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Boskalis raises earnings outlook and offers solution to pension issues

November 22 - Royal Boskalis Westminster, a global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors, has reported that Q3 2010 trading has risen, thanks in part to its contested takeover of SMIT this year.

At the same time, its salvage, transport and heavylift activity saw an improvement in the third quarter compared to the first two quarters.

After a relatively quiet first half year, SMIT Salvage experienced a few busy months with new salvage contracts in countries including India and Germany. At Transport & Heavy Lift, most activities showed an improvement compared to the first two quarters, while the anchor handling tugs reported good utilisation levels. Demand for sub-sea activities and services in the Netherlands picked up, partly because of the summer season. The company's sheerlegs also saw good utilisation levels in the third quarter.

This helped Papendrecht, Netherlands-based Boskalis to raise its earnings outlook for 2010 to at least USD395 million.

Meanwhile, Boskalis has offered a solution to issues created by the SMIT pension fund following the takeover this year.

The proposal encompasses a one-off voluntary deposit by Boskalis to the fund of approximately USD 41 million to bring the SMIT Pension Fund to the required level to give it sufficient prospects for recovery within the period of the recovery plan. This will allow the reduction in pensions from 1 January, 2011 to be avoided.

This deposit has no impact on the 2010 full-year profit forecast, says the company.

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