In 2016, COWI has delivered considerable growth in turnover, operating profit and cash flow. Large projects in the order book, further strengthening of presence in core markets as well as the prospect of continued infrastructure investments in Scandinavia and in export markets foster positive expectations for the next year.
COWI's new growth strategy, One Step Ahead, which was launched at the beginning of 2016, has yielded results on both the top line and the bottom line:
In 2016, the company generated a turnover of DKK 5,939 million, which represents an increase of six per cent compared to 2015. In addition, COWI delivered an operating profit of DKK 231 million, which is also a considerable improvement compared to 2015, namely an increase of 27 per cent. Lastly, the company's cash flow more than doubled, reaching DKK 228 million.
President, CEO of COWI, Lars-Peter Søbye, is highly satisfied with the results:
"For the 12th year running, we achieved growth in turnover. We were also able to meet our earnings target and we improved our cash flow considerably, which gives us the financial strength and flexibility that we need to further develop our business. It proves that we have set the right strategy for COWI and made the right choices regarding markets and sectors."
The intense urbanisation and urban development seen in Scandinavia and other parts of the world continue to be the market trends driving growth in COWI.
"Projects continue to increase in size and complexity. The large-scale urban development projects that are being launched these years call for a holistic approach and competencies within a wide range of disciplines. That is what fuels the demand for our solutions, especially in infrastructure, but also in our other core competencies: energy, water and environment, and buildings," says Søbye and continues:
"When taking on these major projects, it's vital that we're able to swiftly set a team with the right competencies across sectors and geographies. With that in mind, identifying and utilising synergies across the organisation was a key priority for us in the first year of our new strategy. I'm very pleased that we succeeded in establishing the framework and culture that are needed for us to act as One COWI in the market," says Søbye.
He largely attributes the winning of prestigious projects in 2016 to this approach: the transformation of the former post terminal site "Posten" in Copenhagen, Denmark; the West Link Project (Västlänken) in Gothenburg, Sweden; the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden; and the Lower Thames Crossing in London, the UK.
Despite important political events, especially in Great Britain and the US, which will continue to spur uncertainties on the global stage, COWI predicts that 2017 will be yet another year of growth:
"In 2016, we strengthened our presence further in our geographical core markets – Scandinavia, Great Britain and North America. Combined with massive investments in infrastructure – current as well as announced to take place in the years to come – we expect to continue to grow in 2017. We already have solid order book with large projects that are scheduled for execution in the coming years."
In Denmark, COWI won the consultancy contract for all engineering works on the former post terminal site at Copenhagen Central Station – one of the most important urban development projects in Copenhagen in recent times.
In addition, COWI won the design contract for Denmark's largest stormwater tunnel in northern Copenhagen, and was awarded several large framework agreements on thermal power by Dong Energy. COWI was also chosen as main consultant for the construction of the Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen at Herlev Hospital, and won the contract for construction management of the New Hospital Glostrup's neurorehabilitation facility. Furthermore, COWI won the design contract for the 22,000 m² Pier E project at Copenhagen Airport.
In Sweden, COWI won the extensive infrastructure project the West Link Project in Gothenburg, which involves construction of an underground station and a railway tunnel. Moreover, COWI won the design contract for the main building of the groundbreaking science facility European Spallation Source in Lund as well as the consultancy contract for the spectacular ICEHOTEL north of the Arctic Circle.
In Norway, COWI's wins included two key design contracts: the design of the new fighter air force base in Evenes and the Norwegian emergency response centre for national police.
Outside Scandinavia, COWI won the technical consultancy contracts for the new Lower Thames Crossing in London and for the major bridge project Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway in the Philippines.
COWI was also awarded the design contract for the foundations for Taiwan's first offshore wind farm, Formosa 1 Offshore Wind Farms, as well as a large project management consultancy contract in Jordan regarding implementation of the largest wind farm in the country. In addition, COWI was chosen as main consultant on the largest waste management project ever undertaken in Egypt.