Royal HaskoningDHV CEO Erik Oostwegel: “In the first half of 2019 we continued our strategic priorities and investments in the future of our company. We supported and developed our people to keep innovating and embrace new digital capabilities. Combined with strategic acquisitions, this allowed us to strengthen our existing services and add new services to further provide our clients with trusted solutions to address challenges like climate resilience, the energy transition and the circular economy.”

Continued focus on digital and commercial capabilities and capacity

Royal HaskoningDHV continued to build and develop capabilities to drive innovations and new digital services. Reflecting the creative spirit of Royal HaskoningDHV employees, the company’s innovation funnel currently has more than 100 initiatives. In addition, the company continued to support and develop digital capabilities through its Digital Academy, such as BIM, parametric design, data science, software programming skills, data analysis and visualisation. Furthermore, digital-focused traineeships were successfully launched throughout the business to attract new talents.

Next to developing innovation and digital capabilities, the company is building capacity by expanding its commercial and service delivery teams to cater for the growing demand from clients. Consequently, the company has welcomed new experts in the area of Smart Ports and Industry 4.0. A new Director Project Excellence has been appointed to set and embed new standards in project management to continuously improve efficient service delivery to clients.

Strategic acquisitions to add capabilities and broaden service portfolio

Strategic investments in the first half of 2019 include the acquisition of UK-based company Lanner to strengthen Royal HaskoningDHV’s predictive simulation capabilities for industrial clients in January. In February, the company acquired a minority share in Singapore-based H2i to expand its digital footprint in the region and boost its global flood resilience and climate change-related offerings. In April, it acquired UK-based Ambiental to accelerate growth of flood-related digital services and leverage the company’s position in the (re)insurance market.

Financial performance 

The recently appointed CFO, Jasper de Wit: “We’re positive about the solid financial results over the first six months of 2019 during which we continued to invest heavily in growth, innovation and digital skills. Operating income grew by 5.6% compared to the first half of 2018, organic growth was 3.3%.”

EBITA recurring performance was up to €13.3 million and net result up to €6.4 million. Operating margin increased by 1 percentage point compared to the first half of 2018 to 4.2%.

Across the organisation’s four main markets, results were good in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom. However, in South Africa results lagged due to the country’s difficult economic conditions and uncertainty around the elections earlier this year. The Indonesian business was also impacted by uncertainties in the run up to the presidential elections, but order intake increased towards the end of the first half.

Free cash flow was negative due to seasonal influences but much better than in the first half of 2018. The equity ratio is healthy at 53%.

Financial key figures first half year

(€ million, unless stated otherwise)

2019 2018
Operating income
318 302
Added value 254 238
EBITA recurring* 13.3 9.5
Net result 6.4 4.9
Operating margin (recurring) 4.2% 3.2%
Free cash flow -22 -26
Total workforce (mid-year headcount) 5,968 5,823

* EBITA recurring excludes €0.3 million restructuring and one-off costs over the first half year of 2019 and 2018.

Outlook

Erik Oostwegel: “With our expanded service portfolio, we expect continued growth for our business in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, but uncertainty characterises developments in South Africa and Indonesia. However, in South Africa and Indonesia, we anticipate improved levels of economic activity with positive impact for our business during the second half of the year and into 2020.”

Jasper de Wit: “The ongoing drive of our people to make a difference and their enthusiasm to explore new opportunities is fundamental to our business. We look forward to continuing our success in the second half of 2019 by working together with clients and partners. We continue to invest in our people and strategic acquisitions, enabled by our company’s healthy financial position.”