Statement by the Chairman to the Ordinary general Meeting of Shareholders of Compagnie d’Entreprises CFE SA on 3 May 2012
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is important to underscore at the outset that all the group’s activities during this financial year made a positive contribution towards the result, in spite of the difficult economic environment, and that the real estate and multitechnics divisions even registered growth in terms of activity and operational result. On the commercial front, the contracting activities registered numerous successes. The order books of the construction and multitechnics divisions are have reached a historic level, in particular thanks to success achieved on the international stage. Major successes have also been registered in the real estate division, as attested by the “Solvay” and “Van Maerlant” projects in Brussels, “Lichttoren” in Antwerp and “Oosteroever” in Ostend, to cite just a few. Similarly, the PPP-Concessions division continued to grow and landed the contract for the Charleroi Police Headquarters, whilst Rent-A-Port, obtained in partnership the concession of Rentel in the North Sea and signed an important contract with a tyre manufacturer in Vietnam, thereby commercialising a site developed in recent years. CFE also enhanced its competencies by acquiring ETEC, a company specialising in public lighting at the end of the year, and REMACOM, a company specialising in the installation of railway lines in the beginning of 2012; the latter acquisition leaded to the creation of a “rail-road” division.
For its part, DEME strengthened its position in the dredging sector considerably by scoring numerous commercial successes, particularly in Australia, as the order book attained a record level as a result. This order book was bolstered even more in the beginning of 2012 by the new successes in Australia (Wheatstone Port) and in Qatar (New Doha Port). To conclude, the results of 2011 are satisfactory, in spite of a serious problem encountered on a soil sanitation site in Brazil. In light of the foregoing, the board of directors has provided positive guidance in terms of activities and results. We wish to thank all our employees who are making every effort, in a difficult economic context, to see the operations through in optimal fashion and thus keep our customers satisfied, in line with a basic value of our company. We also wish to thank our shareholders for the confidence they have shown throughout this financial year.