The market picture for the rest of 2019 is not fundamentally different from that in the first half year and with no further loss provisions anticipated, a strong improvement of the result is expected.
At Dredging & Inland Infra we see a reasonable volume of work in the market in the short term, with the timing of new project awards being the biggest uncertainty. The emphasis for Boskalis is on maintaining utilization at a responsible level of project risk. With the current projects in hand, a reasonable part of the fleet is set to be utilized in the remainder of 2019.
The picture for the Offshore Energy market has not changed and the second half year is expected to be comparable to the first half year, adjusted for the onerous contract provisions. Transport and diving will be largely dependent on the 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 second half year.
At Towage, market volumes within the remaining towage joint ventures are stable and the sale of our stake in Saam Smit Towage is expected to be completed in the second half year. Following a very strong first half year Salvage will be dependent on new emergency response assignments and settlement results from old projects, as is customary for this business.
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 profit in the second half of 2019 compared to the first half year. The guidance stated earlier in 2019 that EBITDA levels will be stable relative to the approximately EUR 350 million of last year is maintained.
Capital expenditure in 2019 is expected to be slightly more than EUR 250 million, excluding acquisitions, and will be financed from the company’s own cash flow.
The net debt position increased temporarily to EUR 419.8 million at the end of the first half year. With the proceeds from the sale of our share in Kotug Smit Towage and Saam Smit Towage and with the operational outlook, the net debt position is expected to improve substantially towards the end of the year.