We look back on an exceptional year in which many records were broken. Despite the very challenging market conditions our revenue of EUR 3.2 billion and net profit of EUR 490 million mean that we concluded the best year in the history of our company.
A magnificent result to which all the business units contributed, because over the past year activities across our broad portfolio turned in an excellent performance with good fleet utilization and project results. A number of exceptional gains also made a substantial contribution to the result including settlement results on old projects at Dredging and Salvage and cancellation fees at Dockwise. Moreover we succeeded in maintaining the level of the order book, which stands at EUR 3.3 billion.
Dredging & Inland Infra
The Dredging & Inland Infra division worked hard and with success on a large number of projects all over the world, including the port construction project Superporto do Açu (Brazil), the Bronka port project in St. Petersburg (Russia), the SAAone project and the reinforcement of the Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defense (the Netherlands), the JNPT port project in Mumbai (India), the Ichthys LNG export facility (Australia), the deepening of the access channel to the port of Southampton (UK), and land reclamation in Incheon (South Korea).
On project The Base in Qatar we used new innovative techniques to set a new benchmark for using cutters to dredge very hard soil. In addition we successfully achieved the contractual conclusion of the Gorgon project in Australia.
Major new contracts included Finger Pier 1 in Singapore, the Room for the River project IJsseldelta in the Netherlands, the construction of the artificial island Pluit City in Indonesia and the expansion of the Suez Canal in Egypt. These projects provide a good foundation for the utilization of both the hopper and cutter fleet in 2015.
In the Offshore Energy division construction work on the West of Duddon Sands wind farm in the Irish Sea was successfully completed, signi.cant progress was made on the Malampaya project in the Philippines, and various activities were executed in connection with the DolWin offshore wind farm. For this last project we transported a huge 15,000-tonne platform from Dubai to Norway. In the course of 2015, we will tow the platform to the wind farm and install it. In late 2014 we were awarded the contract for part of the construction of the Wikinger wind park in the German section of the Baltic Sea, a project on which a wide range of Boskalis and Dockwise equipment will be deployed.
Over the past year Dockwise started work on the sizable Wheatstone project with almost 50 transports from China and Malaysia to Australia. Dockwise can reflect on a very busy year, with the best result in the company’s history.
In early 2014 we expanded the Offshore Energy division with the acquisition of Fairmount – five heavy anchor handling tugs, which are already finding their way to clients through our numerous distribution channels. The offshore equipment of Marine Services saw frequent deployment with clients such as Heerema, Saipem and Seaway Heavy Lifting, while Subsea Services also had a busy year with a very good utilization of the diving support vessels.
Towage & Salvage
2014 was an exceptional year for Towage. In the summer we managed to complete the agreement with SAAM on combining our harbour towage operations in North and South America thereby creating the joint venture SAAM SMIT Towage. In addition, as the year edged towards its close, our joint venture Smit Lamnalco reached an agreement on the acquisition of PB Towage in Australia, and we signed an MoU with Kotug regarding the intended merger of our combined towage operations in Northwest Europe. This partnership puts the .nishing touch to our Towage strategy aimed at forming strategic partnerships with regional players. Through the Smit Lamnalco, Keppel Smit Towage and SAAM SMIT Towage partnerships and the joint venture with Kotug we operate more than 450 vessels in over 90 ports in 35 countries: truly a fabulous group with a great spread.
Salvage had a quiet year in terms of emergency response jobs, but started 2014 with two prestigious wreck removal projects: a jack-up platform off the coast of Angola and, closer to home, the car carrier Baltic Ace off the Dutch coast.
The broadening of our activities into Offshore Energy and the execution of the many projects did not affect our safety performance. With the aid of our
NINA safety program (No Injuries No Accidents) we managed to further reduce our LTIF figure, from 0.11 in 2013 to 0.09 in 2014. We are extremely proud of the fact that the number of accidents has fallen by more than 85% since NINA was .rst introduced in 2010. In 2014 the NINA program was further implemented at the Offshore Energy division and Boskalis Nederland, with Salvage set to follow this coming year.
Execution of the Business Plan
Optimizing both the organization and the processes and systems is a major topic in the Corporate Business Plan 2014-2016. We can conclude after the first year that important steps have been taken with the choice for the divisional structure and its implementation; our Dutch Dockwise and Fairmount colleagues moving into our of.ce in Papendrecht; a new, tighter method of business reporting and with the introduction of a single, standardized ERP system. Furthermore, we further reduced the net debt to well below one times EBITDA, despite the start of our share buy-back program and our acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in Fugro. We are interested in Fugro because of the strong market positions of its core activities, its good reputation and the natural fit with our activities.
If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that it has become increasingly dif.cult to forecast developments. You only have to look at last year’s roller coaster – the exchange rates of the US dollar, Swiss franc and euro, the coal price, the ruble, the steel price and, last but not least, the oil price. A year ago no one would have believed an oil price of 50 to 60 dollars per barrel was possible. Our company is therefore operating in fundamentally different market conditions, certainly as far as the offshore sector is concerned. But it also puts pressure on infrastructure investments in economies that are dependent on oil exports: Russia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Middle East. This however not only creates threats but it also offers opportunities for the acquisition of quality assets and even companies. Opportunities that we will weigh with caution to ensure we preserve the good health of the company.
On behalf of the Board of Management I want to thank all colleagues for the tremendous effort they once again put in during 2014, as well as our clients, partners and shareholders for the trust they put in us.
Added to My report
add to My report