Imtech trading update for Q3 2009: further growth of order book

(PresseBox) ( Gouda, the Netherlands, )
The order book development of Imtech (technical services provider in Europe) exhibited further growth in the third quarter of 2009 compared with 2008's corresponding period. Imtech fully maintains its full-year forecast for 2009 and expects to increase its EBITA further through organic growth and acquisitions.

Imtech CEO René van der Bruggen said: 'Once again we more than held our own in the third quarter of 2009. Compared with last year's corresponding period our order book exhibited further growth. Moreover, we continue to have a healthy financial position. We are obviously not immune to the consequences of the economic crisis. But our portfolio of core technical competences - the broadly-based combination of electrical engineering, ICT and mechanical engineering - together with our strong positions in numerous market segments and almost 20,000 customers make us less sensitive to the current economic conditions. We are also noticing positive impact from economic stimulation programmes in a number of European countries. Imtech's hallmark is a project organisation capable of responding flexibly to changing market conditions. Furthermore, we are becoming increasingly active in the growth market of 'energy & environment', including power plants and 'green' buildings, 'green' data centres and 'green' ships. We believe in our own strength and that is why we are maintaining our forecast for a further increase in EBITA this year and also our long-term growth targets for 2012.'

Benelux

Imtech focuses in the Benelux countries on 'green' (total) technical solutions. Examples of this approach include the 'green' headquarters of the Royal Netherlands Army and the 'green' technological renovation of the head office of Fortis BNP Paribas in Brussels. Imtech is also increasingly active in the market of 'green' data centres. One must take into account that the market for buildings and industry in the Netherlands is weak outside the Randstad (the heavily urbanised western part of the country) which results in intensive competition. On the other hand, the infrastructure market in the Netherlands is reviving on the back of economic stimulation programmes. Imtech is responding prudently to these circumstances, for example in the markets of tunnels, technical infrastructures on and alongside motorways and a variety of projects in the market of energy and high voltage solutions.

Germany & Eastern Europe

Imtech is developing robustly in Germany against the economic tide. The broadly-based Imtech portfolio, the high level of technical capabilities and strong market positions are the drivers behind this development. Sizeable contracts that Imtech has won include a high-tech power plant and a 'green' building for insurer Victoria Versicherungen. But Imtech is also developing positively in the German pharmaceutical industry (clean rooms), energy market, health care sector and airports segment. In Eastern Europe, Imtech has acquired Romanian technical services provider Arconi, which has a well-filled multi-year order book. Together with Imtech Deutschland the objective is to achieve further growth and to widen the portfolio of services. The organisation of the UEFA European Championships 2012 in Poland will be conducive to Imtech's activities, both directly through orders for technical solutions for sports facilities and indirectly through technology for amenities like hotels and shopping centres.

UK, Ireland & Spain

Imtech has secured several orders in the UK related to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, including the 'green' Olympic Stadium. This will help to counterbalance the poor situation in the buildings market. At the same time Imtech continues to perform well in the education, waste treatment and energy markets. The market in Ireland is best described as 'not easy', but here the energy market is helping to compensate as well. What's more, some specific technical competences in the pharmaceutical market are increasingly being exported to other European countries. In Spain, Imtech has grown into one of the strongest players in the maintenance market, especially in industry (oil and gas industry as well as the (petro)chemical industries). This provides multi-year continuity. Spain is another country where Imtech has successfully penetrated the growing energy market. This helps to compensate for the poor real estate market, although Imtech continues to perform well in that market as well.

Nordic

NVS, acquired by Imtech last year, is developing favourably in Sweden, Norway and Finland despite the economic headwinds. The margin remains on a high level. This is due to a wide stream of medium-sized and smaller contracts and a healthy position in the energy market, among other things with an order for an energy-friendly district heating system in Hedströms in Sweden. Imtech is continuing to search actively for acquisition candidates in order to add electrical engineering to the portfolio of services that at present is still focused predominantly on mechanical engineering. The objective for Imtech is to be able to offer its multidisciplinary total technical solutions also in the Nordic countries.

ICT, Traffic & Marine

Imtech is being hampered in the European ICT market by the economic situation, but is relatively speaking more than holding its own, thanks in part to its strong portfolio that combines hardware, software and managed IT services in a wide variety of market segments. The large number of long-term maintenance contracts and the growing demand for intelligent traffic solutions in the Traffic market generate continuity. Continuity is also in evidence in the Marine market, mainly through a larger volume of maintenance contracts, the growing market for 'green' ships and several orders for naval vessels from customers including the German and Dutch navies. Investments are somewhat hesitant in the international oil and gas market. But the market for cruise ships and luxury yachts (including mega-yachts) remains on level.

Solid financial position

Imtech's financial position is solid and remains well within the covenants agreed with the banks. Given the prevailing economic conditions Imtech is devoting considerable attention to the development of its cash position and to controlling its working capital and indirect costs.

Faith in own strength

Obviously Imtech is not immune to the consequences of the economic crisis and a few of the almost 20,000 customers have time-shifted or (temporarily) postponed projects There is pressure on prices in some places due to increasing competition. Against this, however, Imtech is resilient thanks to its portfolio (a strong combination of electrical engineering, ICT and mechanical engineering spread across numerous countries and market segments) and its flexible project organisation. What's more, the excellent performance by the Germany & Eastern Europe cluster and the growth market of 'energy & environment' provide a counterbalance. Imtech has well-balanced activities and faith in its own strength.

Maintaining forecasts and long-term growth target

Based on current insights Imtech expects a further increase in its EBITA in 2009 through organic growth and acquisitions. Imtech is keeping fully in place its long-term strategic plan for achieving 2012 revenues of 5 billion euro (2008: more than 3.8 billion euro) while maintaining an operational EBITA margin of 6% (2008: 5.5%).

Financial agenda

- 16 February 2010: Annual results 2009
- 7 April 2010: Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
- 26 April 2010: Trading update for 2010 first quarter
- 3 August 2010: Half-year results 2010
- 26 October 2010: Trading update for 2010 third quarter
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