“I am proud of the excellent job our employees have done for our customers in the first quarter. The group has solid growth and an all-time high order backlog. This provides a good starting point for the future. Although we have good earnings in the quarter, I am not satisfied with the underlying profitability, and we will have full focus on improving this over the next quarters”, says Grethe Bergly, CEO of Multiconsult ASA.
Oslo, 23 May 2019 – Multiconsult delivered first quarter net operating revenues of NOK 944.2 million (NOK 859.1 million). The increase in net operating revenues year-on-year is exclusively organic. Adjusted for calendar effects, growth in the quarter was 4.1%, reflecting higher production.
There was a calendar effect of four more working days in the quarter, due to Easter Holiday in Norway, with a positive year-on-year impact on both revenues and earnings of NOK 50.2 million compared to the same period last year.
Operating expenses were NOK 805.9 million (NOK 810.6 million). The group implemented IFRS 16 on 1 January 2019. Adjusted for IFRS 16 effect, operating expenses increased by 4.2%. The increase is caused by net recruitment and ordinary salary adjustment. One-off expenses of approximately NOK 10 million as a result of several management changes were recorded in the quarter.
EBIT amounted to NOK 92.5 million (NOK 36.1 million), reflecting a 9.8% EBIT margin in the quarter, including a positive IFRS 16 effect of NOK 5.3 million.
The order backlog at the end of the first quarter 2019 increased to NOK 2 865.0 million (NOK 2 226.9) and is at an all-time-high level. There was an increase in sales during the first quarter reflecting an order intake of NOK 1 171.8 million (NOK 1 101.2 million). The project tender pipeline remains strong across most business areas, especially within Transportation.
Among significant order intake this quarter was the call-off on the Fornebubanen frame agreement with Oslo kommune as well as option triggering for architectural services on new Drammen hospital with Helse Sør-Øst for LINK arkitektur. Among new contracts this quarter was Jølstra hydropower plant with Jølstra Kraft and Sørmarkfjellet wind power with TrønderEnergi.
The overall market outlook continues to show positive development across most business areas. There is a continued tough competition on large projects in Norway, but there is a generally positive outlook and pipeline in our markets. Multiconsult’s strong market position, flexible business model and wide service offering provides a sound base for further growth, both domestic and international. The order backlog is increasing and provides a solid foundation for growth, supported by valuable frame agreements generated from a broad and robust customer base.