Message from the CEO
The economic recovery in the Netherlands continued in 2016. Thanks to historically low interest rates and firmer consumer confidence, investments picked up again. Our industry profited mainly from the strong growth of the housing market. The infrastructure and non-residential markets are also showing tentative signs of recovery. TBI achieved a modest improvement, with its operating income rising to €1,573 million in 2016. A substantial provision for losses on the project for the European Patent Office (EPO), however, meant we closed 2016 with a negative result from normal activities of €7 million. After adjustment for this provision, the result from normal activities was €15 million positive. TBI’s financial position remains strong, with a solvency ratio of 36%. The EPO project unequivocally demonstrates the overriding need for active and professional risk management in combination with strict project control when working on high-risk design and build contracts.
WORKING TOGETHER ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
We will have to overcome major social challenges in the decades ahead. Society is changing rapidly. Digitisation, energy transition and urbanisation are shaping the country’s built environment and the way we work. This is prompting us to reconsider our approach to the construction projects of the future. How will we meet the demand for housing? How can we make the existing housing stock more sustainable? How can we make sustainable, smart buildings? How can we make mobility safe and accessible? And how can we remain an attractive employer for professionals and young talent? A healthy construction industry is of vital importance if we are to meet the challenges of the future.
More construction projects will have to be carried out in partnership. Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, has taken a positive step in this direction by launching its “Market Vision 2020” project in cooperation with other public contracting authorities and the construction industry. The Vision lays the groundwork for better cooperation and a fair and realistic allocation of risks.
A second initiative to address the challenges of the future is the Construction Agenda 2017-2021 prepared by the Construction Taskforce. It considers ways to future-proof the nation’s infrastructure, make the existing housing stock more sustainable and improve the use of renewable raw materials. A million extra homes must be built in the coming years. We can realise these ambitions only if the construction industry innovates and the government relaxes regulations where appropriate.
CREATE THE FUTURE
The Construction Agenda’s ambitions are reflected in our mission: TBI – create the future. Sustainability is a key factor in all our projects – from newbuilds to existing stock – and in all our markets. Technology is interwoven throughout all our work. By innovating we can develop our company and devise strong, sustainable solutions for the built environment.
We again concentrated on doing what we do better and smarter in the past year. At the end of 2016, for example, we rounded off the merger of Croon Elektrotechniek and Wolter & Dros into a single strong technology firm operating under the name Croonwolter&dros. We have pooled the electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and automation and information disciplines in this company. The key word in 2016 was “interaction”.
The interaction between our companies when they share knowledge and work together. The interaction between our skills and the sophisticated digitisation and industrialisation of the construction process. We are using the Building Information Model, for example, on more projects. The interaction between experienced staff and young talent. And the interaction with our customers so that we can serve them even better.
Our companies worked on inspirational projects in 2016. Some of them are highlighted in this report. Each one of them illustrates our commitment to professionalism and reflects our values. They are the distillation of our skills, business flair, innovative strengths and cooperation. Safety was also a high priority during the year. In 2016, for instance, we introduced a group-wide TBI Safety Day for all employees. We also developed new tools to improve safety awareness and safe conduct.
A WORD OF THANKS
We are looking to the future with confidence. Our companies are bursting with ambition and are eager to make smart use of the opportunities that arise. Our order book has increased by 20% to €2.1 billion. Thanks to the synergies generated by our companies, TBI commands a distinctive position on the market and can satisfy the increasingly complex demands made by our clients. We have won some excellent contracts. They include the construction of a new lock at Eefde, the renovation of Huis ten Bosch Palace, renovation of Naturalis natural history museum in Leiden and the construction of the Rijnlandroute, a new connection between the A44 and A4 motorways. All these projects are a good match for TBI’s profile. We would like to thank everyone who contributed their commitment, know-how, skills, experience and professionalism to TBI in the past year. And we would like to thank our clients, partners and shareholder for their support and trust.
Rotterdam, 21 March 2017
CEO of the Executive Board, TBI Holdings B.V.