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NOM presents annual figures: 2019 growth and innovation strength in different light due to corona crisis

The current Covid-19 measures mean that the Northern Netherlands economy is also about damage limitation, staying afloat and rethinking. NOM assists companies, with a focus on the now and the future.

  • NOM offers assistance to corona-affected companies through various measures;
  • The question is what longer-term impact Covid-19 is going to have on the global economy. What issues arise from this crisis and how can the region play a role in it;
  • A unique combination of several factors means that NOM's 2019 annual result results in a loss of 5.2 million euros.

The region's previously realized power of growth and innovation and its financial results in 2019 seem trivial in light of current events. In a short time, the economic situation has changed completely. It is clear that the impact on NOM's portfolio could be significant, although the full extent is still difficult to estimate. Of the 174 companies associated with the funds NOM manages, more than 60 have now applied for the scheme offered by NOM to defer interest and repayments.

Size and effect

The NOM team has intensive contact with companies. 'Precisely to ensure the growth of companies in the future, all focus is needed now for staying afloat and rethinking,' says director Dina Boonstra. 'All sectors are affected to a greater or lesser extent. The extent and effect of lost sales differ, as does the moment when companies start to feel it seriously. Recreation, hospitality and the events sector and their suppliers are directly impacted, but nurseries or companies that depend on raw materials from Asia, the U.S. and parts of Europe are also in trouble. From region to world level: chain reactions are taking place everywhere and it is not yet foreseeable what the consequences will be in the medium term.'

Being inventive

In the region, start-ups and scale-ups are important factors for development, innovation and economic growth. 'They are also hit hard and, moreover, fall outside the national bank guarantee scheme,' Boonstra knows. 'That is why we, together with the other regional development companies, are pushing for a bridging loan.' Meanwhile, NOM also sees entrepreneurs using their inventiveness and flexibility to find solutions to loss of sales where possible. Boonstra: 'A crisis also offers opportunities. The delivery service Dropper is working overtime and some of our participations are busy with new products and services. For example, Hulotech is making a contribution to hygiene with a plastic door handle that works via the forearm, and EventInsight has developed a digital platform to allow large conferences to take place virtually.'

Financial results 2019

The 2019 annual result was set at a loss of 5.2 million euros. This was caused by a unique combination of rising provision levels, lower dividend income, the absence of significant divestments and write-offs due to bankruptcies. Rudy Rabbinge, chairman of the Supervisory Board: 'A positive development is that the underlying value of the NOM portfolio increased by 16 million euros in 2019. Last year - including refinancings - 99 investments were provided with a total size of over 25 million euros. This far exceeded the targets.' The total of all funds managed by NOM comes to 174 companies.

Other cargo

From its core tasks - developing, investing and acquiring - NOM contributes to the growth and innovation power of the region and also to the creation and retention of jobs. Specifically, in 2019 NOM worked on 74 business cases involving 89 companies. These companies invested 331 million euros in growth, innovation and employment in the Northern Netherlands. Of that, they invested 95 million in sustainability. Together they created 405 new jobs. 'Beautiful developments, but we are now irrevocably facing setbacks,' Boonstra realizes. 'Our task as NOM, together with companies in the Northern Netherlands, to contribute to the major social transitions, takes on a different connotation at this time: how can our region concretely also be of significance in the issues raised by this crisis?'

Eye for the future

NOM's networking function comes in handy here, according to Boonstra. 'We form a connecting link and where necessary we link parties together. Besides the much-needed focus on the now, it is also important to keep the future in sight. Large projects are on the back burner, but still deserve attention. From the greening of the chemical industry to boosting the Lelyline: as NOM we also keep an eye on the developments that are in the interest of a strong region and thus for the companies that are now working very hard to stay afloat. We assist them where we can. However big the impact on everyone's results will be, the important thing is that we will soon be taking steps forward again.'