Updated: Boels reports on financial impact of pandemic

Boels Rental has reported revenues of €1.2 billion in 2020 – doubling because of the addition of Cramo – and said the pandemic had a “limited” impact on sales. Sales on a like-for-like basis, including Cramo, were down 6%.

EBITDA profit was 2% higher at €401.7 million, after adjustment for one-off gains and losses on the acquisition of Cramo and Covid-19 cost reduction measures. Boels completed the Cramo acquisition in February 2020.

Boels reports revenues of €1.2 billion in 2020.

The Netherlands-based company said the acquisition of Cramo had diversified its products, customers and market segments and that “the impact of the pandemic on total turnover remained limited.”

Jan-Piet Valk, Boels CFO, told IRN that he was proud of how the business had responsed to the health crisis; “If you look at what happened in the world, and in our business, I’m very proud that we took all the actions that we needed to immediately. And we did not ask for any government support.

“Second, I’m really happy with the business model. We have a very resilient model, with diversified products, customers and countries.”

Valk said the business had performed better than its major competitors in Europe.

Cost reduction measures taken when the pandemic hit included the loss of 500 jobs, including part-time and contract staff.

Boels said its focus on sustainability and digitisation had made significant contributions to the results. It doubled the numbers of online rental transactions last year and made “significant investments” in its fleet to expand the range and make it more sustainable, including battery powered equipment.

The latest such investments include the new JCB electric telehandler.

Boels also has many hundreds of in-store rental locations at DIY chains in continental Europe. Valk said that these had performed well during 2020, despite the pandemic, although the first quarter of 2021 had been more difficult because of poor weather and lockdowns in some markets.

Valk added; “We will forge ahead as we always have. Our efforts and ambitions in 2020 have laid a perfect foundation for the years to come, which, as always, is characterised by further growth.”

Boels operates in 18 European countries, has more than 720 depots and employs almost 7,000 people.

This story was updated on 9 July to add financial information.

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