The turnover in the first quarter of 2005 was 1.5 billion and was therefore almost the same as in the first quarter of 2004. The result before tax in the first quarter was 38.3 million (2004: 25.7 million). The net profit remaining after tax was 23.0 million (2004: 13.4 million).
In the Construction and Property sector BAM Woningbouw performed well. There was a positive result for Dutch non-residential construction. In the first quarter 460 homes were sold in own projects in the Netherlands (last year: 410). In the United Kingdom and Belgium, as in previous years, good results were posted. In the United Kingdom, healthcare, education and public-private partnership (PPP) projects made major contributions to the growth in turnover. The previously announced reorganisation in Germany was completed. A modest positive result is expected for the year.
Dutch and Belgian Civil Engineering activities produced good results in the first quarter. The tendering market is still under pressure. A number of major calls for tenders are expected in the next twelve months. In the United Kingdom and Ireland good results were achieved. The civil engineering market is very strong in Ireland in particular with a growing role for PPP projects. The construction activities of the Irish subsidiary Rohcon are also developing positively. In Germany as a result of insufficient coverage of overheads and disappointing developments in respect of a number of projects there was a negative result. Reorganisation has started. In the United States the results in the first quarter were under pressure due to bad weather in California. A good result is expected for the year.
The Mechanical and Electrical Contracting sector performed as expected in the first quarter, although the price level in the tendering market remains low. Almost half the turnover of BAM Techniek came from outside this segment. In Consultancy and Engineering the markets generally showed positive trends. There were particularly positive developments in the Dutch market. Offices in the Middle East and Eastern Europe performed well. BAM PPP is currently working in close cooperation with the local operating companies on more than ten bids for PPP projects in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The related high tendering costs are deducted directly from the result until the moment when 'preferred bidder' status is achieved. The reported turnover comprises only the concession income from the operational PPP projects.
The result for the Dredging sector in the first quarter was plus 2 million and was therefore a significant improvement on the first quarter of 2004 when the contribution to the overall company result made by Van Oord (21.5% interest) was reduced by a reorganisation charge. A clearly positive contribution is expected for the year. In the results, under the heading 'Pensions', a release is shown from the IFRS pension provision which was formed as at 1 January 2004. In the first quarter of 2005, the item 'Group interest' included for the first time an amount of 2.5 million for the dividend on the financing preference shares. In 2004, this dividend amounted to 15 million and was not reported in the profit and loss account.
Order book As of 31 March 2005, BAM had an order book worth a total of 9.4 billion. This is an increase of 6% compared with the situation at year-end 2004. The order book is stable compared with the situation as at 31 March 2004 (-1%). Of the total order book, it is expected that work worth 4.9 billion will be carried out in the remaining three quarters of 2005, which means that approximately 85% of the estimated 2005 turnover is already secure (the equivalent figure as at 31 March 2004 was 90%).
Financial position as of 31 March 2005
As is usual in the first quarter, the cash position fell compared with the year-end figure for the previous financial year. As of the end of March 2005 the balance of the cash balance minus bank overdrafts was 492 million. However, compared with March 2004 t