Press release

Papendrecht, March 18, 2010

Highlights of 2009
            ·         Net profit of € 227.9 million
            ·         Record revenue of € 2.2 billion
            ·         Order book steady at high level: € 2.9 billion
            ·         Earnings per share € 2.31; proposed dividend € 1.19 per share

Outlook for 2010
            ·         Market conditions remain challenging
            ·         Well-filled and broadly spread order book provides solid basis
             
In 2009 the net profit of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. fell to € 227.9 million (2008: € 249.1 million). Revenue was a record € 2.2 billion (€ 2008: 2.1 billion) and was widely spread, both geographically and across all market segments.

The net profit figure of € 227.9 million includes:

  • a € 35.3 million exceptional gain on the stake held in Smit Internationale N.V. (Smit) and
  • an exceptional impairment charge of € 39.7 million (after tax) relating to the older part of the fleet.

In 2009 Boskalis was awarded new orders worth € 1.8 billion. As a result, Boskalis was able to end the year with a strong order book of € 2.9 billion, even with a record revenue and amid difficult market conditions.

Peter Berdowski, CEO:
"2009 was an excellent year for Boskalis despite the difficult market conditions. We have thereby benefitted from our broadly spread and well-filled order book, an adequate execution of the projects and our disciplined contracting policy. In addition, over the past year we were successful in acquiring projects in the high end of our markets in, amongst other regions, Australia and South America.
The global recession has also affected our industry and although to date the impact on Boskalis has been limited, we are preparing ourselves for lower volumes of work and lower margins. The implementation of our fleet rationalization program will improve our cost structure and thereby boost our position in the market.
Despite the current market conditions we look forward to 2010 with confidence in the light of our well-filled order book and the fleet rationalization program we have launched."


Market developments
The global market for dredging and maritime infrastructure is driven by factors such as growth in world trade, the global population, energy consumption and the effects of climate change. Following a period of robust growth, this growth trend came to an end in late 2008.

While the structural long-term growth factors for dredging and maritime infrastructure remain positive, the short-term outlook has become markedly less certain since early 2009, as a consequence of a lower oil price, lower demand for natural resources and stagnating global trade.

This deterioration in market conditions has clearly had a visible impact on our products and services. Customers are taking a critical look at their plans, the award of projects is taking longer and margins in certain of our markets are under pressure. However, there are large differences between the positions of our customers both in geographical terms and by market segment: Oil & Gas, Ports or Coastal Protection/Land Reclamation.

Outlook
After years of boisterous growth the prospects for the dredging industry have clearly deteriorated. Boskalis faces this challenge with a strong and well-filled order book which ensures a well utilized fleet for 2010. The fleet rationalization program will enable Boskalis to part with older vessels in the fleet.

Boskalis is committed to maintaining a solid financial position and this position will continue to be strong after the intended merger with Smit, partly thanks to last December's successful equity issue. Boskalis is in the final phase of a long-term capital expenditure program, meaning that the investment level will decline over the next few years. In the next two years we expect annual capital expenditure of around € 150-200 million (excluding Smit). 

Given the project-based nature of our work and the uncertain market conditions, we are unable at this point in time to provide a quantitative forecast for 2010. We do, however, anticipate that 2010 earnings will be lower than the level achieved in 2009, disregarding the effects of the potential completion of the merger with Smit.

Dividend policy and proposal
The main principle of the Boskalis dividend policy is to distribute 40% to 50% of net profit from ordinary operations as dividend, whereby Boskalis aims to achieve a stable development of the dividend for the longer term. The choice of dividend form (in cash and/or entirely or partly in shares) takes into account the company's desired balance sheet structure and the interests of shareholders.

In light of this, Boskalis will propose to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on May 12, 2010 that a dividend of € 1.19 per share be distributed in the form of ordinary shares, unless the shareholder opts for a cash dividend. The dividend will be payable from June 9, 2010.

>>> Click here for the full year report including all financial tables <<<



Key figures (in millions of euros)    
  2009 2008
Revenue 2,175 2,094
Operating profit 249.3 339.1
  .. excl. exceptional items 285.5
Net profit 227.9 249.1
EBITDA 445.0 454.6
  .. excl. exceptional items 401.0
Dividend per share (in euros) 1.19 1.19
     
  31/12/2009 31/12/2008
Order book 2,875 3,354
Solvency ratio   46.5% 34.0%

Financial calendar 2010

mid-April Publication of 2009 Annual Report
May 12 Trading update on first quarter of 2010
May 12 Annual General Meeting
May 14 Ex-dividend date
May 18 Dividend record date (after market close)
June 1 Final date for stating dividend preference - cash or stock
June 4 Determination and publication of conversion rate for stock dividend based on the average share price on June 2, 3 and 4 (after market close)
June 9 Date of dividend payment and delivery of shares
August 19 Publication of 2010 half-year results
November 18 Trading update on third quarter of 2010

Please refer to the following pages for further details and explanation.

This is an English translation of the Dutch press release. In the event of any disparity between the Dutch original and this translation, the Dutch text will prevail.

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors. We provide creative and innovative all-round solutions to infrastructural challenges in the maritime, coastal and delta regions of the world including the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defense and riverbank protection. The company holds important home market positions in and outside of Europe and targets all market segments in the dredging industry. It also has positions in strategic partnerships in the Middle East (Archirodon) and in offshore services (Lamnalco). Boskalis has a versatile fleet of over 300 units and operates in over 50 countries across five continents. Including its share in partnerships, Boskalis has approximately 10,000 employees. Boskalis celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2010.

For further information please contact:

Martijn L.D. Schuttevâer
Director of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Telephone:           +31 78 69 69 822 / +31 6 200 10 232
Telefax:                 +31 78 69 69 020               
E-mail:                   m.l.schuttevaer@boskalis.nl

This press release can also be found on our website www.boskalis.com

 

 

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