Van Oord reports solid results despite challenging year

Even though 2020 was a challenging year, Van Oord managed to achieve a higher revenue, strong operational results, a relatively stable EBITDA, and a very strong cash performance.

Hopper dredger Vox Amalia in Poland/Van Oord

According to the release, with the excellent work of its people, Van Oord have realised a solid financial performance. The company recorded EUR 1,677 million in revenue (2019: EUR 1,644 million) and despite the impact of restructuring costs and incidentals, EBITDA remained relatively stable EUR 226 million (2019: EUR 254 million).

Cash performance was very strong, resulting in a positive net cash position at year-end of EUR 24 million (2019: net debt EUR 307 million). The order book remained stable at EUR 3,553 million (2019: EUR 3,610 million).

As reported, the revenue build-up in 2020 varied compared with 2019. The Dredging business unit saw a further revenue decrease to EUR 598 million (2019: EUR 690 million) due to ongoing market pressure, enhanced by COVID-19.

“Our EBITDA level remained relatively stable at EUR 226 million. A solid performance considering the difficult circumstances and one-off costs,” the company said. “Our order book amounted to EUR 3,553 million at the end of 2020 which is stable compared with 2019 (EUR 3,610 million).”

“Our company had one of the most challenging years in our more than 150 years history. I am proud how we have worked together to navigate through turbulent times,” commented Pieter van Oord, CEO.

Dredging unit highlights

Dredging is one of the cornerstones of Van Oord’s business and fuelled by long-term drivers such as climate change, population growth, maritime trade, and energy demand.

Structural market changes and the outbreak of the global pandemic gave cause for short-term market pressure. The widespread uncertainty led public and private clients to cut back on spending and postpone tenders.

As a result, the company’s award volume declined in 2020. The utilisation rate of the hoppers and cutters was relatively low. However, the operational performance and the results were better than anticipated.

Some project highlights in 2020 were the deepening of a 62-kilometre-long channel from Świnoujście to Szczecin in Poland and the completion of the contract for land reclamation associated with the PEMEX oil refinery in Dos Bocas Mexico. The project involved reclaiming 12 million cubic metres of sand to create 600 hectares of new land.

Van Oord Reinventing Dredging 2030 strategy is getting traction. In 2020, the company introduced a programme of interventions to safeguard our performance and build new growth engines by launching innovative concepts around their core activities, for example climate adaptation.

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