At Dredging & Inland Infra we see a reasonable volume of work in the market in the short term. The emphasis for Boskalis is on maintaining utilization at a responsible level of project risk. The current size of the order book means that a good part of the fleet will be utilized in 2018, albeit at lower margins than in previous years. The picture for the Offshore Energy market has not changed. Past contracts at Heavy Marine Transport are being completed and we are increasingly dependent on the highly competitive spot market. Where necessary transport vessels at the lower end of the market will be laid up. At Offshore Installation & Intervention the order book is filled better and we expect a reasonable year. Market volumes in the Towage activities are relatively stable, although competition in some ports has increased, resulting in lower margins.
The project-based nature of a significant part of our activities, in addition to the uncertain market conditions, makes it difficult to provide a specific quantitative forecast with regard to the 2018 full-year result early on in the year. However, knowing what we know now it appears that it will be a challenge to match the 2017 net result.
Capital expenditure in 2018 is expected to be around EUR 250 million, excluding acquisitions, and will be financed from the company’s own cash flow. Boskalis has a very sound financial position and comfortably meets its financial covenants.