Royal Boskalis Westminster (AMS:BOKA) has reported a “strong first half year” in its latest results, ahead of a key shareholder meeting held next week to examine a takeover bid launched by HAL Holding.
Posting half-year pre-tax profits of €134 million (£113m) the Dutch marine contractor said utilisation of its larger vessels had been high, while earnings also rose sharply mainly thanks to a €50m book profit from the sale of its Keppel Smit Towage business.
Group revenue increased by 22% on last year to €1.61 billion (£1.36bn), of which its dredging & inland infrastructure and offshore energy units accounted for 60% and 38% respectively, with the balance derived from salvage.
EBITDA also rose on last year to €292 million (£246m).
Chief executive Peter Berdowski said: “Over the past six months we have managed to achieve a substantial increase in revenue and earnings – an excellent achievement given the restrictive COVID measures that were still having a major impact on our projects until recently and the inflationary pressures we are experiencing worldwide.”
The results follow a recent all-cash public offer for the group by HAL, the culmination of a takeover bid first mooted in March.
The deal would see HAL take all Boskalis shares at an offer price of €32.50 per share, adjusted to €32.00 to take into account a €0.50 cash dividend paid by Boskalis in May 2022.
Boskalis, which has a North Sea base just outside Aberdeen, will hold an extraordinary general meeting with shareholders on 24 August to discuss the offer, with a resolution expected at the end of the acceptance period in early September.
Looking at its offshore energy segment results, Boskalis noted that a “sharp decline” in contracting activities, particularly linked to a decline in the volume of subsea cables work, was more than offset by a good half-year for its services division.
It said subsea services has shown “further improvements” now that Rever Offshore is fully integrated, following its acquisition by the group last year. Its diving support vessels were well utilized on projects in the North Sea, the Middle East and West Africa, Boskalis said, while it also took one of the largest installation vessels in the industry – its new Bokalift 2 DP2 vessel – into service
Mr Berdowski noted that the vessel was commissioned with a visibility of “almost three years of work” in offshore wind already in hand, and that the offshore energy division order book is now “over 60%” comprised of offshore wind projects.
Boskalis is also set to undertake transport of the delayed Penguins FPSO for Shell later this year, as part of a contract first awarded in 2019.
Originally eyed for March 2021, it is understood that the FPSO is now expected to leave China for the North Sea oil and gas field, located north-east of Shetland, some time in the third quarter of this year.