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CFE

Beneficial interest AvH: 60.40%
AvH Contact: Piet Dejonghe
www.cfe.be

CFE is a Belgian Industrial group, listed on Euronext Brussels, active in three major areas: Dredging and Marine Engineering, Contracting, and Real Estate Development.

Information from the 2016 annual report

Financial overview 2016

After two difficult years of reorganization in 2014 and 2015, CFE closed 2016 with a positive result and a well-filled order book.

CFE improved the performance of its Contracting division in terms of turnover, profit and order book. In CFE’s new organizational structure, the Contracting activity bears fully its own overhead as of 2016. Nevertheless, the net profit of Contracting increased to 10.4 million euros compared with 9.7 million euros in 2015. The order book increased slightly to 850.5 million euros (2015: 836.3 million euros).

The Real Estate Development division continued in 2016 with the development of projects that had been started up earlier. Since no major transactions were finalized in 2016, the result of this division remains fairly limited.

In 2016, CFE took an important step in the reduction of the activities and losses of the Holding and the operations that were not transferred to Contracting. As a result of the transfer to DEME of the Civil Engineering activities at the end of 2015 and the scaling down of business in Africa following the delivery in 2015 of large-scale projects in Chad and Algeria, the turnover of this segment in 2016 decreased to 36.3 million euros.

Operational overview 2016

The reorganization carried out in 2015 took shape in a rearrangement of CFE’s activities (except for DEME’s dredging activity) in two independent entities: CFE Contracting (Benelux, Poland and Tunisia) for construction, multitechnics and rail infra & utility networks, and BPI for the entire real estate development activity. This structure, which in no way precludes productive synergies, soon began to bear fruit.

A small number of activities remain in the holding, such as international construction, which focuses on the completion of contracts in progress and the recovery of the amounts due by Chad (60 million euros).

Contracting

2016 was a positive year for CFE Contracting, with a general increase in results in several markets, in Belgium and internationally (Poland, Luxembourg and Tunisia). The satisfactory order book level means that the company can look forward to 2017 with confidence.

The two branches of CFE Bouw Vlaanderen reported another excellent year. MBG continued to work on the AZ Sint-Maarten hospital project (Mechelen) and completed several projects of the ‘Scholen van Morgen’ (Schools of Tomorrow) programme. Atro Bouw completed the prestigious ‘O Building’ with its gold-coloured facades for the University of Antwerp, and reported a vigorous turnover increase. The two branches will grow towards a closer partnership in 2017. Groep Terryn, now a full entity of CFE, went through a year of transition under the leadership of a new management team. Among other projects, BPC Brabant completed the large shopping centre Docks Brussels to the customer’s satisfaction. CFE Brabant has returned to profit and merged with BPC Brabant on January 1, 2017, and now operates under the name BPC. A merger is also planned between Amart and Leloup Entreprise Générale, which increased its turnover by 50%. After a solid growth, BPC Hainaut-Liège-Namur reported a slight downturn. Nevertheless, the year saw the completion of several major projects, such as the ‘Les Grand Prés’ shopping centre in Mons.

In Luxembourg, CLE started, continued or completed a large number of construction and civil engineering projects, such as Galerie Kons and Pulvermühle Viaduct. Turnover increased by 60%. CFE Polska recorded an excellent result in Poland, ending the year with a 40% turnover increase and highly satisfactory margins, despite increased competition. In Tunisia, CTE is still confronted with difficult market conditions.

Early 2017, an ‘Electro’ cluster was formed with VMA, VMA West, Vanderhoydonks and Nizet Entreprise as a group specializing in electrotechnical installations for the construction, infrastructure and manufacturing industries. VMA carried out major automation and installation projects in the automotive industry, the healthcare and office sectors. It saw its turnover increase and recorded good results. The same picture emerges for VMA West and Vanderhoydonks. Nizet Entreprise carried out numerous assignments in Belgium, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. It opened a branch in Luxembourg. Despite some fine achievements, such as the ‘Rive Gauche’ project in Charleroi, 2016 was a difficult year for Druart. The new management team is tasked with improving the company’s profitability in 2017. The subsidiary Procool saw its turnover increase by 25% and has a well-filled order book. be.Maintenance further strengthened its position as a major player on the technical maintenance and services market.

 

ENGEMA reported a stable level of business in signalling and replacement of overhead contact lines, and an increase in activity for electrification works. After a thorough reorganization, ETEC reported a profit in 2016. Louis Stevens & Co carried out several electrification and telecom installation contracts. Remacom continued the activities developed in 2015, primarily for Infrabel.

Real Estate Development

BPI, which encompasses all the group’s real estate activities in Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland, has successfully continued its development and sales of several big projects.

In Belgium, BPI continued work on the Solvay project in Elsene and the Oosteroever project in Ostend, launched the sale of the Erasmus Garden apartments, and took the first steps in an ambitious project on the site of Allianz in the centre of Brussels.

In Luxembourg, BPI Luxembourg finished the Kons project (delivery in 2017), received final planning permission for the G4S project, started sales of the site on Route d’Esch, and won the Kiem project on the Kirchberg plateau.

In Poland, all but one of the units of the Wola Tarasy project were sold by January 1, 2017. Sales of the Wola Libre project in Warsaw continued. In Gdansk, tower blocks 3 and 4 of the Four Oceans complex have virtually all been sold. BPI Polska also started sales of the Bulwary Książęce project in Wroclaw and acquired a site in Warsaw for a residential property.

 

Outlook 2017

The Contracting division should in 2017 confirm the positive trend that was begun in 2016. The Real Estate Development division should report a substantially higher net result in 2017. The result of the Holding and non-transferred items will very much depend on how the situation in Chad will evolve for the CFE group.

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