Grontmij on course in first half (NL)

Highlights first six months 2004:

  • First-half result after taxes EUR 5.1 million (2003: EUR 2.1 million)
  • First-half revenue EUR 250 million (2003: EUR 242 million)
  • Outlook for the full year 2004 in line with forecast: considerable improvement result after taxes

In the first six months of 2004, Grontmij, the Dutch listed service provider specialised in consultancy and engineering of projects for building, infrastructure and environment, achieved a result after taxes of EUR 5.1 million (2003: EUR 2.1 million). The increase in the result after taxes was mainly attributable to a structural reduction in costs for Consultancy & Engineering, as announced in the press release of 17 November 2003.

Revenue and results in the first half of 2004
Grontmij posted a revenue of EUR 250 million (2003: EUR 242 million) for the first half of 2004. This slight increase was entirely due to an increase in Development & Operations revenue. The result after taxes for the first half of 2004 increased to EUR 5.1 million (2003: EUR 2.1 million). The result after taxes per share therefore works out at EUR 1.26 (2003: EUR 0.51).
The operating revenue (revenue less third-party project costs) was down by 3% in the first six months of 2004 at EUR 155 million (2003: EUR 160 million). The total number of full-time equivalent staff was down by approximately 190 compared with year-end 2003. Operating expenses were consequently lower, by 4%, at EUR 149 million (2003: EUR 156 million).
The margin before interest and taxes in the first half of 2004 was 3.4% for Consultancy & Engineering (2003: 2.0%) and 5.6% for Development & Operations (2003: 7.5%).

Balance sheet and financing
The balance sheet total as at 30 June 2004 showed an increase of 8% to EUR 324 million (year-end 2003: EUR 299 million). The ratio of group equity/total assets declined to 35% (year-end 2003: 38%). The increase in the balance sheet total was entirely due to the change in the legal status of one of the Development & Operations real estate projects, which led to a temporary increase in debtors and current liabilities. Since the property concerned has now been sold, settlement can be expected before the end of the year.
In June 2004 a cash dividend totalling EUR 3.1 million was distributed. Current liabilities were further reduced to EUR 16.9 million following repayments (year-end 2003: EUR 20.8 million).

Changes in the portfolio
In a press release dated 11 March 2004, Grontmij announced the company’s plans for gradually divesting its capital-intensive activities, pooled in Development & Operations. These changes in the portfolio will be implemented in 2004 and 2005.
The general shareholders meeting held on 19 May 2004 passed the resolution concerning the plans to divest the capital-intensive activities. The preparations for selling off the business units engaging in real estate and mineral extraction are in progress. Various parties have noted an interest in both of these activities. In 2005, attention will be turned to the divestment of the waste management activities. No further indication will be given at this juncture concerning either the proceeds from or the timing of the divestments.

Outlook 2004
The market in the Netherlands is difficult, putting both revenues and margins under pressure, and no substantial changes are expected in the second half of 2004. However, in view of the cost savings that have been implemented and provided that market conditions do not deteriorate, Grontmij is expecting a considerable improvement in the result after taxes compared with 2003, as previously forecasted.
The forecasted result after taxes excludes any effects of the planned divestment of business units.

Source: Grontmij

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