The market picture and developments in the first quarter at Boskalis are in line with expectations as outlined at the announcement of the 2020 annual results.
When the 2020 annual results were announced, the expectation was that the first half of 2021 would be reasonably stable as a result of the COVID-19 related restrictions with a gradual improvement in the second half of the year.
The first quarter developments were in line with this expectation, the company said.
Compared to the same period last year, revenue was almost stable with a higher result.
The utilization of the large vessels (hopper fleet at Dredging and heavy marine transport vessels at Offshore Energy) was almost stable compared to the 2020 full year level.
The order book position at the end of the quarter increased by approximately EUR 270 million compared to the record level at the end of 2020 to EUR 5.6 billion.
The net cash position decreased in line with expectations but the financial position is still very solid, said Boskalis.
Dredging & Inland Infra
Revenue at the Dredging & Inland Infra division decreased compared to the first quarter last year, mainly due to the timing of certain projects in the Netherlands and COVID-19 related operational disruptions.
Noteworthy projects in progress included LNG Canada, Pulau Tekong Polder and Tuas Terminal 2 (both in Singapore), Fehmarnbelt tunnel (between Denmark and Germany), Romanian Beaches and the sizable Markermeerdijken project from the Dutch national Flood Protection Program, as well as several other medium-sized projects in the Netherlands.
The utilization of the hopper fleet was at a similar level to the 2020 full year rate and therefore good given the circumstances. The two large cutter suction dredgers were idle in the first quarter in line with expectations with anticipated deployment as from the summer in the Philippines and Singapore respectively.
In the first quarter, the investment decision was taken to lengthen the trailing suction hopper dredger Oranje. This investment is part of the corporate business plan presented last year.
For the extension, the Orange will be taken out of service for four months in the second half of 2021, after which the vessel will return to service in the first quarter of 2022 with approximately 33% percent more loading capacity with a hopper capacity of approximately 21,000 cubic meters.
The Dredging & Inland Infra order book increased slightly compared to the end of 2020.
The largest project addition related to the Oosterweel link in Belgium, in addition to a variety of port and energy projects (both LNG and offshore wind).
After the end of the quarter, the provisional award was received for the extensive Meanderende Maas dike reinforcement project, which is also part of the aforementioned Dutch Flood Protection Program.