VBMS Shines as Boskalis' Offshore Numbers Drop

Royal Boskalis Westminster's Offshore Energy division reported an operating result (EBIT) of EUR 36.1 million for the first six months of 2017, a 66.5% decrease compared with an EBIT of 107.7 million reported during the same period a year earlier.

The division's revenue for the period was EUR 495.2 million, as compared to EUR 567 million revenue in H1 2016.

Boskalis attributed the decline in the operating result and the revenue to deteriorated market conditions in the oil and gas sector and the lack of major offshore wind contracts, namely, the lack of large foundation installation projects.

The contribution from offshore wind projects was limited to the Aberdeen OWF project, compared to a very busy 2016 when the large Veja Mate and Wikinger projects were under execution, the company said.

The drop was offset by a solid six month performance from the cable-laying specialist VBMS, Boskalis said. During the period, VBMS worked on several major offshore wind projects, including Galloper, Dudgeon, Rampion and Horns Rev 3.

During the period, Boskalis also saw a positive impact from its involvement in the installation of the DolWin3 platform in the German North Sea.

On June 30, the division's order book stood at EUR 930.2 million, with EUR 394 million of new work being acquired in the first six months of 2017.

A number of cable-laying contracts were acquired, Boskalis said, including the Hohe See and East Anglia ONE contracts, as well as a contract for subsea survey and identification of unexploded ordnance in the Borssele Offshore Wind Farm Zone.

VBMS already acquired the Alpha export cable-laying contract for the Borssele OWF last year.

In the period after 30 June, Boskalis acquired the Gardline Group, a UK-based offshore survey specialist.

''The weak offshore market also presents clear opportunities for us to strengthen the company, as evidenced by the recently announced acquisition of Gardline,'' Peter Berdowski, Boskalis' CEO, said.

''This acquisition will specifically help fulfill our strategic ambition to build a position in offshore survey. Gardline is a key player in the survey market with years of experience and a strong reputation. The acquisition will enable us to further position ourselves for opportunities in offshore wind energy, as well as to be well placed to take advantage of growth opportunities when the offshore market picks up again. In the coming period we will continue to look actively at opportunities to strengthen and expand the company in the medium term.”

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