As a result of our focus on growth markets and the good spread of our activities, VolkerWessels' turnover has grown by 6%, as revealed by the figures for the first 6 months of 2012.
The activities that are responsible for this growth are:
We are seeing strong growth in Canada and in the Energy & Telecoms sector, whilst growth is stable in the UK. The activities in the Netherlands in the Building & Property Development and Infrastructure segment recorded a relatively modest 2% decline in turnover, on markets that continued to deteriorate. Currently, over 40% of VolkerWessels' turnover originates from international markets and the Energy & Telecoms sector.
Operating profit and net profit are under pressure. We are faced with overcapacity and price pressure in the Netherlands and start-up costs and project losses on the fast-growing offshore market. This is offset to some extent by good results in the Infrastructure sector.
The order book has grown as a result of an increase in long-term management and maintenance contracts.
VolkerWessels' financial position remains solid.
Gerard van de Aast, Chairman of the Management Board, says: "The focus on growth markets such as Energy, Telecoms and Canada has resulted in good growth in turnover. Of course we are affected by the crisis on the Dutch market, but we can largely counterbalance that by continuing to invest in strategic growth markets."
The Dutch market is confronted with lower volumes, overcapacity and price pressure. The residential and office markets are contending with decreasing volumes and the problem of unoccupied premises. In the Infrastructure sector, volumes and prices are being squeezed by government cutbacks and overcapacity. This is also affecting VolkerWessels and forcing us to make changes to our organisation in the Netherlands. Therefore, reorganisations are being carried out to keep the company healthy and competitive in future.
| Order book
Market conditions in the Dutch Building & Property Development sector are not set to improve for the time being. The residential market virtually ground to a halt in the first half of 2012, due to continuing uncertainty, the difficulty of obtaining finance and a lack of people moving up the housing ladder. Commercial property also remains a concern, due to disappointing demand and a severe lack of available finance.
The Infrastructure sector in the Netherlands is still suffering the effects of government cuts, which have led to a decline in volumes and put pressure on prices. The outlook in the UK is uncertain, and depends on the timing of the government's planned investments in the Construction, Rail and Infrastructure markets.
The market outlook is good for the Energy & Telecoms sector and our Canadian activities.
Although growth in turnover and a good order book are an auspicious starting point, given the uncertain economic circumstances at present, we are not making any specific projections for the year as a whole.