Boskalis: right on course, maintains profit forecast for 2002

Despite a generally unfavorable economy, Royal Boskalis Westminster nv achieved good results in the first half of 2002. New orders were acquired amounting to € 518 million (first half of 2001: € 482 million) so that the level of the orderbook (more than € 1.3 billion) was maintained.

Although turnover work done was below expectations, turnover completed contracts increased by 7% and net profit went up by 8%. A high workload is expected in the second half year. For the whole of 2002, the Board of Management is maintaining its earlier announced profit forecast (+5 to 10% compared to 2001).

Furthermore, Boskalis has reached an advanced stage in the purchase of the equipment and the remaining activities from the winding-up of the Italian dredging company Dragomar. This acquisition provides Boskalis with the opportunity to establish a home market position in Italy.

R. van Gelder, Boskalis CEO: 'We are satisfied with the course of our business. In a period of international doubts and uncertainty, we are doing well and our position is strong. The orderbook is well filled and our large ships are booked up for a long time ahead. I am optimistic about our prospects.'

Turnover and orderbook Turnover completed contracts, the basis for the published net profit, increased in the first half of the year to € 474 million, as compared to € 441 million in the first half of 2001.

Turnover work done slowly picked up in a few market segments (including Scandinavia and the Middle East), primarily in the first quarter. On the other hand, the level of acquired orders was high. In this way, with a moderate overall turnover for the home markets of € 229 million (first half 2001: € 282 million), the orderbook grew from € 395 million to € 503 million with the assistance of large new assignments in Scandinavia and Nigeria.

In the case of international projects, turnover work done amounted to € 189 million (first half 2001: € 176 million) and the orderbook to € 729 million (year-end 2001: € 781 million). These figures are in line with expectations.

In the niche markets, turnover reached € 27 million, the same level as the first half of last year, and the orderbook expanded to € 86 million.

On balance, turnover work done decreased in the first half from € 482 million to € 445 million, but the orderbook expanded from € 1.2 billion at year-end 2001 to € 1.3 billion as at the end of the first half 2002. New orders were acquired amounting to € 539 million, more than in the first half of 2001 (€ 481 million). During the first half year, extensive hopper assignments were taken on in Nigeria (land reclamation for a Â'gas to liquids plantÂ') and Sweden (extension of Gothenburg harbor). Furthermore, a major assignment was acquired for building a drainage facility in Singapore together with Archirodon.

Results The operating result for the first half of 2002 increased by 12% to € 40.8 million. Utilization of the hoppers was excellent: 45 weeks on an annual basis (first half 2001: 41 weeks). The annual utilization rate for the cutters was 27 weeks, less than in the first half of 2001 (34 weeks), in part because of the fact that the larger cutters could only be deployed in the second quarter, especially in the Middle East.

The net interest income of € 0.6 million was down on last year (€ 1.6 million), partly because of an increase in working capital.

The result from associated companies amounted to € 2.9 million, the same as in the first half of 2001. The 50% holding in Lamnalco, which provides harbor services in the Middle East and Nigeria, achieved a higher result. On the other hand, the result from the American equipment holding fell because work was acquired later.

On balance, the net profit increased by 8% to € 32.6 million (first half 2001: € 30.1 million).

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(source: Royal Boskalis Westminster)

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