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For the first time since 2011, Dutch-based contractor Hiejmans has announced positive developments for both its underlying EBITDA and net result in the company’s half-year results for 2017.

Tom Hillen, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Heijmans, said, “We worked hard to transform Heijmans into a Dutch core business. The sale of our foreign activities, a tightened strategic focus and the de-risking of a number of projects have laid the foundations for the structural recovery of our business.”

Recent divestments have included the sale of Heijmans’ German and Belgian activities.

Underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) for its Dutch business saw a strong improvement, jumping from -€9 million in the first half of 2016 to €9 million in the first half of 2017. This was said to be driven largely by the recovery of the company’s infrastructure arm Infra and the good performance of its property development and residential building activities.

This improvement was also visible in the increase in the number of house sales, from 1,069 in the first half of 2016 to 1,106 in the first half of this year.

Net results after taxes came in at €20 million in the first half of 2017, compared to -€12 million in the same period in the previous year.

Revenue in Heijmans’ Dutch business in the first half of 2017 stood at €646 million, which was lower than the first half of 2016 figure of €705 million. This was partly attributed to the selective acquisition of new non-residential projects, which was said to be a challenging segment at the moment for new-builds.

A strong order book was recorded at the end of June, amounting to €2.1 billion. This was up on the €1.9 billion recorded at the end of 2016.

Net debt was reduced by €45 million by the end of June 2017, from the €77 million recorded at the end of June 2016. This was said to have resulted from divestments and improved working capital management.

With the divestment programme’s foreign activities completed, the credit facility was reduced to €176 million from €256 million, and solvency was up 27%. Thanks to this, the company met the conditions of its bank covenants at end of the second quarter of 2017.

Hillen said, “We still have work to do in the second half of this year, but we are on track and we are confident about the prospects of Heijmans for the second half of 2017.”

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