Photo: Nordic Office of Architecture
COWI continues its positive course in 2017, showing increasing turnover and a number of new prestigious projects in its order book. Growth remains driven by urbanisation in the Scandinavian home market and internationally. With a solid order log across markets and sectors, COWI has a positive outlook on the future.
In the first six months of 2017, COWI generated a turnover of DKK 3,068 million, which corresponds to a three-per cent increase compared to the same period in 2016. In addition, COWI's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to DKK 183 million and its operating profit (EBIT) to DKK 88 million. The company achieved a cash flow of DKK 133 million.
"We're staying on the course we set in our 2020 business strategy and have yet again increased our turnover. A main reason for this is our focus on strengthening cooperation across units and our ability to win large projects," says Lars-Peter Søbye, CEO of COWI.
"I'm also pleased that our financial stability has been boosted further, as demonstrated by our cash flow increasing by 29 per cent. Regarding earnings, our EBITDA is in line with the same period last year, but we're not at the level where we want to be. One of the reasons for this is challenges in North America where we have seen a weak first six months, but the last couple of months have shown a positive trend. The five-per cent increase in our order book – distributed across all of COWI's sectors – confirms our belief that we will meet our targets for 2017 and towards 2020," he continues.
The synergy unleashed by setting the right team for large projects across disciplines and geographies has proven the decisive competitive advantage for COWI in recent years.
"We win when we work together across regions and business areas. For instance, as part of a joint venture, in June, we won COWI's largest water contract to date on a British development project in southern Africa. In June, we also won the design of the Petroleum Cement Terminal in Alaska. And at the beginning of the year, we won the first phase of prestigious urban development project the East Link Project (Östlig Förbindelse), which will complete the ring road around Stockholm", says Søbye.
The first half year also saw the acquisition of the Stockholm-based company Projektbyrån. The company brought valuable competencies in project management to COWI while strengthening COWI's position in the Swedish capital – and thereby in the attractive Swedish market as a whole.
Søbye is excited about the company's enhanced competitive strength, which is evident in all disciplines:
"We are involved in a large number of today's most interesting and prestigious projects in all our markets and across sectors. Among other things, two major projects in London: the tunnel link Lower Thames Crossing and Thames Tideway, a 25-kilometre sewer tunnel preventing overflow into the River Thames.
Moreover, we are the first Danish company to be included in the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken: China's establishment of a modern mega-version of the Silk Route. Not to forget, we are among the top-two finalists in the competition for re-establishing the Oslo headquarters of the Norwegian government following the terrorist attack in 2011. The fact that COWI is 'asked to dance' on major projects – and is able to win them – confirms my belief that we have the competitive position needed to drive COWI towards our 2020 targets," he says.
Despite the uncertainties, related to political events, still existing in COWI's markets, especially in Great Britain and North America, the positive expectations for the rest of the year remain intact:
"COWI's business is driven by urbanisation, which continues to roar ahead, both on our Scandinavian home turf and in the international markets. That fosters a wealth of attractive opportunities and we expect to continue our growth in 2017," ends Søbye.