CEO Erik Oostwegel comments: “2020 has been an extraordinary year. It has brought challenge and disruption. I am proud of the resilience and adaptability of our colleagues who continued to support our clients while working remotely. Combining domain knowledge with creativity and digital technologies, we have been able to help our clients secure continuity, achieve their ambitions and become more resilient to climate change. Our purpose of Enhancing Society Together is more relevant than ever. I believe in our ongoing contribution to a carbon-neutral world limiting global warming – together with our clients and in our own operations.” 

Financial

CFO Jasper de Wit says: “Given Covid-19, we are pleased with our financial performance.” The net result increased to €13.0 million and EBITA recurring margin increased to 4.8%. All Business Lines contributed to the positive results except for the newly launched Business Line Digital which has a clear investment agenda for the company’s digital future. 
“Across our markets, effects of Covid-19 were mixed and impact on our operating income was contained. Despite a lower operating income, we managed to grow our profitability and maintain our healthy financial position, reflected in the strong solvency and cash position.”

 

€ million (unless stated otherwise)

2020

2019
Operating income
591 637
Added value 478 503
EBITA recurring* 28.3 26.9
EBITA margin (recurring) 4.8% 4.2%
Net result 13.0 9.2
Free cash flow 38.3 2.0
Total workforce (year-end headcount) 5,712 5,849

* EBITA excluding non-operational items (restructuring costs and other one-off items).

EBITA recurring includes €9.3 million profit-sharing for employees. Furthermore, better working capital management supported the improvement in free cash flow.

Strategy update

CEO Erik Oostwegel: “In 2020 we continued to drive forward transformations and investments to move up the value chain. We launched our Business Line Digital, focused on supporting our clients with digital consultancy and software solutions. We have grown our business with UK-based transport consultancy ITP, strengthening our capabilities to shape the next generation of sustainable transport networks. The acquisition of Novius in the Netherlands brings complementary capabilities to guide organisations in their digital transformation.”

Royal HaskoningDHV’s digital transformation is built on two pillars. Firstly, to digitalise project delivery by automating and integrating daily work with data-driven and BIM enabled processes, improving service efficiency, quality and performance. For example, a parametric way of working allowed the company to develop a sustainable concept design with 30% material savings for Monarch IV, a high-rise office in The Hague. Royal HaskoningDHV’s cloud-based Global Flood Risk Tool analyses and visualises flood risks and delivers clients like the World Bank and Port of Rotterdam a set of customised solutions including an estimation of costs to reduce these risks. And the company is designing 3D direct printable objects like the bridge in Rotterdam, introducing the next generation of smart, circular bridges.
The second pillar involves supporting clients in their digital transformation. For example, following a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore’s National Water Agency PUB, Royal HaskoningDHV will explore how its Aquasuite software can support the utility’s digital transformation efforts.

People

CEO Erik Oostwegel: “The health and well-being of our colleagues, clients, partners and their families is our main priority. Due to Covid-19, most of our work has continued from home, enabled by our early investments in digital ways of working. Monitoring the well-being of our colleagues and acting on it is essential. Their main challenges are connected to keeping a healthy work-life balance and missing the social interactions at the office.

Enhancing society together

CEO Erik Oostwegel: “Through 2020, we have continued to contribute to a more sustainable society. For example, the complex renovation of the 12-laned Van Brienenoord Bridge in the Netherlands for which a circular and cost-effective design solution was proposed. And in the Caribbean, our work for Aruba Airport surpassed our client's ambitions and achieved a Gold sustainability rating. We have also taken steps in our own operations and joined the Dutch Green Building Council’s Paris Proof initiative: By 2035, we will have reduced the energy consumption of our approximately 75 offices around the globe by two thirds compared to 2020.”

Outlook

CEO Erik Oostwegel: “The role we play in ensuring the continued functioning of vital areas of society – water, mobility, clean air, energy and many more – remains as important as ever. We are improving these operations, so they become more predictable, sustainable and resilient. Digital transformation has a significant position in this across every industry. Our own transformation, reinforced by yet another two acquisitions in 2020, strengthens our ability to meet these demands and grow further.

Covid-19 will continue to affect our business in the foreseeable future and will have lasting impact on how and where we work. Digital ways of working and virtual meetings are here to stay – internally and with clients who expect more meetings and activities to take place at a distance. 

In 2021 we proudly celebrate our 140th anniversary. We are grateful to our dedicated and smart colleagues all over the world who have helped bring us to this milestone. As we create new combinations of expertise, we make more progress in our goal of making life on this planet a little better, enhancing society together,” Erik Oostwegel concludes.