The market picture for 2019 is not fundamentally different from 2018. With a limited recovery in the prospective volume of work, prices and margins will remain under pressure.
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 2019.
The picture for the Offshore Energy market has not changed. In the short term transport and diving will be largely dependent on the competitive spot market. Survey is expected to have another good year with further growth, partly thanks to the addition of Horizon. For the contracting activities we expect the projects in the order book to result in a reasonable year.
The planned sale of our stakes in the Towage activities of Saam Smit Towage and Kotug Smit Towage will lead to a lower contribution to the result. Market volumes at the other towage joint ventures are stable.
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 2019 full-year result early on in the year. However, expectations are that while EBITDA levels will be stable, exceeding the 2018 net operating profit will be a challenge.
Capital expenditure in 2019 is expected to be around EUR 265 million, including the intended Bohlen & Doyen offshore asset transaction, however 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.