IHC Merwede reveals healthy order book

ihcIHC Merwede says it successfully increased its order book in 2013 across the main sectors of its business: offshore and dredging. The company received almost € 1.8 billion worth of new orders in the past year. At the end of 2013, the order book was valued at over € 1.7 billion, which is the equivalent of a backlog of approximately two years.

IHC Merwede develops and builds innovative vessels, advanced equipment and life-cycle support services for the dredging, mining and offshore industries. These markets have been performing well, despite the global economic situation and the knock-on effect for the maritime industry.

In 2013, IHC Merwede achieved a revenue of € 985 million (2012: € 895 million) and a net profit of € 56 million (2012: € 37 million). The company is looking ahead to the remainder of 2014 with increasing confidence.

Market developments
The shipbuilding industry is characterised by a huge overcapacity in ships and shipyards around the world due to the ongoing economic uncertainty. As a result, there was an increased level of competition for IHC Merwede in 2013, with new entrants to the dredging and offshore sectors aiming to offset the decline in their traditional markets. However, IHC Merwede distinguishes itself with a consistent focus on delivering value to its customers.

In the dredging market, new investments continue to be made selectively, and these are dependent on the latest regulations and the addition of new product groups. A positive factor is the growth of state-owned enterprises, which are autonomous in their decision-making in the face of global economic developments.

The current economic climate is also unfavourable for the start of full-scale developments in alternative extraction possibilities within the mining market. IHC Merwede remains active in the areas of nearshore/onshore mining and studies for deep-sea mining. It is expected that investments in equipment will be driven by changes in political and economic conditions.

The offshore market continues to evolve. IHC Merwede profited from the sale of various vessels and equipment in 2013, including six pipelaying vessels to SapuraKencana and Subsea 7 – the company’s largest ever order. It is expected that further investments – related to the Brazilian market – will not be curtailed, and IHC Merwede intends to build upon its strong and reliable position in this territory.

Strategy
IHC Merwede’s four main priorities – internationalisation, growth, product and process development, and internal/external cooperation – remained the same for 2013 as a red thread through the company’s strategy. The implementation of the One IHC Merwede program will encourage the standardisation of tools and processes across all of IHC Merwede’s business units to further improve efficiency within the company.

“We are delighted to confirm that IHC Merwede’s order book has increased substantially over the past financial year,” says IHC Merwede’s CEO Bram Roelse. “This is due to the successful implementation of the group’s long-term business strategy, especially in the dredging and offshore markets. It also ensures that we are in a strong position moving forward over a number of years and provides us with a stable platform for ongoing development on a global basis.”

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