Fourth quarter 2022: Norconsult ended the year with strong growth
Norconsult reported net operating revenues of NOK 2,227 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to NOK 1,871 million in the same period in 2021. This corresponds to revenue growth of 19.1 percent in the quarter and net organic growth of 15.6 percent. NOK 50 million of the improvement in adjusted EBITA for the quarter was related to one-off effects and changes in periodisation principles.
Net operating revenues for the entire 2022 increased by 14 per cent to NOK 7,512 million and an adjusted EBITA of NOK 733 million. This corresponds to an adjusted EBITA margin of 9.8 per cent for the year, which was an increase of 0.3 percentage points from 2021. Norconsult's organic growth was 11.5 percent in 2022.
The Board has proposed a dividend of NOK 24 per share. Total dividend corresponds to approximately 76 percent of the annual result.
– We are pleased with the revenue growth in the fourth quarter and for 2022. Norconsult has once again had a solid year of profitable growth. The development has been good in our market areas, and particularly the Norwegian operations have shown a positive trend in profitability, says Norconsult CEO Egil Hogna.
Norconsult is currently employee-owned and has had attractive share programmes for many years, but in 2022 they were put on hold because of investigations into a new ownership model. At an extraordinary general meeting in January this year, it was decided that the company will apply for listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange, and when the committed share programme for 2022 is now resumed, it is estimated that this will charge last year's accounts NOK 95 million, a cost that will be deducted from adjusted EBITA.
Several new important contracts in the quarter
During the fourth quarter, Norconsult signed several important contracts. Contractor HENT engaged Norconsult for detailed design of Normoria, Kristiansund's new cultural center which will include an opera, library, museum, and cultural school. Additionally, before the end of the year, Norconsult was tasked with designing the building and construction part for electrification and land-based compression facilities for Hammerfest LNG on Melkøya in Finnmark. Construction of a new emergency power plant for the LNG factory is also included in the project, which will run until 2028. Norconsult's assignment is an integrated part of Aibel's EPCI contract with Equinor.
In Denmark, Norconsult won a contract with Letbanen, a new train connection around Copenhagen, which includes geotechnical surveys and documentation of work performed in the project. Norconsult Sweden won a cross-disciplinary assignment with Skellefteå municipality for the development of a solution that will convert food waste into biogas.
In 2022, Norconsult was named the most attractive employer for consulting engineers, both among students and young professionals, according to a ranking conducted by Universum. In Sweden, the company was named "Karriärföretag," which means the company is considered to have the best career and development opportunities for young talent.
Uncertain prospects, but a strong order backlog
During 2022, Norconsult increased its order backlog to a record high level with growth in all market areas, but at the same time there were signs of lower growth in order intake towards the end of the year. The company experienced high activity within green industry and energy towards the end of 2022. This is related to the electrification of society, where the need for increased energy production is high both in Norway and Europe in the years to come. Norconsult has a diversified portfolio of customer projects today, well distributed between the public and private sector.
– There are undoubtedly tougher and more unpredictable times, but despite geopolitical turmoil and increasing market volatility, there is always a fundamental need for our services. There will continue to be strong demand for the best engineers, architects, and consultants, says Hogna.