Other financial information
Depreciation, amortization and impairments totaled EUR 293.5 million in 2014 (2013: EUR 293.8 million).
Our stake in the net result from joint ventures and associated companies was EUR 56.4 million (2013: EUR 63.7 million). This result relates mainly to our share in the results of Smit Lamnalco, VBMS, the Singapore partnerships with Keppel (Keppel Smit Towage, Maju Maritime and Asian Lift) and, from the third quarter, SAAM SMIT Towage. The 2013 result also included our share in the result of Archirodon as well as a revaluation result on the minority stake in Dockwise prior to the full acquisition.
The tax charge increased in 2014 to EUR 124.2 million (2013: EUR 52.8 million). The tax rate was relatively high, at 20.1% (2013: 12.6%), mainly due to the fact that the higher results at Dredging & Inland Infra and Towage & Salvage were achieved in countries with relatively high tax rates, while the revaluation result in 2013 on the minority stake in Dockwise was untaxed.
Capital expenditure and balance sheet
In 2014 a total amount of EUR 313 million was invested in property, plant and equipment. Important investments in the Dredging segment related to the rebuilding of the 35,500 m3 Fairway mega hopper, two 4,500 m3 hoppers and the construction of a new mega cutter. The Fairway was brought into service at the start of the second quarter, the Strandway (4,500 m3 hopper) in June and the Freeway (4,500 m3 hopper) in February 2015.
Investments in the Offshore Energy segment included the construction of three new Giant transport barges and the White Marlin, which was brought into service in early February 2015. The newly built multifunctional cable laying/offshore vessels Ndurance and Ndeavor came into service at the start of 2014.
Various smaller investments were made in the Towage & Salvage segment, including six tugs for SMIT Brasil prior to its handover to the joint venture with SAAM.
Capital expenditure commitments at end-2014 were down at EUR 125 million (end-2013: EUR 198 million). These commitments relate in part to the aforementioned investments, particularly the mega cutter.
In 2014 Boskalis paid out a cash sum of EUR 37.1 million in dividends for the 2013 financial year (2013: EUR 43.2 million) to those shareholders who opted to receive a cash dividend. This represented around 25% of the dividend, with the remaining 75% of the dividend being distributed in shares to shareholders who chose this option. In addition Boskalis purchased 629,123 own shares, representing a value of EUR 27.7 million, as part of the share buy-back program announced and launched in 2014.
In the fourth quarter of 2014 a sum of EUR 242.4 million was spent on acquiring a 19.9% stake in Fugro N.V., through the purchase of shares and depositary receipts at an average purchase price of EUR 14.35 per share. In accordance with IFRS these shares were valued at year-end at their fair market value, EUR 291 million. The unrealized revaluation gain of EUR 48.6 million has been recognized under shareholders’ equity.
The cash flow amounted to EUR 785.7 million (2013: EUR 659.1 million). The cash position at end-2014 as EUR 395.4 million (end-2013: EUR 354.3 million). The solvency ratio rose to 53.4% (end-2013: 47.6%).
The interest-bearing debt totaled EUR 914.2 million at year-end, of which EUR 13.2 million is recognized as Assets Held For Sale. The net debt position stood at EUR 519 million. At the end of 2013 the gross debt position was EUR 1,034 million and the net debt position was EUR 674 million.
The largest component of the interest-bearing debt position relates to the long-term US Private Placements (USPP) and drawings under the syndicated credit facility. At the beginning of the second half, the existing syndicated facility, consisting of a USD 525 million term loan and a EUR 500 million revolving credit facility, was replaced by a revolving multi-currency credit facility. This new EUR 600 million facility has a five-year tenor, with options to extend to seven years. A non-recurring charge of EUR 4.5 million has been included in the .nancing expenses relating to the write-off of the as yet unamortized costs of the original facility.
The new and smaller facility was entered into on more favorable terms and is better suited to Boskalis’ financing needs.
Boskalis must comply with a number of covenants as agreed with the syndicate of banks and the USPP investors. As at end-2014 Boskalis was operating well within these covenants. The main covenants relate to the net debt : EBITDA ratio, with a limit of 3, and the EBITDA : net interest ratio, with a minimum of 4. At the year-end the net debt : EBITDA ratio stood at 0.7 and the EBITDA : net interest ratio at 25.4.
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