Modest growth for DHV Group in 2009
appointment of Cees Veerman to Supervisory Board
- Net turnover: 481 million euros
- EBITA: 14.1 million euros
- Prospects 2010: growth in Asia, consolidation in Europe and leadership in sustainability
The DHV Group, global provider of consultancy and engineering services, continued to grow in 2009 despite the recession. Net turnover increased slightly by 3% to 481 million euros. This included the acquisition of consultancy and project management firm NPC, formerly the rail and station development arm of the Dutch National Railway, and the North American aviation consulting firm Innova.
DHV’s strong position in the public sector had a positive effect and accounted for 70% of the turnover. Workload in the private sector decreased considerably. Flexibility and entrepreneurship by all the business sectors was instrumental in ensuring that DHV fared well through 2009.
Internationally, DHV is active in countries with relatively high economic growth. The results in Asia have improved considerably; Africa and North America performed on target. Europe lagged behind, particularly in Portugal. The reorganization there, with a new management team and sharper company profile, has led to the award of several attractive projects.
The economic crisis caused a drop in turnover in the Building & Industry and Aviation sectors. Strong growth in Africa and North America, and the recent acquisitions resulted in a modest growth of net turnover by 3% – versus the objective of 10%.
85% of the turnover – versus the objective of 90% – was realized by operations in the nine home countries. The Dutch contribution to the total turnover was slightly more than half.
The operating margin was 4.1% – versus the objective of 7%. The highest margins were realized in Africa and North America; the Asian region showed substantial margin improvement. Profitability was negatively influenced by a combination of overcapacity in parts of the organization and price pressure on projects. DHV was able to partially absorb this impact through a limited reduction and internal re-assignment of staff. Provisions were taken for restructuring and a new management information system.
The strategy of Local delivery of world-class solutions is bearing fruit. Significant projects were once again won by combining market and customer focus with high level expertise. In the Netherlands this was in the fields of transportation, asset management, water, environment and sustainability. Work for major clients such as the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, ProRail and NS (Dutch Railways) increased greatly. In Poland projects included infrastructure related to the European Football Championships and the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. Prominent projects in Portugal include the environmental impact assessment for the new Lisbon airport and river basin projects for the Tagus and Douro rivers. China showed an increase in water treatment projects. Indonesia has distinguished itself with projects for sanitation and flood protection. In India public-private projects were developed for infrastructure in a number of cities.
In South Africa the FIFA World Cup generated large scale projects in railway and road infrastructure, as well as environmental studies. Turnkey projects for schools also increased.
In Canada and the USA, large infrastructural programs were acquired, among others for New York. Traffic management systems were implemented in several cities. Sustainable building gained momentum, such as for the Richmond Olympic Oval near Vancouver.
DHV continues to distinguish itself with innovative and sustainable solutions. Nereda® is an extremely innovative technology for the sustainable treatment of wastewater. A demo installation in South Africa is operating successfully, and in The Netherlands the first phase contract was signed for the first full-scale application of Nereda for municipal wastewater treatment.
One new patent was filed in 2009 for a process to harvest green power and fertilizer from wastewater and twelve existing patents were granted in new countries.
In 2009 training programs were conducted throughout the entire company. Social initiatives were implemented and supported, such as weekend schools for underprivileged children in South Africa. In the Corporate Social Responsibility Transparency Benchmark of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, DHV earned the highest score of all service providers.
DHV signed the Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change and the appeal to Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende to take rapid measures for the Netherlands to achieve its 2020 climate targets.
In 2009 additional steps were taken for the company’s own CO2 reduction with the objective to emit 25% less per employee in 2015 compared with 2008. In the Netherlands the CO2 emissions will be compensated as of 2009.
Prospects 2010: opportunities due to climate change and population growth
Consultancy and engineering companies play an important role in realizing the change necessary to protect the climate. Effective use of raw materials and infrastructure is of crucial importance.
DHV strives to continuously improve its leadership position in sustainability and innovation. This is the context in which the decision was made to conduct business all over the world in a climate-neutral way starting in 2010.
DHV focuses with confidence on organic growth for 2010. Most Western economies will however be characterized by budget restrictions in the public sector, and the building and real estate markets will remain under pressure. In Africa, DHV expects a continued demand for energy, water, transportation and mining. Prospects are particularly good in Asia regarding water, transportation and specifically airports.
Appointment of Cees Veerman to Supervisory Board
DHV appointed Professor Dr. C.P. Veerman as a member of the Supervisory Board as of 22 March 2010.
Mr. Veerman is a professor of sustainable rural development from a European perspective at the Universities of Tilburg and Wageningen in the Netherlands. Among other accomplishments, he was Chairman of the Delta Commission in 2008 for the long-term protection of the Dutch coast and hinterland. Prior to this he served as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality for close to five years.
The DHV Group is a global provider of consulting and engineering services in the areas of transportation (including airports); water; building & industry; spatial planning & environment. We meet our clients’ needs by operating on the principle of Local delivery of world-class solutions: the Group’s leading expertise is made available to clients through an integrated network of offices in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Our network of businesses and alliances is driven by our shared mission, values, and projects, all directed at creating innovative concepts and solutions for the sustainable development of our living environment. The DHV Group has a staff of 5,500 and its turnover in 2009 was € 481 million.