Coire Glas project site, Invergarry, Scotland


COWI increases order book by DKK 1 billion


In the past year, COWI has won many new projects, which has increased the order book by DKK 1 billion and strengthened the top line as well as the bottom line.

As an expert in green solutions and infrastructure, COWI has experienced high demand for its services during the first six month of 2021. The operating profit was DKK 185 million, which is DKK 53 million (or 40 per cent) more than the same period last year. The turnover has increased to DKK 3.335 million (+ DKK 28 million) even though COWI sold its mapping business in the previous period and closed or reduced its activities in markets outside Scandinavia, Great Britain and North America. The focus on core markets and project execution has brought good results, and the order book is now nearly DKK 5 billion, which is an additional billion compared to one year ago.

”These results are due to our structured work when it comes to improving customer experience. Thus, there is a clear connection between customer satisfaction, project completion and profitability, and our customer satisfaction (Net Promotor Score) has increased from 38 to 48 in the past year. In addition, we have had success in our markets because everyone is trying to adapt to a green future. Green energy and infrastructure, especially, are COWI's core competences that have given us an extremely strong market position within the first six months of this year," says Lars-Peter Søbye, Group CEO in COWI.

The international business brings the growth

In particular, the growth is related to COWI's businesses in Great Britain and Norway where investments in green infrastructure are strong.

”In Great Britain, we have won a sequence of gigantic infrastructure projects together with our partners, for example, the High Speed 2 railway project with a total construction cost of DKK 850 billion. In Norway, we are involved in a sequence of significant infrastructure projects. With the new ambitious infrastructure plan of DKK 160 billion presented by the Danish government, we will be seeing similar projects in Denmark as well," explains Lars-Peter Søbye and adds:

"Therefore, our challenge is not related to winning new projects, but to attract and maintain qualified employees for the many exciting projects that we are winning. In order to attract the necessary labour, it is a prerequisite that we, as an industry, are capable of succeeding with the green transition."

The Green transition is indeed digital

If COWI and the industry are going to handle the many future projects, digitalisation will play an important role. COWI therefore has a continuously high volume of investments in technology and digitalisation.

”In order make informed decisions and make good green investments, our customers are asking for tools that can measure project sustainability from initiation until completion. That is why we have developed several digital tools which, for example, can help measuring the CO₂ mark of a project, the project life cycle impact on the environment, or the impact of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This provides some very different insights, both in relation to supporting the green transition and ensuring that our construction is based on quality and durability, and thus ensuring an attractive profitability of the project lifespan," says Lars-Peter Søbye.

Partnerships are an important part of the solution

In order to better handle more complex projects, COWI has invested more in partnerships across value chains, which are typically startup companies associated with Urbantech.

”As traditional engineers, we can solve most of the global climate and urban challenges. However, we cannot solve them in time. Therefore, we must look outside the industry and connect with other companies that think differently, digitally and fast," explains Lars-Peter Søbye.

As an example, COWI has developed a digital dashboard together with the InfoTiles company that measures real-time car traffic and the traffic pattern within a specific area. For example, which areas are exposed to queues? Which parking spaces are used most often? Which areas are exposed to short car trips that could potentially be replaced by bike rides? Municipalities such as Gladsaxe, Aarhus and Slagelse have made use of this knowledge in their attempt to strengthen green mobility and move their citizens from cars to bikes.

Major wins in H1:

  • In Denmark, COWI has won two significant framework agreements within the utility sector. In the coming four years, COWI will help HOFOR and Novafos with among others water and wastewater handling as well as district heating. The combined fee for the two contracts amounts to DKK approx. DKK 300 million.

  • In Norway, COWI and Citec have won the tender to develop a carbon capture concept for Borg CO₂ and their industries in Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg and Halden. The ambition is to investigate how Borg habour can become industry leader within carbon capture in Norway. COWI's fee is NOK 1.7 million.

  • In the UK, COWI has won a contract for Coire Glas project in Invergarry, Scotland. Coire Glas is a proposed pumped hydro storage scheme with a potential capacity of up to 1500MW. COWI will make a ground investigation for full scheme including 1000m long exploratory audit as well as outline design of jetty. COWI's fee is not public but the total project cost is GBP +1 billion.

  • In Sweden, COWI has won the project work for the reconstruction of highway E22 in the Söderköping area and the project work of a new viaduct over the Göta kanal. COWI’s fee is approx. SEK 50 million.

  • Arkitema, together with Ratio, won the tender competition for architectural design for the detailed design of the projects for Nordmøre og Romsdal Hospital (SNR) in Norway. The building process have begun and is expected to be ready for use in 2025. The new hospital will be 55,000 m2 and Arkitema’s fee is NOK 45 million.


Key figures for COWI, excl. Oman arbitration costs:

H1 2021

H1 2020




Operating profit before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA)



EBITDA margin



Operating profit before amortisation (EBITA)



EBITA margin



Operating profit before interest and tax (EBIT)



Operating margin (EBIT margin)



Operating cash flow*



*Excl. public support initiatives


Key figures for COWI, incl. Oman arbitration costs:

H1 2021

H1 2020

Net turnover



Operating profit before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA)



EBITDA margin



Operating profit before amortisation (EBITA)



EBITA margin



Operating profit before interest and tax (EBIT)



Operating margin (EBIT margin)



Profit before tax



Profit for the period



Total assets






Equity ratio



Operating cash flow*



Number of employees at 30 June



*The operating cash flow was negatively affected by DKK 147 million due to the reversal of the temporary public support initiatives in Denmark (personal income tax related) in H1 2021.

Get in contact

Josefine Koch Jürgensen
Press and Communications Advisor
Communication, Denmark

Tel: +45 56403708