Boskalis New Year Meeting: excellent performance in 2002, caution about 2003

At the New Year Meeting of Royal Boskalis Westminster nv that took place today, Mr. Rob van Gelder, chairman of the Board of Management, expressed his satisfaction about operations in 2002: 'Good performance under increasingly difficult conditions'. He also referred to the profit forecast given previously (an increase of approximately 5 â€" 10% compared to 2001).

He also pointed out that Boskalis´´ return to the Midcap index on 1 March of 2003 will generate extra publicity and interest in the share.

He was cautious about 2003: 'In the short term, the world picture will be dominated by political and economic uncertainties and we dredgers also have to keep that in mind; we will take the results as they come, there´´s nothing else to add at the moment'.

Against this background, he discussed tighter European government budgets in general and, more particularly, the sand sourcing difficulties in South-East Asia and the rapidly worsening situation in the Dutch civil sector.

In conclusion, Mr. Van Gelder expressed his confidence that Boskalis will, in 2003, be able to use its broad-based market position, a well-filled orderbook and very solid capital structure to outperform many competitors. But he also asked his audience 'to put all hands on deck, and keep her steady as she goes.'

The main objective for 2003 is to maintain a strong competitive position in the market, as well as stable returns (and dividends) for shareholders.

(source: Boskalis)

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