Witteveen+Bos achieves solid economic and social results in 2017

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International engineering and consultancy firm Witteveen+Bos N.V. is pleased with the results it has realised in 2017. The company’s worldwide performance in the year under review was consistent with its economic and social objectives. The size of the workforce grew by 2.4 % while profitability remained stable with a profit margin of 9.6 %. CO2 emissions decreased by 28 % compared to the 2007 reference year, and certification (in the form of the CO2 Awareness Certificate) was retained at Level 5 of the CO2 Performance Ladder.

In 2017, Witteveen+Bos worked on 3,445 water, infrastructure, environment and construction projects from nineteen offices all over the world. This resulted in a total revenue of EUR 130.8 million, EBITDA of EUR 20.5 million, a net profit margin of 9.6 %, and a net result of EUR 12.5 million. The total number of FTEs amounted to 987 at 31 December 2017, and the total number of employees grew from 1,029 to 1,054 during the year under review. The financial statements of Witteveen+Bos N.V. have been signed this week by the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board. The annual results of 2017 will be officially adopted at the annual General Meeting of Shareholders, to be held on 9 April 2018.

Sustainability ambitions

Contributing to the United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (a worldwide action plan aimed at ensuring a socially, ecologically and economically sustainable world by 2030) and applying its sustainable design principles were key focus areas for Witteveen+Bos in 2017. Managing Director Karin Sluis commented: ’The Paris Agreement on climate change, the environmental ambitions of the European Parliament and the national programme ‘Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050’ confirm a willingness at all levels to work on the energy transition, climate adaptation, and a circular economy. Witteveen+Bos can achieve a significant impact through our projects, and I am convinced that as engineers we can help to speed up the required transitions all over the world. In the past year we demonstrated our ability to do so by applying our knowledge and expertise in a wide range of projects. Examples include a wastewater treatment plant where energy is generated from sludge, mooring posts for ships that utilise the kinetic energy absorbed, ‘smart grid’ applications, and residential districts without gas grids.’

Witteveen+Bos is also setting its own house in order by taking steps to make its business operations more sustainable. For instance, the Leeuwenbrug office in Deventer underwent a full renovation in the past year, with an A+++ energy label issued for the modernised building. The gas tap has been switched off and solar panels have been installed to make optimal use of renewable energy sources, while a highly efficient TripleAqua climate system now heats and cools the building. Thanks to these and other measures, we achieved a 28 % reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the 2007 reference year – on track to achieve our target of 30 % emissions reduction by 2020.

Innovation and the Dutch market

In 2017, Witteveen+Bos put in place a customised innovation programme aimed at developing and implementing new solutions for today’s challenges in river deltas, infrastructure, ‘closing the loops’, and sustainable cities. Various innovations are already providing added value for our clients. Examples include the use of ‘Fire Safety Engineering in Virtual Reality’ to design underground railway stations, and ‘Compliance Tool’, a solution to help companies comply with applicable laws and regulations at all times. By devoting extra attention to our home market of the Netherlands, we were able to gain a great deal of new knowledge and increase our revenue in the Netherlands during the year under review. Recently acquired projects like the Utrecht Ring Road, reinforcement of the Olst-Zwolle dike section, and the renovation of electricity distribution stations for TenneT provide us with an excellent starting position for continued success in 2018.

Worldwide collaboration

In 2018, Witteveen+Bos aims to accelerate the process of sustainable development and transformation with its advice and solutions, and to take the lead in the energy transition, climate adaptation, the resource revolution, and the digitalisation of the construction industry. Director Stephan van der Biezen is responsible for the company’s international activities. He commented: ‘Internationally, the strong growth of megacities is linked to global economic and population growth. These interconnected developments have yielded many interesting projects for Witteveen+Bos. In such projects we apply the knowledge gained here in the Netherlands, and develop it further through various collaborations. One good example is the digitalisation of the construction industry: from our offices in Dubai, Singapore and the Netherlands we are working on various pilot projects involving 3D concrete printing. It appears that we are on the verge of a breakthrough that will truly transform the digital value chain of the construction industry. By collaborating on sustainable and innovative solutions all over the world, we can make an optimal contribution to the challenges facing our clients and society at large.’