Rijssen, 10 March 2022 – VolkerWessels achieved strong results for 2021. Net profit came to € 165 million, an increase of 42% compared to the results for 2020. Revenue for 2021 amounted to € 6,193 million, down 4% compared to 2020. The EBT-margin increased by 120 basis points to 3.6%. The order book at the end of 2021 decreased slightly due to delays in contract awards of a number of projects into 2022.
- Net profit attributable to shareholders € 165 million (2020: € 116 million)
- Earnings before tax (EBT) € 225 million (2020: € 153 million)
- Order book at year-end 2021 € 9,236 million (2020: € 9,618 million)
- Revenue € 6,193 million (2020: € 6,448 million)
- Solvency 22% (2020: 27%)
Despite the ongoing Corona pandemic, VolkerWessels has generally been able to adapt well to the temporary restrictions in 2021. However, the indirect consequences of the pandemic are becoming more and more visible. For example, supply problems and inflation in the supply chain are having an impact on ongoing projects, securing new projects and staff recruitment.
All divisions contributed positively to the results in 2021. With the exception of the UK, all divisions achieved a higher result than in 2020.
In 2021, we updated our strategic plan. Our starting point is that we want not only to create value for our shareholders, but that our activities will also actively contribute to a climate-neutral, circular and healthy living environment. Each division has set its own sustainability targets, following which we aim to operate completely emissions-free in the Netherlands by 2030. Our companies outside the Netherlands have developed similar plans with a focus on reducing our CO2 emissions.
In the Netherlands, nitrogen remains a largely unresolved issue up to now and, depending on new court decisions, may have an even greater impact. For the time being, this problem manifests itself in the failure for large infrastructure projects to come out to tender. At the end of 2020, we adjusted the Infrastructure division in the Netherlands to these changing market conditions. Partly as a result of this, the Infrastructure division in the Netherlands was able to absorb the decline in turnover in 2021 and is showing a growth in results.
The Construction & Real Estate Development division had a strong year. Despite a slight decrease in turnover, the result before tax improved significantly. A similar development was seen in the Energy & Telecoms division. In particular, increasing demand as a result of the energy transition and investments in the telecoms market had a positive effect on the result. The turnover of our activities in Germany increased slightly while the result before tax increased strongly.
Our activities in North America showed a similar turnover to 2020 while the result before tax increased slightly. The results in the United Kingdom in 2021 were negatively affected by a limited number of specific projects. Despite higher turnover, mainly due to HS2, the result before tax was lower than the previous year.
Unfortunately, we suffered three fatal accidents in 2021, two in the Netherlands and one in Canada. Each of these three accidents has been thoroughly investigated and indicates that we need to be and remain vigilant in the area of safety.
Net profit and EBT-margin
VolkerWessels focusses on profitable growth and places margin above volume. We are therefore pleased with the increase in our EBT-margin from 2.4% for 2020 to 3.6% in 2021. Net profit came in at € 165 million, a 42% increase on the 2020 result.
Revenue in 2021 decreased by 4% to € 6,193 million compared to € 6,448 million in 2020. This, partly expected, decline in revenue was mainly visible in our Infrastructure activities in the Netherlands due to the aforementioned nitrogen issues. Revenue from our Construction & Real Estate Development activities in the Netherlands also decreased slightly, partly due to the timing of projects.
VolkerWessels’ order book at 31 December 2021 has decreased slightly by approximately 4% to € 9,236 million compared to the record amount of € 9,618 million at 31 December 2020. The decrease of approximately € 0.4 billion is particularly visible in our Construction & Real Estate Development activities in the Netherlands and Germany due to delays in the award of a number of contracts. In addition, obtaining the necessary permits to start project development activities is still a time-consuming process.
The order book in the infrastructure division, after the drop in 2020 due to the delay in awarding tenders for large multidisciplinary infrastructure projects, remained stable at around € 1.4 billion. We added a number of attractive medium-sized projects to our order book in 2021 and the steady flow of mostly smaller projects remained stable. The order book in the UK increased by almost € 0.2 billion, mainly due to currency effects. The order book of Energy & Telecoms and North America declined slightly due to ongoing delivery of long-term (maintenance) contracts. Underlying, the Energy & Telecoms order book increased in particular.
Solvency and liquidity
VolkerWessels has a solid capital structure, with a solvency ratio of 22% at 31 December 2021 (31 December 2020: 27%). The decrease in solvency is partly the result of entering favourable financing arrangements before year-end to repay the same amount after 1 January 2022. Excluding this effect, the solvency ratio is 23%. The remaining decrease is the result of dividend payments over 2021. Group equity as at 31 December 2021 amounts to € 0.9 billion. The net cash position (excluding IFRS 16) amounted to € 286 million at the end of 2021. VolkerWessels has not made use of the possibility of paying taxes due at a later date.
Changes to the Management Board:
As of 31 March this year, Messrs Jan van Rooijen (CFO) and Alan Robertson (UK) will step down from the Management Board, with the latter remaining responsible for our activities in the United Kingdom. Mr Cees de Wijs (Infrastructure division in the Netherlands) and Mr Richard Leijnse will join the Management Board as of 1 April. Mr Leijnse succeeds Mr Van Rooijen as CFO, Mr De Wijs remains responsible for the Infrastructure Netherlands division.
Jan de Ruiter, Alfred Vos, Jan van Rooijen, Dick Boers,Alan Robertson