Growing beyond boundaries

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1 Deerns Group Annual Report 2010 Healthy living and working environment Mission critical facilities Sustainability and energy New techniques Safety and security Growing beyond boundaries


3 Annual Report 2010 Growing beyond boundaries New exciting challenges present themselves on a daily basis. Challenges that require our creative talent, technical expertise and ability to explore and apply new possibilities, often in close cooperation with partners. The world is changing at top speed and Deerns makes sure to change accordingly. This we do in the vanguard of our field of expertise. Ever more often we explore the limits of this field, enabling us to come up with innovative designs and solutions and technical innovations contribute ever more significantly to sustainability and energy saving, to a pleasant and safe living and working environment, and to our clients success, both nationally and internationally. We are constantly in pursuit of a new optimum. That s our challenge. In this annual report we explain how we proceed. Deerns brings concepts to life.

4 2 Deerns Annual Report 2010 Foreword Over the year 2010 our firm has seen a gradual recovery from the setback incurred in 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis. In 2009, our revenues dropped by almost 6% and results almost halved; in 2010 revenue grew a little again, and financial results rose, though our overall profitability has not yet returned to pre-crisis levels. Our largest market, the Dutch, was lackluster and in the first half year sales here were still too low to fully utilize capacity. Fortunately, performance in our second largest market, Germany, was very good, both in our Cologne and Berlin offices. Our USA activities, started a few years ago, boded for promising developments but still required investments in 2010 to establish their market position. By contrast, the new office opened in Paris in July has proven profitable already after half a year of business in France. While recovering from the difficult situation in 2009, we have continued investing in talented staff, in the development of international practices, and in diversifying our activities in the Dutch market. We stick to our core competences of mechanical, electrical, energy and sustainability consultancy and design work, but will no longer restrict ourselves in applying these just to buildings. The year 2010 also saw a number of important steps on our path to sustainability in our operations, while we also worked hard to increase our sustainability leverage factor through energy and material efficient design work with many of our clients and in a wide range of projects, ranging from hospitals to data centers, from airports to office buildings. This work resulted in a number of highly innovative projects varying from the extremely environmentally sound TNT Headquarters and the TransPort building in The Netherlands, both awarded a LEED Platinum certificate. Also, a range of projects (Education center ROC Twente, Museum The Hermitage in Amsterdam and office building TransPort at Schiphol Airport) won De Nederlandse Bouwprijs (the best renovated and transformed buildings in The Netherlands 2010). We are proud to present to you on the following pages a more extensive overview of our activities and results achieved in 2010, and we look forward to meeting you in Jan Karel Mak President of the Board In 2010, we also made steps towards our internal development from what is still essentially a Dutch firm with a number of foreign offices, into a truly international firm, deeply rooted in Western Europe and with a relevant presence in selected other parts of the world. Thus, we have further developed our capabilities to serve clients, combining essential local know-how and cultural understanding with global practice competences, e.g. in airport, data center, clean room, and sustainable office design.

5 Growing beyond boundaries 3 Contents Foreword 2 Part 1: Deerns overview 5 Key figures 6 Profile 7 Strategy 8 Markets and clients 9 The five Deerns themes 10 Healthy living and working environment 11 Mission critical facilities 12 Sustainability and energy 13 New techniques 14 Safety and security 15 Part 2: Governance 17 Board of Directors 18 Report of the Supervisory Board 21 Corporate Social Responsibility 22 Human Resources 24 Financial Results 25 Part 3: Outlook Part 4: Personalia 41 Management and Board of Directors 42 Organisation Chart 43 Memberships and Social contributions 44 Addresses 45 Colophon Text and editing Deerns, Smidswater Design Smidswater Photography Jeroen Dietz, Getty Images, Hollandse Hoogte, istock Print Edauw+Johannissen Drukkerij

6 Growing beyond boundaries 4 Deerns Annual Report 2010 Olivier Severini / Managing Director at Deerns France Joining Deerns was a conscious decision. The firm is fundamentally well thought out, with a beautifully balanced client portfolio. And now I would like to make a contribution to the international expansion. Obviously the firm is strong as it is in both the Netherlands and Germany, but it is not quite well known in France for instance. This country has many opportunities on offer when sustainability expertise is involved. And sustainability is precisely what Deerns DNA is all about. I noticed that we are being accepted here in France. We work together with the locals and at the same time we are the extension of a Dutch firm. That is how we are introducing new ideas and new technologies onto the market. These technologies, however, have already proven themselves on other markets. Now Deerns has consciously decided to internationalise, to engage the best engineers and grow along with international clients. Deerns has the potential to grow at the European level

7 Growing beyond boundaries 5 PART 1 Deerns overview Key figures Profile Strategy Markets and clients

8 6 Deerns Annual Report 2010 Key figures Deerns Group ( ) Revenue 45,644,871 44,785,877 45,905,458 Net Result 2,845,917 1,231,284 3,027,711 Return on Assets 14.5% 8.0% 22.1% Solvency 40.8% 32.8% 27.4% Current Ratio Staff (fte)

9 Growing beyond boundaries 7 Profile The Deerns Group is an international technical consultancy and engineering firm that helps clients build a sustainable, comfortable and safe built environment. To that end, we develop the technical and technological infrastructure of buildings and related facilities, from the first concept to detailed design and construction management. Deerns strives to be a leading firm, making our wide range of skills, knowledge and experience available to our clients, leveraging the enthusiasm of our highly dedicated, serviceoriented professional and support staff. To foster an innovative and professional atmosphere, we invest heavily in attracting, developing, exciting and retaining talented professionals. Developing and maintaining long-lasting relationships with our clients help us deliver quality engineering, as well as understand our clients business processes and technical needs. We seek to maintain a profound service orientation by honoring our key values: fostering professional quality, inspiring entrepreneurship, building our reputation, maintaining high ethical standards, and warranting adequate internal and external coorperation. We are eager to improve client services and develop our business through practical innovations. We are at our best in bringing concepts to life when engineering integrated solutions for complex technical issues and complex client organisations. We maximize our added value, wherever relevant, in productive co-operation with other specialised service partners that match our ambitions and standards. Engineering integrated solutions for complex technical issues

10 8 Deerns Annual Report 2010 Strategy Deerns aims at enhancing its position as a prominent European consulting and design firm, specialised in building services and mission critical facilities design, and to build a distinct global presence in selected market segments, in the areas of building services, building physics, and energy consultancy, engineering and project management. To that end, we have formulated a strategy based on the following three pillars: 1. Further improving our Operational Quality 2. Differentiating our Service Portfolio in Home Markets 3. Developing Internationally 1. Towards Operational Excellence Though we are seen by many as a high-quality firm, we know improvement is a continuous process, especially the improvement of work process efficiency. In 2010 we paid special attention to the following topics: streamlining of project acquisition reporting and work planning procedures; further developing our internal knowledge management systems (Lucene knowledge retrieval tool, videoconferencing network, Deerns Concept Studio, Technology Mentors, Knowledge Center for Legal and Contracting Affairs, Practice Days); improving our Marketing/Communications performance (especially in English). Furthermore, preparations were started to replace our management information system that has now been in use for 10 years. A new system, as well as other ICT renovations (a.o. our system) will be implemented in Service Portfolio Differentiation We seek to diversify our service offerings without, however, straying into activity fields that are not covered by our key competences. We diversify through: Encouraging our professional staff to pursue new business, capitalising on our knowledge and client base; Developing and growing new niche positions; Seeking alliances with top-notch partners (generally specialist service providers like ourselves) to develop new business or to supplement our service offerings. In 2010 we made our first steps into Tunnel design, and further developed our Building Physics practice. 3. International Development We aspire to develop Deerns internationally along two avenues: by establishing a prominent European position, working along the entire service range of our business; by establishing global practices in market areas that are characterised by their truly international nature. In Europe, we successfully opened an office in Paris, while we mothballed our Barcelona office due to the economic situation in Spain. We furthermore made preparations for opening an office in the United Kingdom. At the global level, we made further investments in the development of our Denver office. Steps were made in the development of our global Data Center and Airports Practices; a number of significant data center projects were acquired in different parts of the world, and in the USA a watershed public contract was awarded to us by Denver International Airport, next to a range of new airport projects in the Middle East.

11 Growing beyond boundaries 9 Markets and clients Deerns works for a wide range of clients, private and public, large and small. With many of our clients we have maintained a long-standing relationship, sometimes for decades on end. Just a few examples of these are Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KPN and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Deerns offers consultancy, design, tendering and project management services in the following broadly defined market segments. Office, commercial and mixed used buildings, hotels, leisure facilities and educational buildings (schools, universities); among our many clients are OVG Project Development, the Dutch National Building Service (RGD), Generali Deutschland Immobilien GmbH/AachenMünchener Versicherung, Bühnen der Stadt Köln, Ahoy Rotterdam, Museum Hermitage Amsterdam, Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam, Züblin RE Development Paris. Airports to whom we provide general building services as well as specialised services such as runway lighting, traffic control towers, baggage handling, customs, navigational aids and safety and security design. The practice is worldwide. Ongoing projects are in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Egypt, Botswana, Gibraltar, Taiwan and The Dutch Antilles. Hospitals and other health care facilities; our work in this field is largely Dutch. Here too, we combine general building services design work with highly specialised work, e.g. regarding operation theatre climatisation, hygiene and lighting; X-ray bunkers; pharmacies; medical gases, etc. Current projects are, e.g., Reinier de Graaf Groep Delft, Isala Klinieken Zwolle, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam, University Medical Centre Groningen, Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis Den Bosch, Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, Amphia Hospital in Breda, Academic Hospital Maastricht, Maxima Medical Center in Eindhoven, St. Franciscus Gasthuis in Rotterdam and the New Hospital Curaçao (NHC) on Curaçao. Mission-critical facilities such as data centers, clean rooms and research laboratories; in this segment we work for clients in the telecom, banking, pharmaceuticals and research sectors. Especially the data center practice grew in 2010, with projects for existing and new corporate clients in The Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Russia and the USA, and projects for public clients in The Netherlands. Energy conservation and sustainable buildings design; a large share of our work in the above sectors has been focused on reducing the ecological footprint of real estate development and use, and a growing number of our clients asks us to achieve LEED and BREEAM classifications some of which were quite challenging (e.g. LEED platinum for the TransPort Building (Schiphol Real Estate Amsterdam) and the TNT Headquarters (Hoofddorp, NL), and BREEAM Excellent for the UPC offices in Leeuwarden, NL).

12 10 Deerns Annual Report 2010 THEMES The five Deerns themes Technology must be subservient to society. This is why we constantly seek to further improve the quality of our sustainability and multidisciplinary solutions. We aim for quality that ensures a perfect balance between user friendliness, the environment, safety, ease of maintenance and costs. Our project teams always make sure to look beyond their own disciplines to find that new optimum, together with the client. Our activities are dominated by five social themes. Healthy living and working environments Mission critical facilities Sustainability and energy New techniques Safety and security

13 De vijf thema s van Deerns 11 Healthy living and working environments Vlietland Hospital in Schiedam, The Netherlands In our offices, our people are key. Every work space receives enough daylight. And, more importantly, the working environment is conducive to meeting and inspiring one another A sound working and living environment significantly improves the well-being, productivity and performance of those present. A modern indoor environment has an excellent indoor climate. Deerns has the know-how and programs available to create such an environment.

14 12 Deerns Annual Report 2010 Mission critical facilities Our data centers must perform 100% permanently. Simultaneously, we want them to match our corporate responsibility for the environment. Today, these can go together When operations are critically dependent on the performance of complex facilities, our client must rest assured these facilities will not fail. With our wide knowledge of processes that determine the functioning of clean rooms, data centers and surgery rooms, we at Deerns know how to avoid down-time, malfunctions and damage.

15 Growing De vijf thema s beyond van boundaries Deerns 13 Ille de la Jatte, Paris, France Sustainability and energy An energy efficient building was a no-brainer for us. Our challenge was to take a step beyond: a CO 2 -neutral building that even supplies energy To make progress in the area of sustainability is simply a societal priority. We create sustainable designs to help society become future-proof, and thus also deliver financial benefits for our clients. We maintain a close cooperation with architectural firms to achieve maximum energy benefits in the design phase.

16 14 Deerns Annual jaarvesrlag Report De Doelen theatre Rotterdam, The Netherlands New techniques These are challenging times. The word impossible is not in our dictionary. We continuously investigate how innovations can improve our business processes To achieve progressive energy savings and to realise a sustainable society, new technical options and solutions must be developed. Deerns is consistently ahead in doing just that, making its contribution through the development of innovative technical services concepts.

17 Growing De vijf thema s beyond van boundaries Deerns 15 Hermitage museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands Safety and security We have implemented a security solution that is well integrated in our business processes and our sites it magnificently leverages our safety policies Sound security and safety systems ensure continuous, undisturbed operations. They help prevent fires, criminal acts, equipment failure and interruptions of data transmission. Deerns is capable of planning safety and security systems and procedures that balance security concerns, risk management processes, existing regulations and budgetary concerns.

18 16 Growing Deerns Annual beyond Report 2010 boundaries Paul Stoelinga / Senior Advisor We constantly apply new technologies and insights to drastically improve energy efficiency. A good example is the use of industrial residual heat at 40 to 50 degrees. That is insufficient for the industry however you can perfectly use it for heating houses. This heat is almost for free however the house does require a large surface area for heat emission purposes. You also need to come up with a solution for tap water. Dynamic design calculations are required to ensure the house really becomes comfortable. Another challenge is using the deep geothermal resources with water that can reach no less than 90 degrees. It is worthwhile provided you can use it at a large scale and provided it also lends itself to existing buildings. This means studying energy at district level or business park level. Economically, heat networks can be, however, on bad terms with the houses increasingly declining demand for heat. In short, enough challenges lie ahead of us. In 10 years time energy-neutral districts will be profitable

19 Growing beyond boundaries 17 PART 2 Governance Board of Directors Supervisory board Corporate Social Responsibility Human Resources Financial results

20 18 Deerns Annual Report 2010 Board of Directors Gradual market recovery In our largest market, The Netherlands, the year 2010 has not been easy. In the first half, we struggled with a sluggish market in the Laboratories and Data Center segment, resulting in overcapacity in this group. In our regional practice North (Groningen office) too, we faced some underutilization. By contrast, our Office Building practice flourished despite the commercial real estate crisis, thanks to our solid position in designing sustainable office buildings, both for public clients (e.g., the Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs) and private corporations (e.g., OVG Real Estate and their clients such as TNT and UPC). In our Health Care practice, some client hospitals slowed or postponed projects due to financing uncertainties, but we simultaneously acquired a few new clients, resulting in a further rise of market share. The financial stress on the hospital sector necessitated difficult negotiations with some large clients, however, and the practice has found it difficult to yield the financial results that one would expect from a market leadership position. The Airport Practice was strong and yielded a relatively good result. New projects were acquired, especially in the Middle East, and prospects here are good despite payment problems with one large client in this region. To bring profitability in the Netherlands back to an acceptable level, we have intensified the governance of our twelve business units, with four directors each focusing more closely on supporting three of these. Operational focus was increased on key factors such as efficiency in design processes and acquisition quality, and sick leave rates and prevention were also given extra attention. In 2010 the external public relations in the Netherlands received a boost from a new corporate magazine and a new electronic newsletter for external relations and a wholly revised Dutch website. In Germany, both our offices were particularly successful. Schmidt Reuter (Cologne) was able to substitute cancelled or halted projects with new ones without losing productivity; we further developed our position in high-end office buildings, made further steps into the data center business, and saw our Research and Development group develop well with innovative work in the area of sustainable buildings. Our Berlin office (P2B) was equally profitable, not least thanks to the big Bikini Berlin mixed-use real estate development project, which is thus far developing well. With these two offices we have a high-quality presence in this large EU market, which should be relatively promising in view of the current economic situation in Germany. However, specific local complexities dictate a certain level of prudence; in 2010, too, competitors went bankrupt buckling under contracts for large projects (e.g., the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Berlin s new Airport) that looked attractive on the outside but were governed by untenable contract conditions. Nonetheless, our reputation and experience, both in project negotiation and management and in high-performance execution, offer us a good starting position for profitable growth in Germany. Among the operational improvements Schmidt Reuter realised was a major improvement of its proprietary website. In the United States, we had a shift of the management and encountered a delay in our development. Building our reputation and market presence has taken more time than anticipated. However, in 2010 we did acquire a major contract with Denver International Airport, which not only will provide our office there with a steady project flow in the years to come, but also greatly enhances our credibility with potential government clients. Our new Denver office in the Taxi Building office complex was opened in the autumn; we share an inspiring work environment here with a number of other smaller innovative professional services and creative companies. Beyond the Denver region, we have started to build a network presence in the Airport design and Data Center design practices, the latter with a focus on the East coast. Things developed more quickly in France, where we opened a new office in the summer of Starting with a small team of experienced and dedicated consultants, working from our small Paris office, a profitable new business unit has come to life. While most of the initial work was in the area of sustainability consulting ( Bâtiments HQE, haute qualité environnementale), we are now also moving toward the design of new office buildings. Not only was 2010 performance good from the start, a comfortable project portfolio for 2011 has also been built.

21 Growing beyond boundaries 19 Our team in Paris has set up a profitable new business unit In view of the disappointing experiences and bleak prospects in the Spanish market, we have mothballed our office at Barcelona s Paseo de Graçia according to plan. Keeping some office facilities and management capacity available at low cost, and maintaining our relationship network, we will be able to revive our Spanish presence as soon as market opportunities will start emerging. Finally, though our office in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) currently does not operate as a viable business unit in itself, it serves as a very convenient project office and support infrastructure for our ongoing Airport design projects in the Middle East. International business development The year 2010 has seen a marked increase in the number of cross-border initiatives. This development is especially manifest in market segments that have an international character, either because of the dominance of international clients, the nature of the projects as relatively unconnected to local culture and circumstances, or because of the degree of specialisation as a result of which any national market is small in volume. Market segments that fall in one of these categories are Airports, Data Centers and Clean Rooms. Not only in countries where Deerns has offices, but elsewhere too (Eastern Europe, Middle East, East Asia) clients start to approach us. Responding to these developments, we have developed plans to build International Practices. The leaders of these practices will be charged with the task to develop and implement an international market development strategy, and to warrant quality of our work and responsiveness of our teams. This development presents a marked departure from our traditional business approach, centered around the Dutch market and regarding foreign projects as incidental occurrences rather than part of a strategic trend. Organisational development The development of International Practices is one of two organisational adaptations of our firm to market and clientele development. The other is a transition of Deerns from a primarily Dutch firm with some foreign offices into an international firm, in which the Dutch group of offices is one of the national organisations within the group, albeit a relatively large one. Building our international presence, providing support staff expertise to new offices as needed and recruiting and nurturing talent have become increasingly difficult tasks for the Dutch head office of Deerns raadgevende ingenieurs. The time has come for a structural improvement and a more consistent common One Firm approach to key management tasks such as financial budgeting and reporting, public relations, marketing support, knowledge management, management development and ICT. In 2010 we started to prepare the organisational change that is required to cope with these needs. Deerns raadgevende ingenieurs will hand its central position within Deerns to the Deerns Group holding corporation, and gradually develop into the Dutch operational company within the firm, next to the German, French, American and future other national organisations. While a large part of the projects in each of these companies will continue to have a distinctly national character, projects in our International Practices will require close cross-border cooperation in marketing, in the early phases of project execution, in quality control and in innovation. It is foreseen that leaders of the International Practices will thus develop these in close cooperation with the management of the national companies who will take business responsibility for each individual project and who will provide the project staff.

22 20 Deerns Annual Report 2010 Risk Management Our prime operational risk is discontinuity of one or more offices, due to fire, power failure, internet failure, ERP software failure, IT system failure or massive illness. In 2010, we have reviewed our contingency plan, shored up our server capacity and backup, and started preparations to replace our current Axapta ERP in With our corporate health service provider in the Netherlands (Arbodienst) we have analysed sick leave numbers and discussed with the management early awareness, prevention and re-integration; this year we also provided free flu vaccinations again, to which staff response was meager, however. Our prime financial risks are limited to project claim risks, debtor failure and to some degree currency risk. A secondary financial risk type lies in issues regarding financial management and administrative processes. After the departure this year of the financial manager in the Netherlands, measures were started to improve our financial organisation and procedures aimed at reducing such risks. Throughout the year we performed internal quality audits in addition to the external ISO audits; the latter yielded positive results only. The risk associated with mismanagement in parts of the firm has received increasing attention through a more intensive opera tional guidance by the Board. Three managers (a support staff manager and a group manager in the Netherlands, and the manager in the United States) left their position in Our reputation and experience give us a good starting position for profitable growth

23 Growing beyond boundaries 21 Report of the Supervisory Board Deerns Group does not yet have a formally appointed Super visory Board. Instead, the external Board members of the shareholder, the foundation Stichting Administratiekantoor Deerns Groep BV, fulfil an informal supervisory role. The term Supervisory Board is used here in anticipation of a future status change of the foundation s external board members. The Supervisory Board was composed as follows in 2010: Paul Smits, chairman (member since 2007) Tom Rövekamp (member since 1996) vacancy In the reporting year, the Supervisory Board met with the Board of Directors of Deerns Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV on seven occasions. During these meetings, two of which where followed by a joint meeting with Deerns external Advisory Board, the following subjects were discussed. Finance The 2009 annual figures were reviewed in the presence of the chartered accountant (Ms. Drs. M.A. Westerhout RA of Ernst & Young); the outcomes of the accountant s audit were part of the discussion. In all meetings, attention was paid to the recovery of the enterprise from the downturn caused by the economic crisis in Moreover, the robustness of the administrative organisation and the financial management, cash flow and liquidity as well as investment policy were discussed. Management and staff During a few meetings the Supervisory Board was introduced to some of the business managers of Deerns in the Netherlands to get an impression of the characteristics of these key people in the Deerns organisation. The task distribution within the Board of Directors and the development of this leadership team were also discussed. Supervisory Board composition It was agreed that Tom Rövekamp will resign in 2011; the foreseen future composition of the Supervisory Board was discussed. Impression of the firm s performance The Supervisory Board is of the opinion that it has an adequate view of the performance and leadership of the enterprise. Based on this view, the Supervisory Board believes that the Deerns Group develops well. Rijswijk, 12 april 2011 P. Smits, chairman T. Rövekamp Strategy In various meetings, the international development of the firm, the concurrent organisational adaptations, and a number of potential acquisitions were discussed.



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