PresseBox
Pressemitteilung BoxID: 239389 (Imtech Contracting GmbH)
  • Imtech Contracting GmbH
  • Bischofstraße 3
  • 49497 Mettingen
  • http://www.imtech.de
  • Ansprechpartner
  • Mark Salomons
  • +31 (182) 543514

2008 an excellent year for Imtech: EBITA + 26%, order book + 18%, further growth expected in 2009

(PresseBox) (Hamburg, ) .
- Order book at end of 2008 up by 18% to 4,514 million euro, a good starting position for 2009
- 2008 was an excellent year for Imtech with strong growth
- No change to the long-term targets: revenue of 5 billion euro in 2012, while maintaining an operational EBITA margin of 6%
- Outlook for 2009: a further increase of EBITA through organic growth and acquisitions

CEO René van der Bruggen: 'Further growth in 2009'

'2008 was an excellent year for Imtech', according to René van der Bruggen, CEO of technical services provider Imtech. 'The order book grew by a substantial 18% to over 4.5 billion euro, and was of an even higher quality (profit potential). This gives us a good starting point for 2009. Earnings per share before amortisation rose by 27%. The EBITA rose by 26% of which 14% was organic. Revenue rose by 15% to over 3.8 billion euro, of which 8% was organic. The overall operational EBITA margin rose once again from 4.5% in 2006 via 5.1% in 2007 to 5.5% in 2008.'

'Its unique portfolio of technical total solutions through the combination of electrical engineering, ICT (information and communication technology) and mechanical engineering enabled Imtech to carry on very well, despite the credit crisis that began in 2008. All the Imtech clusters achieved growth. Imtech performed especially well in the Germany & Eastern Europe cluster with a high organic EBITA growth of 36% and a robust rise of the EBITA margin to 5.7%. Imtech also did very well in the growth market of energy & environment (energy, water, the environment and fine particles): the activities increased by 28% and around 25% (960 million euro) of the 2008 revenue was generated in this market segment.'

'In 2008 Imtech was strengthened considerably through 11 acquisitions which, in total, account for annual revenue of around 550 million euro and which have contributed towards earnings per share. With the acquisition of NVS Imtech has become one of the strongest technical services providers in Scandinavia. And with its ICT activities Imtech is now one of the stronger players in the European ICT market.'

'Despite the rapidly spreading economical crisis that could affect the (financial) position of customers and the progress of projects, Imtech has no doubts about its own strength and looks forward to the future with confidence. Not only because of the size and quality of its order book but also because of its strong European and, to a degree, global market positions, its broad range of services and its diversified customer base of over 19,500 customers. Around 55% of Imtech's business is recurring. Imtech also holds thousands of maintenance contracts in many market segments, which provide a firm foundation for multi-year continuity. And Imtech has a flexible project organisation that can respond to both an economic headwind as well as an economic tailwind. As a result of opportunities and threats, Imtech is well balanced. That is why Imtech is not amending its targets of achieving revenue of 5 billion euro in 2012 while maintaining an operational EBITA margin of 6%. Our current view is that we expect Imtech to achieve a further EBITA increase in 2009 through both organic growth and acquisitions.'

2008 an excellent year for Imtech

At 4,514 million euro the order book as at 31 December 2008 was 699 million euro higher than at the end of 2007 (3,815 million euro) - an increase of 18%. The quality was also better. The operating profit before amortisation and impairment of intangible assets (EBITA) was 26% higher at 197.2 million euro (2007: 156.5 million euro) of which 14% was organic. Revenue increased by 15% to 3,859 million euro (2007: 3,346 million euro), of which 8% was organic. Net profit rose by 23% to 113.3 million euro (2007: 91.9 million euro). Earnings per share before amortisation and impairment of intangible assets rose by 0.35 euro to 1.64 euro (+ 27%), based on the average number of issued shares during the year under review. The overall operational EBITA margin rose to 5.5% (2007: 5.1%).

Dividend 2008

A dividend of 0.59 euro per share (2007: 0.47 euro) in either cash or shares at shareholders choice will be proposed to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, an increase of 26%. This proposal amounts to a dividend pay-out of 40% of the net profit, which is in line with the dividend policy. The dividend yield based on the 2008 closing price was 4.9% (2007: 2.8%).

Considerable strengthening through good acquisitions

One of the cornerstones of Imtech's further growth is its active acquisition policy. In 2008 considerable progress was achieved with the following acquisitions:

- NVS, one of the largest and fast growing technical services providers in Sweden, Norway and Finland with a total of 2,300 employees and annual revenue of around 350 million euro;
- six ICT companies in Austria (ILS), Belgium (Fit IT, Ebit and Thinking Solutions), Germany (STAS and NEO), Switzerland (IT&T) and the UK (REAL Solutions) with a total of nearly 500 employees and annual revenue of around 146 million euro;
- three marine companies (Pertec in South Africa, Van Berge Henegouwen in the Netherlands and Seatronik in Panama) with in total nearly 120 employees and annual revenue of over 24 million euro;
- Huguet, a Spanish electrical engineering specialist with a total of 220 employees and annual revenue of 30 million euro.

The total annual revenue of these acquisitions amounts to around 550 million euro with around 3,140 new employees. The acquired companies contribute towards earnings per share. With the acquisition of NVS, Imtech has instantly become one of the strongest technical services providers in Scandinavia. With its ICT activities Imtech is now one of the stronger players in the ICT markets in the Benelux, the DACH countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and the UK. The annual EBITA of the acquisitions is around 43.5 million euro, of which 12.8 million euro was accounted for in 2008. The total purchase price, including maximum earn-out and excluding cash and cash equivalents, was 307.4 million euro.

Imtech is one of the strongest multidisciplinary technical services providers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Its strong market positions, extensive portfolio of services and broad coverage of many different market segments were the basis for Imtech's solid organic growth, although the EBITA margin leaves room for further improvement. Imtech's influence in markets such as energy, data centres, care & cure and government buildings grew, as did the number of long-term maintenance contracts in buildings and industry. Imtech was also involved in more and more large projects and, in addition, export from the Benelux also increased, for example in markets such as dairy, oil & gas, environmentally-friendly public lighting and energy. The at least 30% more efficient 'Innolumis' LED lighting achieved a definitive breakthrough. Major orders included Europe's largest biodiesel plant - the Greenmills plant in Amsterdam, Europe's largest bio-ethanol plant for Südzucker near Liege, a framework contract with the Romanian oil industry for metering and quality analysis of extracted oil, orders worth tens of millions of euro for the Belgian pharmaceutical industry and the order for the technology in the largest government building in the Netherlands (the ministries of Justice and the Interior).

Imtech excelled in Germany and Eastern Europe (especially in Poland, Romania and Russia) and was able to profit from the significant increase in energy investments. Thanks to innovative technology Imtech is working more and more at primary processes of its customers. This has led to a sharp rise of the EBITA margin to 5.7% and a considerable growth of the EBITA (36%). As well as achieving growth in the energy market Imtech also performed very well, not only in the airports, stadiums and care & cure market segments but also in the primary processes of banks, insurance companies and energy companies (the 'necessary' upgrading of data centres as the core for financial transactions) and in the automotive industry (equipping high-tech research and simulation centres for the development of new environmentally-friendly cars). The positions in Poland, Romania and Russia were strengthened organically. Major orders included long-term energy management (over 400 million euro) for the German Federal Intelligence Service, Caterpillar and Infineon, a new energy plant for RWE in Hamm, the technical infrastructure for the expansion and upgrading of the existing Berlin-Schönefeld airport into the Berlin Brandenburg International airport, high-tech wind tunnels for testing new models of cars for BMW and Daimler, the expansion and upgrading of data centres for energy company EnBW, insurance company Allianz and IBM Deutschland, and the technology in the 190 metre high 'Zlota 44' tower in Warsaw.

Despite signs of a decline in the property markets in the UK and Ireland, in 2008 growth was achieved across a broad front thanks primarily to the focus on strengthening Imtech's position in the water (treatment), energy and environment markets. Imtech achieved a break-through in the Irish wind energy market and made good progress in the education and (bio) pharmaceuticals sectors. In part due to the 2007 acquisitions, Imtech's size and reputation increased and this enabled Imtech to respond more flexible to changing market conditions. Various orders were received for the technological upgrading of department stores and hotels in anticipation of the forthcoming 2012 London Olympic Games.

In Spain Imtech's industrial activities excelled with major multi-year orders and maintenance contracts especially in (petro)chemicals. In the buildings sector the broad portfolio, including the robustly growing maintenance activities, proved able to withstand declining property investments. In 2008 Imtech also built up its electrical engineering competence in Spain, both organically and through an acquisition. The cross selling between mechanical and electrical engineering, will have a positive effect in the future.

Major orders included two high tech biogas plants for Anglian Water Services, bio-heating for Cambridge University, orders in the UK education sector worth a total of 75 million euro, the large (150,000 m²) Westfield I shopping centre in London, and in Spain the expansion and upgrading of the Repsol refinery in Cartagena (70 million euro) and the Cepsa refinery in Huelva (55 million euro). The multi-year contract for the industrial mechanical maintenance at Cepsa's refineries in San Roque, Tenerife and Huelva was extended to 2011.

Nordic: a new 'home' market and a foundation for further growth

With the acquisition of NVS in November 2008 Imtech's strategic goal of achieving a strong position in Scandinavia has been substantiated. NVS with annual revenue of around 350 million euro is one of the largest players in the technical services provision market in Sweden, Norway and Finland. In 2008 the acquired company performed extremely well and achieved a high EBITA margin of 7.9%. This acquisition has laid the foundations for achieving further growth in Scandinavia both organically and through supplementary acquisitions.

During 2008 NVS carried out several thousands of, mainly, small(er) projects evenly distributed across service, maintenance, management, renovation and new construction, which safeguards stability and continuity. Good progress was achieved with energy-saving, alternative energy and the equipping of decentralised energy provisions. By the end of 2008 the number of service and maintenance contracts had risen to over 630, which accounted for over 30% of the revenue. Thanks to its broad scope NVS could respond flexible in the different markets, for example in the care & cure, energy and industry markets. Major projects included the technology in the Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg and the 'Centralsjukhuset' hospital in Karlstad, the technological renovation of the 'Liljeholmsgallerian' shopping centre in Stockholm and the high-tech improvement of processes at Kubal Aluminium in Sundsvall.

ICT

Imtech's total solutions are being dominated more and more by 'umbrella' ICT applications. Expanding Imtech's European position in combination with strengthening its position as an IBM and Microsoft business partner is therefore a top priority. In 2008 Imtech made great progress through six acquisitions in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the UK and Belgium. In 2008 progress was achieved in virtually every European country, for example in customised software, consultancy, business intelligence, managed IT services, ICT infrastructure, high-tech communications solutions and specific software and hardware for the cement industry, the logistics market, postal services and governmental financial reporting. The German Imtech company Fritz & Macziol won a prestigious IBM Beacon Award. Innovative IT projects were carried out for the Deutsche Bahn, airline companies Transavia and Austrian Airlines, the Austrian Post Office and oil and gas producer Aramco. Overall growth was achieved both organically and through acquisitions.

Traffic

Various European governments invested heavily in improving the technical traffic infrastructure. This must not only result in improved throughput on the road network and reduced traffic jams, but must also improve traffic safety and reduce fine particle emissions. The demand for Imtech's high-tech mobility solutions rose, which led to further growth both organically and through the acquisition in 2007 of mobility specialist Peek. The nearly 100 maintenance contracts for the maintenance and upgrading of the traffic infrastructure and traffic (management) systems in the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and Croatia progressed smoothly. There was considerable interest in the combination of intelligent network management and the measuring of CO2 emissions. For the Highways Agency in the UK Imtech improved the variable speed control on a number of motorways including the M20, M25 and M42. In the Netherlands Imtech was active along the A2, A7 and A12 motorways with technology for traffic management, signalling, access dosing and various safety systems. The international parking activities also performed well.

Marine

The marine market was 'booming'. Imtech is an international player of substance with a high level of ambition. Imtech developed very well in many marine segments and achieved further growth, for example in environmentally-friendly (diesel) electric propulsion, technology on-board of luxury yachts and cruise liners, naval fleet expansion programmes (the UK, Morocco, Australia, Turkey) and the technology and automation on board of vessels used for the exploration for and extract of oil and gas in deep water. Thanks to various acquisitions the portfolio was broadened and the number of international service points was increased to 70. The number of larger maintenance contracts for fleet management rose to 1,750 ships. Major orders included the environmentally-friendly technology (including diesel-electric propulsion) and automation onboard the crane ships 'Borealis' and 'HLV 5000', the offshore construction vessel 'Jascon 35' and on-board a high-tech (draught tube) rock dumping vessel for the oil and gas market.

A strong link with governmental spending

Imtech is well positioned in government financial markets such as mobility, infrastructure, rail, environment, water, care & cure and education. Around 30% of the 2008 revenue was generated via government initiated or supported projects. In economically less favourable times there is an expectation that governments will follow an anti-cyclic investment policy. Technology is one of the mainsprings.

Progress in energy & environment

Imtech occupies a prominent position in the fast growing energy & environment market and achieved robust growth, for example with the sustainable exploitation of energy sources and the generation of sustainable and environmentally-friendly energy, the reduction of (environmental) pollution and the provision of clean drinking and waste water. In 2008 these activities increased by 28% and generated revenue of around 960 million euro (2007: 750 million euro) or 25% of the total revenue. Examples include the 'green' revitalisation of buildings whereby the total technical infrastructure is replaced by energy-efficient and sustainable solutions, innovative ground ventilation that enables the heat from deep subterranean layers to be used as energy in buildings, the reduction of surface water pollution through the total automation of sewage system management and a total approach to water chain management.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Imtech made good progress in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), for example with a green vehicle fleet and premises, the benchmarking of suppliers based on green indicators, ISO 14001 certification, the development of a concept for sustainable inner-city areas (Green Office 2015®) and the transfer of knowledge to South Africa in the context of corporate citizenship. Imtech has developed into a socially relevant company and does far more than just fulfilling its legal obligations. Imtech is also involved in numerous current social issues in care & cure, education, the field of security, research laboratories and test centres, pharmaceutical, the development of clean and safe cars and the food production/processing market.

Finance income and expenses

Net finance expenses rose by 8.4 million euro to 29.3 million euro. This increase was caused primarily by the net interest charges, which rose from 17.7 million euro to 23.9 million euro due to the higher net debt position as a result of acquisitions.

Taxes

Taxes amounted to 41.2 million euro, 7.9 million euro more than in 2007. The effective tax rate was 26.6% (2007: 26.4%).

Financial position

The balance sheet total rose by 582 million euro to 2,473 million euro as at the end of 2008 (2007: 1,891 million euro). This increase was generated mainly by the acquisitions effected during 2008 and as a result of the organic growth of working capital.

Financing the growth

To finance its 2012 strategic growth plans, in July 2007 Imtech arranged a credit facility of 300 million euro. To finance recent acquisitions an additional credit facility totalling 265 million euro was arranged in November 2008. On 31 December 2008 Imtech had over 102 million euro (2007: 124 million euro) in cash and cash equivalents at its disposal and the net debt position was 456 million euro (2007: 92 million euro). Interest coverage amounted to 6.3 (2007: 7.0). The average net debt/EBITDA ratio was 1.6 (2007: 0.8). The balance sheet is solid. Imtech has sufficient financial room to carry out its strategy.

Cash flow and investments

Net cash flow from operating activities fell by 100.2 million euro to 47.6 million euro. The increase of EBIT (an increase of 36.5 million euro) was offset by an increase in working capital of 110.2 million euro. Net cash flow from investing activities was 336.6 million euro negative (2007: 133.6 million euro negative) mainly due to the acquisitions.

Investments in property, plant and equipment amounted to 39.2 million euro (2007: 28.9 million euro). Depreciation amounted to 29.3 million euro (2007: 24.0 million euro).

Human Resources

Imtech wants to be one of the best employers in the technical services provision market. Employee recruitment and retention is the most important basis for further growth and development and considerable attention was paid to this issue. In the Netherlands, for example, a start was made on a striking recruitment campaign 'thedutchguy.nl' that includes television, radio, 'webvertising' and a special campaign site. The growth and (personal) development of its management and employees was a priority. Imtech's HR principles were firmed up still further and functioned as a basis for many training courses. In 2008 considerable attention was paid to the creation of a corporate 'Imtech family', the top management structure, management development, the inflow of future top management, making project management more professional and representative consultation. The number of employees rose by 23.5% to 22,510 (2007: 18,231 employees) as a result of organic growth and, primarily, acquisitions. In 2008 two company pension funds in the Netherlands were combined and a portion of the pensions was transferred to an external insurance company. This has reduced Imtech's total pension obligations and, therefore, the related risks. Another consequence of this transfer is that the remaining company pension fund, with a gross value of around 150 million euro, now has a better mix of 'active' and 'inactive' pension entitled employees, which means a more balanced fund structure can be achieved.

The credit crisis: Imtech is well balanced

During the second half of 2008 the global economic playing field changed dramatically. By the end of 2008 the consequences of the international credit crisis had spread across a broad front and in time could also affect Imtech. Nevertheless, Imtech faces the future with confidence. Imtech started 2009 with an extensive and high quality order book of over 4.5 billion euro. Imtech is well positioned in the growth market of energy & environment and in government financed markets. Around 55% of Imtech's activities is recurring business. Imtech has thousands of maintenance contracts in many different market segments that provide a good basis for multi-year continuity. Imtech has a flexible project organisation that can respond well to both an economic headwind and an economic tailwind. Against this, a worsening of its customers' financial positions could, in time, also have an adverse effect on Imtech, for example if projects were delayed. Competition could become fiercer at the 'low end' of the activities. The potential shortage of skilled employees will also remain an issue. Imtech believes it is resilient enough to turn these threats around and is convinced of its own abilities. The conclusion: as a result of the opportunities and threats, Imtech is well balanced. The focus remains on growth. At the same time Imtech is keeping its finger on the pulse through the active monitoring of its cash position, working capital, indirect costs and the development of its order book. A sharp eye is also being kept on the (financial) position of customers, subcontractors and suppliers and procurement contracts are being renegotiated. Strengthened by its successful strategy and track record of robust growth in recent years, Imtech has faith in its own strength.

No changes to the 2012 strategic plan

In 2008 Imtech's European position was strengthened substantailly both organically and through acquisitions. Imtech is on track to achieve its 2012 strategic plan. This is not only thanks to the size and quality of its order book, but also to its strong European and, to an extent, global market positions, its broad portfolio of services and its diversified customer base of over 19,500 customers. Imtech's objective of achieving a revenue level of 5 billion euro in 2012 while maintaining an operational EBITA margin of 6% remains unchanged.

Outlook for 2009

According to its current views, in 2009 the Board of Management expects a further EBITA increase through organic growth and acquisitions.

Imtech Contracting GmbH

Imtech N.V. is a European technical services provider in the fields of electrical engineering, ICT and mechanical engineering. With over 22,500 employees, Imtech achieves annual revenue of around 3.8 billion euro. Imtech holds strong positions in the buildings, industry and infrastructure/mobility markets in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Eastern Europe, the UK, Ireland and Spain and in the global marine market. In total Imtech serves 19,500 customers. Imtech offers added value in the form of integrated and multidisciplinary total solutions that lead to better business processes and more efficiency for customers and the customers they, in their turn, serve. Imtech also offers solutions that contribute towards a sustainable society, for example in the areas of energy, the environment, water and mobility. Imtech shares are listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange Amsterdam, where Imtech is included in the Midkap Index. Imtech shares are also included in the Dow Jones STOXX 600 index.