Heijmans N.V. (construction and property development) announces that the first quarter of 2004 was concluded with a satisfactory order portfolio. For the year 2004, Heijmans expects a net result of between € 60 and € 66 million, which corresponds with previously stated expectations. This results in net profit per share of between € 2.37 and € 2.65.
Within the scope of the continuing providing of information to Heijmans´ followers, from today, in addition to yearly and half-yearly figures, Heijmans will also structurally provide information by means of what are known as trading updates on the situation up to that moment.
When announcing the annual figures for 2003, Heijmans indicated that it expected a net result for 2004 of between € 60 and € 66 million. Based on the first quarter of 2004 and the current status of the order portfolio (€ 2,460 million at 31 March 2004 compared to € 2,341 million at the end of 2003), Heijmans now announces that it is on track with regard to this expectation. That means net profit per shares of between € 2.37 and € 2.65. This does not take into account any consequences of investigations by the Public Prosecutions Department and the Netherlands Competition Authority into irregularities in the sector. Heijmans previously announced that, unforeseen circumstances notwithstanding, shareholders would be offered a cash dividend for 2004 of at least € 1.22 per share.
The housing market for Heijmans continues to do well. Up to 30 April 2004 Heijmans sold 1291 houses (830 in the same period in 2003, a number that was influenced by the war in Iraq). In addition, in the first quarter, Heijmans again won various contests on the basis of which Heijmans can realise conceptual regional developments in the coming years. Examples of such projects are Assumburg in Heemskerk (60 houses plus a hotel), Cereol in Utrecht (222 houses with a library and hotel and catering establishments), Sluisstraat in Veghel (approximately 300 houses) and Andreashof Ensemble in Amsterdam (500 houses). The market for public buildings (schools, hospitals, etc) is developing in line with Heijmans´ expectations. The market for offices, however, is showing no improvement compared to 2003.
The market for infrastructure remained characterised in the first quarter by inflationary pressures. The stiff competition is continuing in full force. Heijmans is taking a risk-averse position. The focus on more contracts in the field of maintenance is bearing fruit. For example, multi-year maintenance contracts (between six and ten years) were entered into for 22 bridges, sluices and dams in Noord Brabant, tunnel safety facilities in Zuid-Holland and the e-maintenance (lighting, traffic regulation installations)on motorways in Zuid-Holland.
The activities for industrial clients were taken from the Industry and Production division and transferred to the Infrastructure division. Heijmans views production activities as part of its value provided they are of strategic importance. This includes modular construction activities such as those of Heijmans Bestcon. Heijmans does not believe serial production is strategically important for its activities.
Outside the Netherlands, it is the English market in particular that is appealing. In the first few months of 2004 Heijmans concluded several framework housing construction contracts with primarily public clients and, in combination with Taylor Woodrow, was preselected as a partner for National Health Service for care facilities. The German market is still not showing any recovery. Heijmans´ current activities allow it to keep in touch with the market. The market in Belgium is developing as expected, which also applies to the activities of Heijmans, which will be concluded in 2004 with positive results.
Heijmans will publish its half-yearly figures on 2 September 2004 before start of trade.