Operating income grew to €637.2m (£580m) from €614.8m. Recurring earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation (EBITA) grew from €25.9m to €26.9m. The EBITA recurring value includes €5.1m profit-sharing for employees. The total workforce – at the mid-year headcount – remained virtually unchanged at 5,844, compared to 5,864 the previous year.
CEO, Erik Oostwegel said: “2019 was a reasonably good year for us. We operate in a dynamic world in which climate change and digital transformation dominate the agenda. The expansion and integration of digital and data capabilities into our core engineering and consultancy expertise is increasingly putting us in a unique position to assist governments, societies and businesses looking for guidance and solutions to navigate through a complex and volatile world.”
CFO Jasper de Wit added: “We are satisfied with our overall financial performance in 2019 which was achieved while transforming our organisation. Our business continues to grow organically and through acquisitions, the order portfolio is increasing, and our financial position is healthy. Our operational result (EBITA recurring) improved compared to 2018 and our focus on project management yielded significantly higher project results.
All business lines contributed to the positive results, with one exception. The business in Southern Africa declined and is being restructured, which negatively impacted the net result by €11m.
Oostwegel added: “Halfway through our strategic programme, we maintain our focus on strengthening existing services, digital engineering and adding new innovative services and products to deliver high-quality expertise to our markets, helping to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
Royal HaskoningDHV is seeking to deliver its clients smarter solutions in a shorter timescale by transforming its operations through the introduction of additional digital tools and ways of working. The focus is on standardising information management, automating repetitive tasks and the use of digital tooling such as parametric design, augmented and virtual reality.
An example is the design of the new Feyenoord football stadium in the Netherlands. By adopting a parametric way of working, Royal HaskoningDHV said that it was able to manage the complexity, meet stakeholder requirements, offer a fantastic sightline from every seat and explore multiple iterations quickly. Developing innovations to accelerate digital tools and applying these to provide better advice and value remains a priority for all, it said. Currently there are over 100 initiatives in the company’s ‘innovation funnel’, of which roughly 40% are digital tools and innovations in digital ways of working.
Looking ahead, Oostwegel said: “Our markets are changing because of climate change, the energy transition, and the acceleration and impact of digital and data. With our focus on sustainability and resilience and the integration of digital and data analytics in our offerings, we are in a good position to increase positive impact on the economy, the environment and communities around the world.”
He also spoke of the COVID-19 virus outbreak: “Operating globally, we closely monitor the developments around the coronavirus. To safeguard the health of our employees and clients, we follow the advice from the World Health Organisation and country specific health organisations. We’ve also considerably limited travel, meet online now and work from home where necessary and possible. To date, the virus outbreak has limited impact on our business. We do however expect more impact as some of our clients face increasing difficulties in their supply chain or other limitations in their operations.”