ANNUAL REPORT 2016 – BOSKALIS 4 CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT
Dear shareholders, 2016 marked the transition from a period of growth and prosperity to one of stagnation and rationalization. Early 2016 we saw dark clouds gather on the horizon, but looking back at the year the storm is more extreme than we expected. Right now it is fair to say that we are in the midst of it. These market conditions were reason for us to take an extra critical look at the book value of our assets, in particular at the offshore oil and gas related activities. While the resulting impairment charges reflect the near-term outlook, we remain optimistic for the medium to long term outlook of our business. Our net profit, adjusted for the EUR 840 million impairment charges net of taxes, amounted to EUR 276 million and in view of our strong balance sheet we propose a dividend per share of EUR 1.00 based on that profit level.
DEVELOPMENTS IN CORE ACTIVITIES
DREDGING & INLAND INFRA After a number of extremely successful years with substantial results from Gorgon and Suez, the Dredging & Inland Infra division experienced a relatively quiet year caused by unforeseen delays in tenders, projects and start-up dates. This resulted in the lowest utilization rate of the dredging fleet in many years. We nevertheless successfully acquired new projects, particularly in the Netherlands. Examples include the reinforcement of the Wadden Sea dike between Eemshaven and Delfzijl as well as the Wadden Sea dike on the island of Texel; the alliance contract for the reinforcement of the Markermeer dikes; and the wonderful Marker Wadden project. The Marker Wadden is a group of artifcial islands that will ensure the ecological restoration of the Markermeer lake and enable nature to flourish. In December a large number of small and medium-sized projects were acquired, including the reinforcement of the Houtrib dike. In Brazil a new contract was acquired in Porto Açu for a sizable dredging project that ensures good utilization of our large trailing suction hopper dredgers. We also won a EUR 300 million contract to dredge a 16-kilometer-long trench for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel between Germany and Denmark. However, this project is not expected to commence in the coming years as the required environmental permits have yet to be issued by the German authorities. Furthermore, at the start of 2017
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