reports healthy cash flow and a small increase in utilisation rate.
The net result is impacted by a number of exceptional items, including divestments, restructuring costs and goodwill impairments and a book profit on the sale-leaseback transaction for office buildings in the Netherlands. Excluding all exceptional items, the net result would have been €12.1 million.
Financial key figures
|(€ million unless otherwise mentioned)||2015||2014|
|Operating margin (recurring)||4.0%||2.3%|
|Free cash flow **||57.1||29.5|
**including €31.5 million from sale-leaseback transaction for office buildings in the Netherlands.
Major project wins reaffirm company’s leading position
A succession of major project wins during the year confirmed the company’s leading global position across key services. These included
- Mexico City’s new international airport whose revolutionary design is setting new standards in the industry.
- The new canal Seine-Nord Europe which links Paris to Lille and creates a gateway from France to Belgium, eliminating a major bottleneck on the European waterway network.
- Widening of the eastern part of the A1 Highway in the Netherlands relieving traffic congestion.
- Dogger Bank wind farm that will generate power to some 2 million homes in the UK.
- Denmark’s first national centre for particle therapy which will offer state-of-the-art treatment to thousands of cancer patients.
- A coastal protection programme in Bangladesh bringing safety from flooding to hundreds of thousands of people.
- Deployment of the Nereda wastewater treatment technology at the new Irish Water plant for Cork Lower Harbour, significantly enhancing the water quality and the environment in the harbour.
Erik Oostwegel, Chairman of the Executive Board: “We are halfway through executing our strategy ‘Vision 2018’ and feel confident about the second half. Our company is in good shape to face the challenges of the future and we look forward to the year ahead with confidence and optimism. We achieved much in 2015 and continue to adapt and change our business to remain focused on success and deliver added value to our clients. In 2016 our drive for increased efficiency in operations and sales focus will help to further improve profitability.
“This year our company celebrates its 135 year anniversary. Since 1881 we have been delivering projects which contribute to improving living circumstances. The first ever project we delivered was a pumping station in the Netherlands to make sure people living in a polder in the centre of the country kept their homes and feet dry. This station is still in operation and many projects have followed since.
“Nowadays, faced with the increasing impact of climate change and the huge challenges confronting society in water, urbanisation, transport and industry, our desire to help our clients to be truly prepared for the consequences of these challenges is stronger than ever. We aim to work together in developing responsible solutions that will last far beyond our generation. Our commitment is to the long term, in projects and in client relationships – enhancing society together.”