At Dredging & Inland Infra we see a pipeline with a good number of tenders and volume of work. The current size of the order book means that a large part of the fleet will be utilized in the next six to nine months.
At Offshore Energy the outlook for the remainder of the year is reasonable. The large contracting projects in the order book are expected to make a good contribution to the result, and the outlook for the ongoing cable-laying projects in offshore wind is also favorable. At services however our reliance on the unpredictable and often competitive spot market remains large. Divesting the low end of the transport fleet will reduce part of this reliance and remove loss-making activities. The respective vessels are expected to be phased out in the next 12 months, in line with any contractual obligations, without any further consequences for the result.
The result of Towage & Salvage is not expected to materially change in the second half of the year.
Based on the fleet planning and work in the order book and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Board of Management expects a sharp improvement in the net operating profit in the second half of 2018 relative to the first half year. However, it is not expected that the net result level achieved in the second half of 2017 will be matched.
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 the solvency ratio is 56.2%. At the end of the period Boskalis had a modest net debt position of EUR 239 million and comfortably met its financial covenants.