2020 was an unprecedented and challenging year, characterised by the global health crisis and the resulting partial and complete lockdown of societies and economies around the world. Given the uncertainty and rapid change caused by the pandemic, Ramboll’s financial performance in 2020 was satisfactory.
Ramboll’s overall revenue was DKK 13.6 billion, down 4.1% from DKK 14.2 billion in 2019. Organic growth in 2020 was negative at 4.9% and Ramboll’s operating profit before amortisation of goodwill, brand and customer contracts (EBITA) was DKK 681.8 million compared to 762.5 million in 2019, resulting in an EBITA margin of 5.0% (5.4% in 2019). Ramboll’s total operating profit (EBIT) for 2020 was DKK 278.0 million compared to DKK 341.1 million in 2019, giving an EBIT margin of 2.0% (2.4% in 2019). Lastly, free cashflow increased significantly over 2020 to DKK 1,126.6 million, up from DKK 468.0 million in 2019.
“We have managed to deliver a satisfactory financial result in a difficult year and to very significantly improve our free cashflow, which – together with the fact that we come out of 2020 as net debt free – shows that Ramboll is a resilient and healthy company. At the same time, we have maintained a very high client and employee satisfaction, on par with 2019,” says Group CEO of Ramboll, Jens-Peter Saul.
“Throughout the year our 16,000 colleagues have shown immense dedication and focus to serve our clients. Across the company, we have adjusted to new ways of working which has required flexibility and willingness to engage digitally from both colleagues and clients. I would like to express my deep gratitude for my colleagues’ extraordinary commitment and contribution during this difficult year,” continues Jens-Peter Saul.
Ramboll achieved positive organic growth in Norway, Finland, Germany and Water with profitability above the 2019 level. Performance in the US, UK, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Environment & Health was negatively impacted by the pandemic. In Energy, the result was adversely impacted by the global downturn in the oil and gas sector, however countered by general strong performance in areas related to the green transition such as offshore wind, hydrogen, Power-to-X, and Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage (CCUS).
“Looking ahead, we are cautiously optimistic about the post-pandemic global economic outlook and we are excited about the opportunities that we can create for our clients by leveraging our core strength in delivering innovative and sustainable solutions,” says Jens-Peter Saul.
Sustainability a cornerstone for Ramboll
In 2020 62 per cent of Ramboll’s gross revenue contributed to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the company continued to further develop its sustainability related portfolio.
The acquisition of the world-renowned architectural firm Henning Larsen significantly strengthened Ramboll’s position as a leader in sustainable solutions within architecture, landscape and urbanism. In 2020 a combined global business unit with six hundred architects, landscape architects and urban planners was formed. It will trade under the Henning Larsen brand going forward.
“By combining high-end architecture and landscape design with our technical insight it is our ambition to become a leading architecture and landscape partner that delivers evidence-based sustainable design solutions for clients, cities and societies around the globe. Last year Henning Larsen delivered its best result ever and we have already won a number of exciting projects together. This makes me confident that we are on the right track”, says Jens-Peter Saul.
During 2020, Ramboll also launched a new global organisation for ‘Strategic Sustainability Consulting’, which offers strategic advice and expertise to private and public clients regarding sustainable transformation.
“Leveraging our management consulting expertise, we can help clients integrate sustainability into their strategies, organisations, and culture and thus enable them to transform towards a sustainable future. We see this as a very important investment in Ramboll’s future growth,” says Group CEO Jens-Peter Saul.
Large project wins in 2020
Ramboll won a number of large significant projects during 2020 contributing to the positive long-term development of sustainable societies where people and nature flourish.
- America’s largest offshore wind farm – In the United States, Ramboll was chosen by the American energy company Dominion Energy to support project development, contract management and commissioning of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, which will be the largest offshore wind farm in the US and one of the largest in the world.
- Strong growth in the Asian offshore wind market – Ramboll is gaining momentum in the Asian offshore market and has won new contracts in China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea in the last half of 2020. Ramboll expects a significant growth in its business in the area during the next five to ten years. Offshore wind will be one of the fastest growing segments in the green transition from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy.
- Finland’s tallest timber structure – In Finland, Ramboll provides structural and geotechnical design services, electricity, heating, ventilation, air conditioning services, energy system design services and certification for the timber office building, Keilaniemen Portti. The wooden structure is owned by the Varma Pension Insurance Company.
- Plastic-to-liquid – In Denmark, Ramboll was selected by Norwegian Quantafuel to perform a study for a new plastic-to-liquid plant. Ramboll will provide consultancy services on all development and engineering aspects as well as contract management and procurement strategies and will act as a partner for industrialising Quantafuel’s technology on a global scale.
- Antarctic research stations – In the UK, Ramboll was re-appointed as Technical Advisors to the British Antarctic Survey. The work includes projects to improve and modernise Antarctic research stations and infrastructure helping deliver net zero carbon facilities. The contract was awarded by Natural Environment Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation.
- Innovative water technology – In the United States, Ramboll was selected to execute a comprehensive master plan for one of the largest surface drinking water treatment plants in Florida. It is the first in the U.S. to pilot the innovative ‘SIX’ drinking water treatment technology.
- Ulsberg and Vindåsliene - The new highway E6 between Ulsberg and Vindåsliene will be built with the internationally recognized Ceequal system, where the goal is to increase sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the project. Ramboll is an advisor for the 25 km long part of E6 motorway.
- Barkarby Station – In Sweden, Ramboll was selected as the general consultant for Barkarby Station, an important transport hub for the growing Stockholm region.