Capital markets update 2022
Succeeding as a leader in sustainable infrastructure
On 18 August (10:00am), NRC Group provides an update on strategy, operations, markets, financial development and outlook, including new financial targets and ambitions.
NRC Group’s updated strategic priorities
- Capitalise on a leading Nordic position
- Continue to improve core processes to increase profitability
- Drive profitable growth through increased revenue from large projects and potential bolt-on M&A
- Implement best practice across the Nordics to increase competitiveness
- Leverage sustainability as a competitive edge
Updated targets and ambitions
- Medium-term target of 4-5% EBITA* margin in 2024-2025 period, above 5% growth p.a. over the cycle plus bolt-on M&A
- Long-term ambition of 5-7% EBITA* margin, above 5% growth p.a. over the cycle plus bolt-on M&A
- Resume dividend distribution
- 30% CO2 emission reduction in 2025 vs. 2021 (scope 1+2)
NRC Group was created to capitalise on strong Nordic infrastructure markets. Following a consolidation phase with strong organic and M&A driven growth, which culminated with reduced profitability, the company entered a transformation phase focused on the integration of acquired companies and operational improvements. This has led to more robust processes for project selection, tendering and execution and a strengthened organisation which position NRC Group for future profitable growth.
“It is time to shift focus from transformation to profitable growth and to harvest the benefits of our unique Nordic position to succeed as a leader in sustainable infrastructure. The second quarter was the fifth consecutive quarter with improved financial performance, showing that our turnaround program is yielding results “, said Henning Olsen, the CEO of NRC Group. “We will continue to focus on profitability and core processes in tendering and project execution. Going forward, we will also capitalise on our leading position in the Nordics, by utilising competence and capacity across borders.”
NRC Group has over the past two years focused on attracting and retaining the right leadership, project managers and a skilled workforce. The Group has strengthened project selection and tender processes, the execution model and portfolio governance. This is reflected in a 2.8% EBITA* margin measured over the last 12 months (LTM) per second quarter of 2022, compared to 0.9% in 2019. Order intake and order backlog are at record levels, supporting future revenue growth. For 2022, we expect a continued positive operational and financial development with moderate to strong revenue growth and moderate increase in EBITA* margin compared to 2021.
Based on the updated strategy, NRC Group targets an EBITA* margin of 4-5% in the 2024-2025 period. The long-term ambition is to increase the EBITA* margin to 5-7%. Growth is expected to exceed 5% per year over the cycle in addition to bolt-on M&A. These targets and ambitions compare to the previously communicated 2024 ambition of NOK 10 billion of revenue at 7% EBITA margin.
“Going forward, our strategic focus will be margin improvement, profitable growth and increased competitiveness, which all are tightly connected. It is the same direction we pointed towards back in 2020, but we are shifting more of our focus towards profitable growth. Growth is important to develop the organisation, to enable us to take on bigger and more complex projects and to attain economies of scale. However, we will not sacrifice margins to growth,” Henning Olsen continues.
In addition to continuous improvement of core processes, NRC Group targets increased revenue from larger and more complex projects by leveraging cross-country resources and capabilities and by sharing and implementing best practice across the Nordic region. This includes further strengthening the Group’s sustainability position and performance as a builder of sustainable infrastructure. In the first half of 2022, 88% of the Group’s activities were defined as eligible and 69% aligned according to the EU Taxonomy. The Group is also considering bolt-on M&A to optimise the value chain.
A combination of improved profitability, working capital management and focus on a lean asset base has contributed to strengthen NRC Group’s financial position. The goal is to return free cash to equity owners through the resumption of dividends in line with the policy distributing a minimum 30% of net profit.
The 18 August 2022, CEO Henning Olsen, CFO Ole Anton Gulsvik and the Managing Directors for Norway, Sweden and Finland, hosted the combined second quarter 2022 and the CMU presentation.
The presentation was broadcasted as a webcast and is available the following link:
For further information, please contact:
- Henning Olsen, CEO of NRC Group, + 47 91 74 15 92
- Ole Anton Gulsvik, CFO of NRC Group, +47 99 56 85 20
Capital markets update 2020
Creating a nordic leader in sustainable infrastructure
NRC Group presents the Group’s strategic development, ambitions and outlook after completion of the strategy process initiated in the second half of 2019.
NRC Group’s long-term ambitions and strategic priorities are:
- Be the most attractive partner and employer of tomorrow’s infrastructure.
- Restore profitability through operational improvements
- Capitalize on leading Nordic position and strong markets through profitable organic growth.
- Utilise Nordic capabilities to expand into complementary services
- 2024 financial ambitions: NOK 10 billion of revenue at 7% EBITA margin.
Short-term focus on restoring profitability
NRC Group was created to capitalise on strong Nordic infrastructure markets. Organic and M&A driven growth, with 14 acquisitions including VR Track Oy in January 2019, has enabled NRC Group to fulfil the goal of becoming a leading Nordic rail infrastructure company.
After years of growth and good margins, profitability declined in 2018 and 2019. Full-year 2019 revenue was NOK 6,193 million, an increase of 95% from 2018. Group EBITA after project margin adjustments and before M&A expenses was NOK 70 million, corresponding to an EBITA-margin of 1.1%. The margin adjustments are mainly related to Rail and Civil Construction contracts in Sweden and Rail construction in Norway.
“We have good performance in several units and both Finland and the Civil construction and Environment units in Norway deliver on growth and margins. In Sweden and Rail Norway however, we need to improve performance. We have already started a turnaround process to restore profitability, with targeted measures to strengthen project management capabilities, project selection and tendering processes, and the project execution model,” said Henning Olsen.
In late 2019, NRC Group completed a strategy update and stablished clear strategic priorities to restore profitability and drive growth, with a 2024 ambition of NOK 10 billion of revenue at 7% EBITA margin.
For 2020, the main priority is to execute the improvement programs and create the platform for continued profitable growth from 2021 and onwards. The main elements of the turnaround are;
- attract and retain the right leadership, project managers and skilled workforce
- strengthen project selection and tender process
- strengthen execution model and portfolio governance
“Our top priority is to improve profitability. We have established new management with proven track records in the non-performing business units, and this is already taking effect. We expect our new disciplined tendering process to improve project portfolio margins going forward, and in combination with a cost reduction program this will lead to improved profitability,” said Olsen.
To restore profitability to the levels seen in 2016 and 2017 and in line with NRC Group’s long-term ambition, the Company has implemented local operational improvement programs in each country and a Group-wide overhead reduction program targeting NOK 55 million in cost reduction from 2020.
Growth and expansion
The NOK 10 billion revenue ambition reflects an extensive group-wide process. The Nordic rail services market is expected to grow by around 9% annually in coming years. NRC Group will also target additional opportunities for growth and expansion in complementary services and capture synergies between existing segments and across countries. Revenue growth will primarily be organic, supported by bolt-on M&As in existing segments and services.
“We have created a Nordic leader in sustainable infrastructure, with a unique position in the growing Nordic rail infrastructure market and additional complementary service offerings in attractive niche segments. Now it is time to start harvesting from that position,” said Henning Olsen, CEO of NRC Group. “To do that, we need the right people and a strong performance culture based on NRC values. The foundation was built in 2019 with new management installed in key positions, ready to implement proven processes for project selection, tendering and execution.”
For 2020, NRC Group will prioritise implementation of the updated strategy, focusing on improvement measures to restore the Group profitability. The market outlook is positive. Focus will be to build a solid platform in 2020 to be positioned for further growth from 2021 and onwards. NRC Group expects revenue for the full year 2020 to be in line with 2019. For 2020, the Group targets an EBITA margin exceeding 2.8%. For 2021, the Group targets an EBITA margin up towards 5%, before gradually realising additional improvements towards the ambition level of 7% for 2024.
“We are in large and growing markets driven by strong mega trends of population growth, urbanisation and sustainability. For us, it is all about having the right people to win the right projects at the right price and execute them in the right way. Then we can fully address our organic growth opportunities and selective bolt-on M&As,” said Henning Olsen.
The presentation was webcast.
For further information, please contact:
- Henning Olsen, CEO of NRC Group, + 47 91 74 15 92