Boskalis' offshore revenue squeezed in quiet year

NETHERLANDS: A slower year in its offshore wind activity contributed to a decline in revenue for Royal Boskalis Westminster's offshore energy segment, the marine contractor stated.

Installation of an export power cable connecting a wind farm to an onshore power grid (pic: Royal Boskalis Westminster)
Installation of an export power cable connecting a wind farm to an onshore power grid (pic: Royal Boskalis Westminster)

The oil and gas industry also experienced "low activity levels" in 2017, Boskalis added, as the company’s offshore energy revenue fell from €1.33 billion to €966.7 million year-on-year.

Just over half of the company’s revenue in offshore energy last year came from contracts, Boskalis stated, with the remainder coming from services.

It also recorded a 59% fall in operating profit (Ebit) for its offshore energy sector, from €209.5 million in 2016 — a year the company described as "very busy" — to €85 million in 2017.

"Revenue and the segment result at offshore energy declined further compared to previous years, due in part to the poor market conditions in the oil and gas industry.

"The various activities nevertheless made a positive contribution to the result," the company stated.

Last year, Boskalis acquired offshore surveyor Gardline for approximately €51.95 million in August.

In its 2017 financial results, Boskalis recorded that it had made a €24.1 million loss on the acquisition of Gardline.

However, it stated that Gardline’s survey activities made a "modest revenue contribution" (€24.9 million) in the second half of the year.

Boskalis divested its holdings in ocean surveyors Fugro in February 2017, selling 7.9 million shares at €14.50 apiece. The proceeds from the divestment totalled nearly €115 million, Boskalis said.

Meanwhile, its cabling subsidiary VBMS secured contracts for the 700MW Borssele Beta transmission platform, the 500MW Hohe See offshore wind project and the 714MW East Anglia One site.

VBMS also signed preferred bidder agreements for the 950MW Moray East and 860MW Triton Knoll sites last year.

The cabling contractor also carried out work at the Galloper, Walney Extension, Dudgeon and Rampion projects last year, while its "largest revenue contribution" from offshore wind projects came from Vattenfall's European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay off the coast of Scotland.

Boskalis’ order book at the end of 2017 stood at €2.47 billion — up 30% from the €1.89 billion in orders at the end of 2016. This order book also includes oil and gas projects.

The marine contractor added: "Within contracting, a further earnings decline in offshore wind foundation installation was partly offset by a strong year in the cable-laying business unit, project settlements and a number of smaller installation and intervention projects."

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