Heijmans N.V. (construction, property development and related activities) achieved net earnings for 2003 of € 75 million before the extraordinary expense of € 15 million incurred in 2003 in connection with fines imposed by NMa, the Dutch competition authority.
Positive were the increased sale of housing, the result of concrete and utilities construction and lower taxes. Disappointing were the reorganisation costs for regular infra, cable and pipe activities and several production companies as well as an addition to the provision for unsold commercial property in the first half of 2003. In 2003 an operational cash flow of € 59 million was generated.
The strategic focus on full service construction and development activities is meant to make Heijmans less dependent on general economic conditions and price competition and result in an increase of margin and profit.
Heijmans has set an objective of increasing the profit on invested capital from 11% in 2003 to 18% in 2008. Net earnings objective for that year is 3% over the operating income. For 2004 Heijmans expects an operational result (earnings before interest and taxes and exclusive of extraordinary expense due to NMa fines) of around the level of 2003.
The net earnings for 2004, however, will be significantly lower than the net earnings, before the extraordinary expense, of 2003, mainly as a result of an increase in tax pressure to approximately 35%.
On account of the continuing focus on positive cash flows in 2004 and the resilience of the company excluding unforeseen circumstances, Heijmans is planning to propose a dividend to the shareholders over the financial year 2004 at least equal to the proposal for the financial year 2003. The dividend proposal for the 2003 financial year is € 1.22 per ordinary share.
Source: Heijmans N.V.