2022 was a challenging year. Soaring energy costs arising from the war in Ukraine fed into rapid inflation and economic uncertainty. This came on top of a fragile business environment in the aftermath of the pandemic. A widespread shortage of resources, also stemming from Covid, is changing logistic patterns. Supply chains are being reviewed globally to reduce dependence on single regions and spread risk. The shortage of resources includes talent which is an issue that we expect will remain significant in years ahead. The inflation inevitably creates challenges and we support the one-off payment to employee salaries in 2022.
In this complex environment, we recognise the continued effort and loyalty shown by Royal HaskoningDHV’s employees and management in the past year. The organisation performed well in most areas and has shown significant growth in its global leading markets. The digital side of the business continues to offer good potential albeit at significant investment costs in 2022 which will require further attention moving forward. We also support the steps taken to refine the digital strategy and clarify the proposition made to customers through the launch of the Twinn brand. Furthermore, we are keen to see further alignment of the company’s financial performance with its peers.
Royal HaskoningDHV has the vision, values and capability to provide resilient and sustainable solutions for the challenges facing society in areas including climate change, the energy transition and many more. The Supervisory Board was pleased with the launch and execution of the Stronger25 strategy in 2022. The company’s purpose: “Enhancing Society Together” forms the core of the Stronger25 strategy recognising the global challenges arising from climate change while aligning with key Sustainable Development Goals. The clear definition of purpose for an organisation drives its value. It is a powerful differentiator for clients, stakeholders and for employees – new and existing. The introduction in 2022 of the Purpose Matrix to evaluate and measure the impact will increase the value that Royal HaskoningDHV can offer to its clients, partners, stakeholders and employees. How the company positions itself to capture and make the most of these opportunities is key. Impact requires focus on where the company can really make the difference.
It also needs to be noted that due to a range of causes financial performance was below plan. Profit empowers the company to achieve its ambitions and it is essential for the company to grow and build competence in technologies that are vital for a sustainable future. As a board, we are confident that the profit and sustainability outcomes defined in the Stronger25 strategy are key to the organisation’s success.
To ensure and support a successful Stronger25 strategy execution, the Supervisory Board was pleased to appoint Marije Hulshof in July 2022 as a third member of the Executive Board. The setup of the Stronger25 Office with as focus to centralise and accelerate all the different initiatives relating to the Stronger25 strategy within the company will be pivotal for the successful execution of the strategy. As a Supervisory Board, we are confident that the various goals and targets as defined in the Stronger25 strategy are key to the organisation’s success. We are keen to see maximum focus and attention on achieving Stronger25 targets as originally designed.
Good governance rests on cooperation and open communication between the Supervisory Board, management, the shareholders as well as the (Dutch) Works Council. Robust debate during the year confirmed the strength of consultation systems which deliver increased insight and are an important success factor in decision making. We would like to thank Tjalling Tiemstra who retired from the board in 2022 after completing the statutory maximum term. Over an eight-year period, he made a valuable contribution to the continued growth and good results of the company. In turn, we welcomed his successor, Rob Zandbergen.
The 2022 Financial Statements are prepared by the Executive Board and have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants N.V. (its report can be found in section [“Other Information”]. The 2022 Financial Statements have been approved and signed by all members of the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board on 16 March 2023. We recommend to the shareholders that they adopt the 2022 Financial Statements and that the Executive Board is granted discharge with respect to its management as well as the Supervisory Board for its supervision during the financial year 2022. Given the 2022 result, we support the proposal of the Executive Board to pay a dividend of €1.33 per share.
Our thanks to the Executive Board, the Executive Council and to every employee for their hard work in 2022. We are grateful to all our clients for their business and look forward to working with all our stakeholders to deliver positive impact for clients, society and the organisation in 2023.
Amersfoort, the Netherlands
March 16, 2023
P.M.M. (Peter) Blauwhoff (Chairman)
A.M. (Angelique) Paulussen-Hoogakker
F.C.M. (Francine) Roelofsen-van Dierendonck
D.A. (Daan) Sperling (Vice-Chairman)
R. (Rob) Zandbergen