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COWI continues growth and strengthens the business in 2012

Photo: COWI
The new light rail in Odense was one of COWI's major projects won in 2012. The image here shows the light rail in Strasbourg where narrow streets pose a challenge as is the case in Odense.
COWI’s business developed positively with continued growth and greater earnings in all key markets. At the same time, the effect of COWI’s PowerHouse 2015 strategy is now reflected in higher productivity, increased order volumes and lower costs. The total financial results for the year are affected by provisions for a single major project which expired in 2012. COWI expects growth and greater earnings in 2013.

In 2012, COWI achieved growth in all regions and in the major business line, and increased turnover by 9 percent to DKK 5,118 million and own production by 8 percent to DKK 4,193 million. Thus continuing recent years’ positive development of its core business.

”We are now seeing the effect of our PowerHouse 2015 strategy, which aims to strengthen our business units, our turnover and competitiveness. In 2012, COWI saw increasing productivity, lower costs and today we also have the highest order volumes in years,” says Lars-Peter Søbye, President and CEO.

Despite positive developments in turnover and earnings in our core business, the financial results for the year were negatively affected by a one-off provision relating to construction of two international airports in Oman. COWI had a substantial outstanding balance when the contract expired on 31 December 2012. In 2013, COWI will take the necessary steps to retrieve the amount due. Furthermore there have been specific restructuring costs etc. in 2012. Operating profit has fallen from DKK 77 million in 2011 to DKK -199 million in 2012. Operating profit before specific provisions and restructuring amounted to DKK 133 million in 2012.

All in all, COWI saw a drop in net results for the year of DKK 208 million, from DKK 34 million in 2011 to DKK -174 million in 2012.

Continued investments in growth

Throughout 2012, COWI focused on enhancing the competencies and competitiveness of its business, resulting in acquisition of one of USA’s leading corporations within construction of tunnels and underground structures,  Jenny Engineering Corporation and two Norwegian specialist companies, Stormorken & Hamre and A-tek.

At the same time, COWI strengthened its competitiveness by investing in new project management systems, systematic training of project managers and centres of excellence in India and Lithuania.

”In 2012, we strengthened our position as one of the leading companies in our field, particularly within tunnels, bridges, water, infrastructure, transportation and energy which are all significant areas of growth at this point in time. In addition, we can deliver world class competencies at a competitive price anywhere in the world. This will ensure our continued growth”, says Lars-Peter Søbye.

And it was indeed within these business areas that COWI landed some of its major projects in 2012, including the new light rail in Odense, the centre span of the Tappan Zee bridges in New York and the expansion of Mälar Energi in Västerås.

“COWI’s business is strong in terms of future growth. The business is growing in all our core markets and, in 2012, we broke the downward trend on markets that were particularly affected by the financial crisis”, explains Lars-Peter Søbye.

Positive expectations

Although COWI expects the financial crisis to continue to affect its main markets in 2013, the company expects a decent growth in turnover and a significant rise in earnings over the coming years.

With the current global development, COWI is facing solid opportunities for future growth. Globalisation will increase the demand for COWI’s competencies and the positive financial development in COWI’s key markets in North America, Norway and Sweden is expected to continue.

”I am optimistic and expect COWI to reach the growth and earnings targets of our PowerHouse strategy by the end of 2015,” concludes Lars-Peter Søbye.

2012 Key Figures

  • Net turnover increased to DKK 5,118 million (+ 9 percent)

  • The Group’s own production increased by DKK 300 million (+ 8 percent)

  • Operating profit fell from DKK 77 million to DKK -199 million (-358,4 percent)

  • Operating profit before specific provisions and restructuring amounted to DKK 133 million in 2012.

  • Operating profit before amortisation, depreciation and impairment losses (EBITDA) was down by DKK 215 million, ending at an EBITDA of DKK -58 million (-127 percent) 

  • Profit before tax fell from DKK 74 million to DKK -201 million (-372 percent)

  • Operating margin was -4 percent, down from 2 percent in 2011

  • Cash flow from operating activities decreased to DKK 110 million, a DKK 187 million drop compared to 2011.

COWI had 6,089 employees at the end of 2012 compared to 6.166 at the end 2011.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016