Ballast Nedam annual report 2023

Building a sustainable living environment in challenging conditions

Kemal Sağlam, CEO of Ballast Nedam reflects: “In 2023, Ballast Nedam demonstrated resilience in navigating global economic challenges as well as complexities within the construction market. We proudly reflect on our diverse portfolio of projects, recognising our dedicated employees for driving continuous improvement. This is a great compliment to all our people for their dedication, entrepreneurship and resilience."

"It was a year in which we focused on maintaining a healthy and stable business. Emphasising a focus on operational excellence, we prioritised a consistent way of working for project execution, securing accumulated knowledge and experience. We select projects that match our competences and our strategy. With this approach we create a healthier project portfolio and realise landmark projects with manageable risks. Other important strategic pillars are international growth, a focus on specialised product-market combinations, being an employer of choice and corporate social responsibility.” 

Our responsibility to today’s challenges 

Climate change has far-reaching effects on our environment, ecosystems, urban living conditions and human societies. These impacts manifest in various ways, affecting our living environment. In this changing world where we intensively use our energy resources and the need to preserve and protect our climate is evident, it is necessary to take responsibility. Fundamental changes are needed to offer a promising future. 

As transitions in the field of energy, water, urban development, mobility and industries are ongoing, Ballast Nedam contributes to all these changes. We build houses, roads, ports, and also wind farms and dam constructions to protect the land from flooding. We convert fossil plants into sustainable alternatives. Increasingly with circular materials and with zero emission construction equipment and processes. We provide future-proof solutions, on a national and international level.  

On our way to a healthy and sustainable living environment

The eminent importance of accelerating a sustainable energy system and finding future proof ways of living, leads to further changes in our environment. In the realm of sustainability, Ballast Nedam is committed to making a tangible impact. Our goal is clear: by 2030, we aim to achieve 100% CO2 neutrality within scope 1&2. To become climate neutral, we invest by setting up an emission-free fleet (lease cars and company buses) and we invest in zero-emission construction equipment. For example, we have refitted several crawler tower cranes with 100% emission free engines in 2023. Looking ahead to 2040, our ambition extends to becoming energy neutral. This means that Ballast Nedam will generate as much green energy as it needs. This involves substantial investments in green energy and the development of independent energy sources. This is in line with global efforts to combat climate change. 

Creating a tangible impact is a collaborative task and we are working with all of our stakeholders to achieve our sustainability targets. We are actively minimising waste and elevating circularity levels. Concurrently, we are dedicated to enhancing biodiversity in our projects and integrating the use of biobased materials.   

We also celebrate significant accomplishments in the field of safety as a result of our Take Care approach. Improving our safety means creating a safe, open and healthy working environment; the goal is to work safely and return home safely. Our Take Care approach exemplifies the power of good exemplary behaviour and personal leadership. We aspire for everyone in the company to have an intrinsic safety attitude, in which we take care of each other. Impressively, there has been a substantial 40% reduction in lost time incidents, indicating a positive trend that we aspire to sustain. Safety remains paramount, with the understanding that any incident is one too many. At Ballast Nedam, we successfully stayed at level 3 of the Safety Culture Ladder and bridged the gap to level 4 for the first two business units in 2023. 

Our focus on data collection and digitalisation extends to the implementation of new systems in our business processes. This includes the development of enhanced project management tools, progress monitoring, asset monitoring, and the integration of robotic process automation and the use of AI. We believe a structured common data environment is crucial for decision making and future business process optimisations.  

We acknowledge that our people enable us to develop in the desired way. Ensuring a healthy, challenging and rewarding work environment is therefore a key driver for success.  We are committed to being an employer of choice through the diversity of our businesses and projects, our entrepreneurial spirit providing many opportunities to learn and grow and our attention to employee wellbeing. 

Urban development and construction 

Even though we can see some signs of recovery at the end of last year, we still see that the housing industry is under pressure. This is largely attributed to higher mortgage rates, declining consumer confidence, and increased construction costs. As a result, on average, fewer projects are being put up for sale. On top of economic factors, lengthy legal processes, as well as numerous objections from the community, contribute to extended project timelines. Uncertainty surrounding the regulation of mid-range rental market is also influencing housing production, as well as the continuing scarcity of building space, especially in light of the nitrogen measures. Despite these challenges, our division Ballast Nedam Development holds a pioneering position in finding holistic, sustainable solutions to achieve sustainable urban development goals.  

Our regional construction activities range from small scaled land based housing projects to large urban solutions for living, working and leisure. Our regional presence is a strength as we operate close to markets and clients. This increases accessibility and a close understanding of clients. Meanwhile we are increasing the share of modular projects within our portfolio and looking more ways to increase the use of timber and bio diversified materials within our modules. Our expertise in the fields of construction, modular construction, renovation and restauration, contribute to creating a better living environment. 


In 2023 we signed the contract with Rijkswaterstaat for the A27 to perform design, construction and maintenance services for the A27 motorway project from Everdingen to Hooipolder, a joint venture with Fluor, called ALSÉÉN. The two-phase approach fits into our early contractor involvement approach and allows us to fully integrate our long term construction experiences of similar scope and projects and to manage project risks for both Rijkwaterstaat and the joint venture. Ballast Nedam Infra Projects also strengthened its focus on product specialisms. In the wind energy market the projects Maasvlakte 2 and Windplanblauw were recently completed. Our specialised expertise in tunnelling is expanding in the Netherlands as well as abroad. The challenging immersion of the Maasdeltatunnel took place in October 2023. An immersed tunnel project in Iraq started in 2023 and will be completed beginning of 2025.

Also our replacement and renovation works for Rijkswaterstaat on the A73 tunnels continue. Our foundation and excavation solutions as well as our road construction works, contribute to our broad scope of expertise. We will continue to focus even more on replacement, renovation, and maintenance projects which represents a significant workload potential. This broad project portfolio balances the risks within our infrastructure group.  

With our selective tendering and de-risking approach for our project portfolio, we stay away from price driven tenders and focus on more EMVI driven tenders as well as product-market combinations where we can make a difference. 

International ambitions 

We are a Dutch construction company with a focus on the local construction market. At the same time, executing international projects has always been in our DNA. We have a long history abroad and a strong international reputation in mostly marine and water works, tunnelling and utility buildings. Iconic landmarks such as the King Fahd Causeway in Bahrein and Curaçao Medical Centre in Curaçao are examples we are still proud of. We continue to grow our strong international reputation and explore opportunities abroad. This means that we continue to undertake large and complex construction projects aligned with our global resources and execution capabilities. Highlights of 2023 include successes for our international division, with projects in Guinea, Tanzania, Luxembourg, Sri Lanka and Sint Maarten. For 2024, we pursue the ambition to expand further in Africa, the CIS countries, the Caribbean, and the Nordics.  

In January 2024, Ballast Nedam N.V. acquired 100% of the shares of Rönesans Endustri Tesisleri A.S (Rönesans Industrial Facilities Construction and Trade, hereafter “RET”). The company will be part of the international portfolio within Ballast Nedam. The company has a track record of mainly industrial projects in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In collaboration with its sister companies and through strategic partnerships, RET provides first class project development, finance, engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and project management for large-scale projects. The decision to acquire RET is part of the long-term strategy and ambition to grow our international presence, making use of the strength of our combined companies. With the addition of RET, Ballast Nedam N.V. and its mother company Rönesans Holding A.S, will create an optimal platform to service its global customer base, as well as strengthen the financials of Ballast Nedam. Based on the current and developing order book, it is expected that in the upcoming years RET will contribute to the growth of Ballast Nedam with more than 30% and further improve the EBITDA margin. 

Financial results 

Key figures 2023 

  • Revenue: € 1,112.7 million (2022: € 1,430.8 million) 
  • EBITDA: € 57.0 million (2022: € 54.2 million) 
  • Net result: € 23.7 million (2022: € 31.7 million) 
  • Order book: € 1.3 billion (2022: € 1.4 billion) 
  • Solvency: 30.0% (2022: 24.9%) 
  • Working capital ratio: 1.3 (2022: 1.2) 
  • Cash and cash equivalents: € 122.9 million (2022: € 171.0 million) 

Ballast Nedam concluded 2023 with a positive operating performance, in line with the expectations of our midterm business plan. Our activities continue to be supported by sustained demand for residential and non-residential buildings, replacement and renovation of infrastructure and the ongoing energy transition. Revenue amounted to € 1,112.7 million, EBITDA improved to € 57 million, the corresponding EBITDA margin 5.1%. These results include the effects of the decision in 2023 to execute all our future building construction projects within our regional companies and wind down the central business unit Ballast Nedam Building Projects. Ballast Nedam’s financial indicators remain solid, with a working capital ratio of 1.3 (compared to 1.2 in 2022) and a year-end cash position of € 122.8 million (compared to € 171.0 million in 2022). The solvency ratio stands at 30.0%, exceeding the level of our best years. The order book, of € 1.3 billion (compared to € 1.4 billion in 2022), remains at a satisfactory level.

Ballast Nedam continues to focus on acquiring projects with a balanced risk-reward ratio. Reflecting on the broader industry landscape, global challenges have introduced uncertainties. These factors have also impacted Ballast Nedam’s profitability and operations. We remain vigilant, closely monitoring these developments with an awareness of their potential future impact. 


“Since 3 years, Ballast Nedam has been working with a revised strategy for its construction activities in the Netherlands, tailored to the current market conditions and aligning effectively with the company’s capabilities. This involves selective tendering, projects with repetitive processes, and niche product-market mixes. This is paying off and we see the project portfolio is much more stable and predictable now. This of course puts some pressure on revenue growth, but our focus is always on the continuity and profitability of the company and we are finding new growth areas where we can make a difference, such as the energy transition. Looking ahead to 2024, the outlook is geared towards a sustainable and profitable business perspective."  

"We are dedicated to building a safe and sustainable living environment. I believe that we need to find the balance in our quest for a healthy business in a healthy environment. We do this together with our competent and dedicated colleagues and with all other stakeholders whom we interact with. Hopefully we can do this in a safe environment where we take care for each other.”  

Atilla Kemal Sağlam, CEO Ballast Nedam. 

Annual report 2023

You can find the complete annual report of 2023 and previous years via the link below.

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