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Van Laere equalled the high level of activity in 2014 with a consolidated turnover of 170 million euros. This was accompanied by a strong improvement in the consolidated net profit. Van Laere thus confirms the trend of constantly improving results, despite losses on a Van Laere project and in Anmeco, which again weighed heavily on the results. The consolidated order book at year-end 2015 amounted to 199 million euros (2014: 176 million euros).
Algemene Aannemingen Van Laere
Targeted commercial work, combined with high-quality execution and respectful collaboration with the stakeholders, is the main reason why Van Laere was again able to report a very good turnover this year.
On July 1, 2015, the foundation stone was laid of a new workplace for 2,600 civil servants of the Flemish government on the Tour & Taxis site in Brussels. The 66,500 m² Herman Teirlinck building will be Belgium’s biggest passive office building, and another example of Van Laere’s know-how in the area of innovative buildings. Another eye-catching project was the Gateway office building for CODIC / Immobel at Zaventem airport, which will be brought into use in 2016. As part of the Design & Build project Imalso, another office building was refurbished and built in Antwerp for the Flemish government.
In the education sector, Van Laere already completed five of the 15 schools in 2015 for the DBM (Design, Build and Maintain) programme ‘Scholen van Morgen’ (Schools of Tomorrow). The scale of the programme means that Van Laere is still learning. In the last few years, PPP (Public-Private Partnership) projects have become a fixture in Van Laere’s portfolio. Projects are carefully selected, given the considerable research costs involved. Those costs were substantial in 2015, and did not lead to a major contract. The Hardenvoort and Plantijn College campuses in Antwerp were completed.
In the care sector, construction work continued on the 120,000 m² AZ Delta hospital in Roeselare and the Acacia residential care centre on the Regatta site in Antwerp. In Zoutleeuw, Van Laere, together with Anima Care, won the PPP project for the Ravelijn residential care centre.
In the car park segment, an underground car park for 191 vehicles was completed on the Tour & Taxis site.
In the area of high-rise residential buildings, a 172-apartment tower block was completed in Evere for Bouygues Immobilier, which also awarded a project in Uccle to Van Laere. On the Tour & Taxis site, a start was made on the first of a series of apartment projects, with 115 apartments due to be finished in 2016. The partnership with Vooruitzicht continues to be a success, with follow-up projects Hemixveer and Regatta.
In the manufacturing industry, Van Laere is a valued partner for its safety culture. In 2015, Van Laere was engaged in work for BASF in Antwerp and for Imec in Leuven (construction of a cleanroom).
Thiran is a general contractor operating in the French-speaking part of Belgium. In line with expectations, Thiran reported a turnover of 36 million euros, which is 9% up on 2014, and confirms the trend of recent years. The reinforcement of the executive management is beginning to bear fruit, and keeping up the present turnover level becomes a realistic proposition. The last units of a development project were sold with success, resulting in substantial cash generation at Thiran. An impairment on a building let by Thiran and of which part will be sold in 2016 weighed on the net result.
Despite stiff competition, Thiran has the prospect of a fair number of contracts for 2016, and can therefore look ahead to a satisfactory 2016.
Arthur Vandendorpe realized an operating profit of 3% of the turnover, which is a reasonable performance. The contractor, specializing in renovation and restoration work, moved in 2015 to a new building in Zedelgem. In 2016, Arthur Vandendorpe continues to work on a steady and controlled growth, coupled with a further expansion of its workforce.
The capital-intensive business in which this car park operator is active weighs on the results. The figures are however going in the right direction, and the future looks promising. A number of new SLAs (service level agreements) were concluded with major groups, such as Kortrijk Expo. This growth helps to cover overhead costs. New arrangements with the local authority concerning parking policy in Roeselare also improved the occupation. The construction of a new car park in Liège has run into considerable delays due to problems with planning permission.
2016 should show an increase in the results as Alfa Park focuses on making the existing assets cost-effective, winning new car park operation contracts, and controlling costs.
Subsidiary Anmeco, a steel construction company, reported another difficult year, despite the restructuring measures that were implemented at the beginning of 2015. A new future was sought, with preservation of as many jobs as possible, and with a healthier cost structure. In mid-November 2015, the Anmeco division was transferred to the company Anmeco SBP, so that those activities will now develop further outside the Van Laere group, although cooperation with Van Laere will continue on a regular basis. In this way, a structural solution was found for this activity. These restructuring operations weighed heavily on the group’s results.
The future of the Van Laere Group looks very good for 2016. Van Laere expects to exceed the 200 million euros turnover threshold for the first time, despite the stiff competition.