GB Steel Group

Five companies, united in the business of steel.
The fifth company, MF Emmen, was acquired In 2020.


€ 100

million (2021: €72m). 2002 turnover exceeded 2021 turnover by 39%.


Return on equity (2021: 12,5%)






employees – with 56 new employees in 2022.

Energy transition

Group CO2 emissions were


metric tons, a decrease of 44% compared to 2015.

VET graduates


8 VET students graduated.

VET entrants


students started VET training.

Gross investments

€ 4.4 million

(2021: €3.5 m) The most important investment was the purchase of Beamline.



14 students started internships.

Production area

With our five divisions, we now have a production area of over

40.000 m2

National and international customers

Our customers last year outside the Netherlands included the United States, Mexico, Indonesia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, England, Norway, Croatia and Italy.

Step 3, Safety Culture Ladder

All organisational units reached

step 3

of the nationally recognised safety ladder.


‘Sustainable growth, keeps us busy’

Growth is a strange phenomenon in business. You can’t do without it. If you are successful, you get more work. And if you invest in your organisation, you manage to get that work done to your satisfaction. Purchase of a machine that works more efficiently, or can do more, enables one to stay ahead of the competition. It may cost more, but that can be justified by increased productivity, keeping pace with state-of-the-art developments and benefitting from economies of scale. This maintains margin, which is then used to fund further growth. Growth and development – useful partners on the roller coaster ride of business cycles.

This report covers the growth of GB Steel Group. In 2022, the group turned over 100 million euros in sales, for the first time – delivering 39% growth compared to 2021. At the same time, margin remained intact, an achievement we are proud of in current times. This is not an overnight achievement, however. Because growth requires a careful balance of factors. Grow too fast and, if the organisation’s growth doesn’t keep pace, the team, overall cohesion, systems and, indeed, any aspect of the organisation can fracture from the strain. Turnover growth without the necessary investment in development, can cripple the organisation.

Growth – on its own – has therefore never been our goal. Yes, we have ambitions, and we are constantly raising the bar, but at the same time we prepare thoroughly in order to perform. This requires the right people, in the right place, for every position in the company. Our strategy therefore includes plans to improve processes, innovate systems, develop skills and constantly improve teamwork. In order to remain attractive, and relevant. To ensure that we deliver the quality customers have come to expect from us. While retaining our modesty. And being true to ourselves.

This is important, because I’m convinced that the world is not as malleable as we think. We should never be under the illusion that we can always be in control. Economic growth has its limits, as we are increasingly aware. Resilience is therefore key.

Sustainable growth is good – for happiness and productivity. It’s our pleasure to tell you more about this in this annual report.

Bob Soetekouw
Managing Director, GB Steel Group

‘The right person in the right place, in every position in the team’

Our family of companies – in focus

Our organization

In 2022, Nauta Heeg’s work included slackening structures for the major lock maintenance project, Groot Onderhoud Vaarsluizen (GOVA), in the south of the country, near Oosterhout and Andel.

Our family business

We are a proud, family business built on more than 40 years of genuine passion and drive for the most diverse projects across a range of market segments. From steel, roof and façade structuress to bridges and locks, from recycling installations to tippers and containers, we literally and figuratively make steel work. Our five divisions target national and international markets. By focusing on continuous quality improvement, innovation and sustainability, we realise added value for our customers. And with a turnover of 100 million euros and over 300 employees, we are now one of the larger industrial employers in the north of the Netherlands.

Our culture

We started in 1980 as a builder of small sheds and warehouses. Now, four decades later, we’ve become a group of five, large steelworking companies. In the Netherlands and far beyond, this group has built a good name and reputation. Mainly because of the trust developed between us and our customers and principals. We create this trust by demonstrating to our partners and customers that we deliver quality and are an experienced partner. We stand by what we do. And we do what we promise. Furthermore, we‘ve built up a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years, across a diverse range of projects.

Demonstrated by the impressive list of buildings, bridges and locks, recycling installations, tippers and containers, to which we can put our name. A lot has changed in all these years, yet our group has always maintained its independence as a family business and an open culture in which we really pay attention to each other. Creating a pleasant, safe, inspiring work environment and investing fully in our employees is important to us. Because without their commitment, professionalism, skill and loyalty it would have been impossible in 2022 to again achieve a successful year.

Socially engaged

As a family business, we feel responsible for the world around us, today and to future generations. We’re aware of the effects our activities have on our environment and we want to minimise impact on the climate, in all our work. Our CSR policy is fully focussed on this. Together with our construction partners, we also focus on how we can increase our social contribution, and build as sustainably as possible. We also find it important to be socially involved in the regions and communities in which we operate. So we support many cultural, sports and social events and associations at local level. We also support many charities in which our employees are involved, as suggested by them And we do a lot of work together with schools and various training institutes, to encourage young talent to make a career in engineering. Which is why we run a comprehensive programme od open days and, as a training company, offer challenging apprenticeships. We also regularly open our doors to primary and secondary school pupils to show them how interesting a technical career can be!

‘Together with our employees, customers and partners, we are making a difference today, for the world of tomorrow’

Our management philosophy

Strength through cooperation. This is the basis of GB Steel Group. The group companies operate in the market under their own name and are independently managed in terms of operations, with their own management teams, but cooperation and synergy are an important theme within the group. So, for instance, a number of umbrella teams provide ongoing development in the areas of human capital, QHSE management systems, automation and IT. This allows us to work together efficiently on our future, spearheading our development in areas like automation and digitalisation, talent development, sustainability and expanding the range of services offered to customers.

The GB Steel Group management team consists of the divisional directors, a group controller and a managing director. Financial administration is supervised by the group controller, with most processes and reporting standardised and formalised within the group. The management team was expanded last year with the addition of Benjamin Beelen, as sales director of GB Steel Group, and Bart Haaijer as operations director of Vossebelt. The management team reports to the board, consisting of managing director Bob Soetekouw and sales director Rieks Jansen. The board is accountable to the supervisory board, established in accordance with the legal requirements applicable to company structures. The supervisory board was formally appointed in 2022. A works council was already active. The board and management team of GB Steel Group currently consist only of men. However, women are active in the divisional management teams, GB Steel Group staff and the supervisory board. HR policy recognises this inequality and aims to achieve a more balanced representation in this regard.

Core values

As a family business, we focus on creating long-term relationships with our customers, employees and partners. In doing so, we always act on the basis of our core values: safe work, passion, quality and reliability.

Safe work

Safe work is a top priority at GB Steel Group. With us, safety mode is ‘always on’! Which is why we commit ourselves to continuously improving safety awareness within our organisation. We share knowledge, apply a strict safety policy and motivate employees to always be aware of safety risks. And, where necessary, we take measures to prevent unsafe situations arising. Our aim is thus to reduce the number of unsafe events, resulting in fewer incidents (e.g. absenteeism and accidents). The Group places great importance on our employees’ health, safety and enjoyment of work. Investment in the creation of a safe environment is therefore ongoing.

Passion for steel

We are driven by our passion for engineering. We love construction challenges in utility construction, infrastructure, transport and industry. This passion ensures that we enjoy helping our clients deal with issues and challenges. We understand all too well that the start of a project brings with it many questions and requirements – not all of which have yet been satisfied. Our constructors, engineers and project leaders are happy to help our clients find solutions and complete the design phase. The same passion ensures that we bring the design to life and deliver a valuable solution, tailored to the requirements of our client.

Flexible and reliable

GB Steel Group designs, produces and delivers high-quality projects in steel. We have accumulated years of experience in creating tailor-made solutions. We realise that at the outset, not everything is known and requirements can change. So our engineering and production environments are flexible – to absorb changes quickly. We not only build great projects, we also build lasting relationships with our customers. We create trust by delivering quality to our customers, and by being an experienced partner. We believe it is important to do business in an open and honest way – listening to our customers, being clear about what we’ve agreed to do, and doing it. This is important to us. And to our customers.

Quality through craftsmanship

We give our clients a competitive edge through our in-depth knowledge of steel applications. We don’t shy away from challenges, and are always looking for the most appropriate solution. We are also driven to continuously expand our knowledge. This is very necessary, as our sector is constantly changing, and we are increasingly confronted with complex societal issues. We set high standards for quality in the organisation, and want to produce high-quality, sustainable products for our customers, as efficiently as possible. We manufacture our products entirely in-house, which enables an ongoing guarantee of a particularly high level of quality, in addition to good service and the appropriate, tailor-made solutions.

‘What drives us is our drive to get things done’

Building a sustainable living environment, together

Sustainability themes such as climate adaptation, CO2 reduction, circular business and energy transition all rank high on society’s agenda. And on ours. As a family business, we want to make a valuable contribution in this regard. We do so by making well-considered choices in our business operations, based on the principle of doing business sustainably, responsibly and with respect for people and for the environment. Of course, we also actively observe the Steel Construction Agreement.

Our sustainability objectives

In order to provide both today’s society and the next generations a pleasant world to live in, major improvements are still needed in many areas. The UN has translated this large field of social issues into 17 concrete goals for 2030 – the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. GB Steel Group observes and contributes to attaining these goals and has included them in its sustainability strategy.

Our sustainability themes focus in particular on 6 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, because our activities have the greatest impact on these six. Broadly speaking, they are: developing affordable and clean energy, creating jobs and economic growth, industrialising and building infrastructure, developing sustainable buildings, cities and communities, and promoting responsible production and climate action with the CO2 footprint as a starting point. We also aim to score well against the other goals.

Our internal efforts

Formulation of our sustainability strategy fulfils our mission to create healthy living environments. Our main pillars here are working smart and increasing sustainability. Our approach consists of generating sustainable energy using solar panels (from Kamplacon) on our own roofs, stimulating reuse and circular construction, and committing to electric transport. In doing so, we aim to promote the reuse of buildings, products, materials and raw materials, and further reduce our CO2 emissions. We have already reduced these by more than 44% in the period between 2015 and 2022. We aim to reduce this even further in the coming years. Because we consider it important to take responsibility in this area, as a group, and to work together towards a clean, green, safe living environment.

Working smart – digitisation and robotisation

New technologies, robotisation and digitalisation offer plenty of opportunities to the entire construction sector – to our customers, our partners and to our own group of companies. By digitising our processes, we can work faster, serve our customers better, and organise our business processes more efficiently. Moreover, this makes us and our work more interesting and attractive in the recruitment of young talent. Business intelligence then helps us gain insights from the data obtained, which is used to further develop project, margin and risk management. In turn increasing our ability to manage ever-larger projects. In 2022, we again took many initiatives to achieve our digitalisation objectives. For instance, we ensured that production grows in line with our customer demand. Last year, we invested in a beam production line that enables beam and tube material to be pre-processed, fully automatically. A comprehensive software module integrated within our ERP system sends the material to the right machines, which then perform the required operations quickly and accurately. We are also making strides in the field of automatic welding. In 2020, we invested in our first robotic welding installation. And last year we purchased and commissioned our first two cobots. By deploying these cobots, we ensure that we can produce smaller quantities to high quality standards, yet at low cost. Robots and machines also take over high-risk tasks in our processes, which improves the safety and well-being of our staff. We will therefore continue to invest heavily in this area in the future.

Building with BIM

GB Steel Group uses advanced software that presents projects in detail – digitally and in three dimensions. This technique – Building Information Modelling (BIM) – ensures that all relevant information is stored, throughout the process, and can then be used and managed in a digital 3D model. All parties involved in our processes and working with us use the same model, with the same information. This means that everyone can view what is taking place, as it happens, and that all information is continuously available and always up to date. Changes are implemented immediately, everywhere, and we can identify and resolve errors and imperfections at an early stage. The software enables us to cooperate better, with all parties involved.

Putting technology on the map, together

We think it’s important to raise the profile of technology in our region. This is necessary because the demand for (technical) staff in the construction sector is high, and the supply is under pressure. It’s therefore a major challenge to attract new employees. This challenge is important to us, as both the rapid growth of our organisations and the growth of our projects, in size and complexity, require additional, skilled, technically trained personnel. Thus our aim to increase the promotion of manufacturing industry in the region. We do this not only by strengthening our own position as an attractive employer, but also by working together with other companies within our industry to improve the image of the construction sector. We do this partly through the Noordoostpolder Innovation Cluster, an initiative we started together with eight manufacturing companies in 2020.

Expanding cooperation with schools

Last year, we expanded our cooperation with various schools. We worked closely with schools and various educational institutions on a range of technical training courses and also focused on developing our own training programmes. This enables us to cooperate in structured training for young inflow and ensure that lateral inflow is quickly and effectively retrained for technical positions. We also offer students challenging VET (vocational education) learning and working positions. We believe it’s important to introduce children to our companies and to technology, at a young age. So we regularly open our doors to primary and secondary school pupils, to spark their interest in engineering, construction and manufacturing technology.

‘We want to show young and old how much fun there is in technical work’


Results for the 2022 financial year

We wrote about it in our previous annual report: scarcity and increased commodity prices due to global unrest following the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. It is not so much actual scarcity as fear that causes hoarding. And when demand increases, there is an opportunity to raise prices. Which happened. Almost all costs increased.

However, despite increased costs, GB Steel Group managed to maintain its results in 2022. The reason for this can be seen in turnover, which rose by no less than 39%, exceeding 100 million for the first time in the group’s history. Admittedly a slight fall in margin, in relative terms, but given the crises unfolding in the world, we can only be satisfied with these results at group level.

The biggest increase in turnover was accounted for by Kampstaal which, together with Kamplacon, helped build several large data centres at home and abroad. The fact that international activities make us less dependent on the Netherlands, in the context of nitrogen problems, has also benefited our turnover increase. The other group companies also grew strongly. With the exception of Vossebelt, all group companies saw an increase in turnover of more than 20%. Nauta, for instance, helped build a number of large hydraulic engineering construction projects, and MF Emmen supplied a complete line for the recycling of construction and demolition waste. As a project-based organisation, we have therefore also seen an increase in project size. This carries both opportunities and risks – our philosophy being that our people make the difference in this regard. Turnover growth can only be successful if the organisation grows with it. Scalability is therefore an important concept, and one to which the GB Steel Group devotes a lot of attention, in many areas, including HR, IT and production techniques, with these areas coming together in the management systems. Mistakes are allowed, as long as we learn from them! And the speed with which this learning takes place determines success.

At GB Steel Group, we also set limits to that scalability. It’s the only way we can guarantee the quality of our work to our loyal clients. As mentioned, growth is only possible if we learn from mistakes. There’s potential in this regard, including at Vossebelt and MF Emmen, where results were below expectations. At Vossebelt, orders were too low to compensate for the loss of capacity. We will have to adapt in order to deliver more tippers in a shorter time. For the past few months, Vossebelt’s management has been in the hands of a new operations director, Bart Haaijer, who is thus managing the operations of both Vossebelt and MF Emmen mechanical engineering factories. MF Emmen requires more time to adapt the organisation to the increased demand. With the help of new employees and new systems, we are working on improving the organisation and on better process control. We also see opportunities for mechanical engineering operations Vossebelt and MF Emmen to cooperate more in the areas of engineering and production, thereby increasing operational efficiency. Moreover, new investments in machinery will improve MF Emmen’s production process – about which more later.

Margin was also lower than expected at Kamplacon. This was due to write-downs on project results. However, Kamplacon was able to offset the loss with positive results on other projects, in façades and (solar) roofing, so results remained positive. We did adjust our management system in response to these reductions, with more focus on evaluation and project management – themes that had already been addressed in our strategic plan.

Higher energy costs are a hot topic in the Netherlands. At GB Steel Group this impact has remained limited thanks to the many solar panels on our roofs, and the foresight we showed years ago. Of course, energy costs are part of the purchase price of steel, as is the case with other materials. However, we have been able to absorb this increase well in our negotiations with clients.

With its good operating results, the group remains very healthy financially. Due to a different presentation of work in progress, whereby projects are now presented with a debit balance on the debit side and a credit balance on the credit side of the balance sheet, solvency fell slightly from 60 to 56 per cent. Obviously, this healthy solvency creates opportunities for the future. Despite the growth in turnover, liquidity proved sufficient to meet our obligations, which we consider very important for being able to fulfil commitments, given our core value of reliability.

In summary, we can be grateful for the trust clients have shown in us. Turnover growth exceeded our expectations, but we were able to adapt the organisation flexibly in most areas, so the result ended up exactly as expected and budgeted. In itself, a result to be proud of.

Turnover and profit on equity capital

  Construction and recycling transport   Steel construction infra-industry
Commercial-industrial structures & cladding

Return on equity


Over €4.4 million was invested in 2022. This consisted largely of investments in new machinery. A new pre-machining line was purchased by Kampstaal, part of which was completed in 2021 and part in 2022. In the process, the production area was adapted internally, to achieve an optimal logistics process. The line in Emmeloord consists of several stations, where beam steel can be drilled, sawn, blasted and cut. A new punch cutting line was purchased for the Meppel site. These machines were delivered to both sites in the second half of 2022. Furthermore, the group invested in a new network environment and a central CRM system to improve our commercial processes and strengthen cooperation within the group. Further examples of systems that will increase scalability and enable growth.

Investments 2021, 2022 and 2023

X € 1.000

  2021     2022     2023 (prognosis)



Return on equity

Current ratio

2022 highlights

We attended the 2022 trade fairs. At the end of June, for instance, Machinefabriek Emmen attended the Plastics Recycling Show Europe, at RAI Amsterdam

In 2022 Kampstaal and Kamplacon once again cooperated on several data centre projects, at home and abroad.  

GB Steel Group proudly launched its new ‘working at GB Steel Group’ site. 

Strategic direction

In 2021 we started the new 2021 – 2024 strategy phase. The strategic plan focuses on:
• Strengthening our position in a number of growth markets
• Investing in sustainability, digitalisation & innovation
• Organisational and talent development

Leading market position

GB Steel Group aims to grow into a leadership position in Dutch manufacturing industry. We aim to strengthen our position in a number of growth markets and conquer new markets, increasingly operating outside the Netherlands. We will achieve this by offering excellent construction supervision and engineering, applying smart and sustainable solutions, and by improving our marketing. We also want to work even more intensively within the group, using our five divisions. By utilising economies of scale and combining our knowledge, we can serve our customers better, with appropriate, sustainable solutions. Together, our divisions encapsulate the entire chain, from concept to realisation, providing solutions for the complete range of customer requirements. Our continuous investment in innovation and digitalisation also means that we respond to our customers’ changing demands on an ongoing basis.

Sustainability and innovation

Sustainable business remains an important theme within GB Steel Group. We want to fulfil the requirements of our customers with solutions that have the least possible impact on the environment and on our society. We do this by developing sustainable solutions for the recycling industry – for example with smart technologies and circular construction, using steel. Making our own operations more sustainable also plays an important role. We organise our business processes as efficiently as possible and work at actively reducing our own CO2 emissions. We generate sustainable energy by means of solar panels and promote the reuse of buildings, products, materials and raw materials. This ensures that we minimise our own environmental impact and continue to successfully build a future-proof living environment. We also build our own future resilience by applying opportunities in the field of digitalisation and automation. Our targeted projects aim at implement IT hardware and software that will enable our employees to work together, independent of time and location, resulting in further streamlining of our processes. We are also preparing our production processes for the application of robotisation, to speed up our tailor-made production processes.

Developing the organisation and talent

Our employees are our number one priority. We therefore see it as our responsibility to create a safe, healthy work environment, in which our employees can perform at their best and continue to develop themselves. To this end, we offer numerous opportunities and development options. For skills development is critical for organisational growth. Besides investment in our own employees, this growth also requires attracting new talent. It’s still a major challenge to find and bring in professionals with the required expertise. Recruitment activities are therefore being professionalised, and our companies are focusing increasingly on employer branding and labour market communication. In addition, we aim to provide support in improving education in order to better match training to the needs of the labour market. We want to be among the most attractive and safest employers within our sector. We also want to continuously promote and support engineering and technology careers by helping to enhance education and training courses to better match the needs of the labour market.


Market developments in 2023

Society faces diverse and extensive challenges. Challenges of climate change, labour shortages, energy transition and the rapid growth and scale of technological developments. As a family business, we want to make a valuable contribution to this situation, and capitalise on the available opportunities.

To start with the latter: The financial health, good order portfolio and professionalism that characterise our organisation provide an excellent basis for taking advantage of opportunities in the market. In the field of utility construction, in particular, our order book is well-filled. Unfortunately, demand is still lagging in the infrastructure field, despite bridge and lock renovation plans. We have also noticed that recycling investment decisions are slowing down.

In the longer term, the effect of higher prices and interest rates on market confidence is uncertain. It is likely to take a little longer for higher raw material prices to be reflected within the supply chains of machinery destined for the manufacturing industry, and it is not unlikely that consumer demand will then start to decline anyway. Disappointing economic growth in China, lower confidence among buyers and consumers, and banking crises all point to a shaky economic situation.

There are other threats – in the form of nitrogen issues in the Dutch market. This has affected the construction of distribution centres in the south of the Netherlands, a sector in which our organisation is less active. GB Steel Group has also reduced its dependence on the Dutch market by increasing its share of business outside the Netherlands. X per cent of our order book is for destinations outside the Netherlands, a segment in which Germany has a large share.

With a solvency of 56%, we have sufficient resilience to absorb unforeseen setbacks. As well as the capacity to continue investing. We will again invest heavily in machinery this year, including investments in the turning and milling department at MF Emmen, and in machinery for Kampstaal. In a manufacturing company like ours, we consider it important to continue to excel technically. These investments will be partly financed by a new long-term loan, in order to retain flexibility in executing our full order book.

‘GB Steel Group has reduced dependence on the Dutch market by increasing its share of business outside the Netherlands’

We continue to pay undiminished attention to a proactive safety culture. Last year we were certified as level 3 on the Safety Culture Ladder. This certification shows how safety-conscious we are, and that we take our responsibility for safe work seriously. Next year, in addition to our position on the Safety Culture Ladder, we have also set ourselves the goal of being certified as at step 5 on the CO2 performance ladder. We have focused on reducing CO2 since 2015, with a 44% reduction achieved to date. In addition to our ISO14001 certificate, we will therefore also work towards this certification for CO2 reduction, as this more specifically recognises our efforts in this regard.

The labour market remains tight. So we are pleased that in the past year we also managed to attract, retain and help in the development of many talented students and staff. However, we do see that it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit skilled workers. We will therefore continue to focus on labour market communication to promote technical careers, and we will support and hep to enhance training courses to better match the needs of the labour market. We will also continue to focus on talent development, and on creating a safe and inspiring work environment for our employees. People are a vital ingredient in the further growth of GB Steel Group – because they make steel work, and allow steel to demonstrate what it can do. We make steel work. Is this also what you want to do? Come and work with us. Join the club!

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