2017 ANNUAL RESULTS

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Press release: 2017 Annual Results - Paris, February 22, 2018 (338.23 KB)

2017 ANNUAL RESULTS (results in the course of audit)

SOLID REVENUE GROWTH AND RESULTS EXCEEDED OBJECTIVES  

  • REVENUE:
    • +4.9%[1] AND +3.5% LIKE-FOR-LIKE GROWTH TO €25,125 MILLION
    • ACCELERATION TO +6.3%1 GROWTH IN THE FOURTH QUARTER DUE TO CONTINUED GOOD COMMERCIAL MOMENTUM
  • EBITDA :
    • GROWTH OF +2.7%1 TO €3,284 MILLION
    • +5.2%1 IN THE FOURTH QUARTER
  • €255 MILLION IN COST SAVINGS ACHIEVED IN 2017, IN LINE WITH THE GROUP’S OBJECTIVE
  • CURRENT EBIT:
    • +5,3%1 GROWTH TO €1,519 MILLION
  • CURRENT NET INCOME – GROUP SHARE: 
    • AN INCREASE OF +7,3%1 EXCLUDING CAPITAL GAINS TO €623 MILLION
  • FURTHER INCREASE IN POST-TAX ROCE TO 8.4%
  • PROPOSAL TO INCREASE THE DIVIDEND BY 5% TO €0.84 PER SHARE

2018-2019 OBJECTIVES ENTIRELY CONFIRMED

Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s Chairman & CEO indicated: «2017 has been an intense and successful year for Veolia and was fully in line with the growth trajectory we are aiming for.  Sales growth accelerated throughout the year due to actions implemented at the end of 2016.  Results growth was amplified quarter after quarter thanks to our commercial successes, and continued discipline on our part in terms of cost reductions. Over the last 4 years, EBITDA has risen by 20%, current EBIT by 75% and current net income has more than tripled. The sum total of these results allows me to approach 2018 with confidence.  Revenue and earnings should again post good growth.  Our 2018 and 2019 objectives are entirely confirmed.”  

All 2017 results are compared to 2016 “pro forma” figures that incorporate IFRIC 12 and are represented for the reclassification into “Net income from discontinued operations” of the Group’s activities in Lithuania, in accordance with the IFRS5 accounting standard.
 

  • Revenue grew 3.9% (+4.9% at constant exchange rates) to €25,125 million, compared with €24,187 million in 2016.

The unfavorable variation in exchange rates negatively impacted 2017 revenue growth by 1.1% (-€257 million). At constant consolidation scope and exchange rates (i.e. like-for-like), revenue growth was 3.5%.

  • In France, revenue was stable (-0.1%) but increased 1.8% at constant consolidation scope.  Water revenue was up (+0.5%) and recorded progressive improvement throughout the year due to volume growth of 1%, price indexation of +0.2%, and commercial impacts of -0.5%. Waste revenue declined slightly (-0.7%) but was up 3.5% at constant consolidation scope (divestment of Bartin recycling at the end of November 2016). Waste volumes grew 1.9% due to significant contract awards, good landfill volumes, as well as good trends in sorting and recycling and commercial collection.  Waste revenue in France also benefited from higher paper prices (+10% y-y).
     
  • Revenue in the Europe excluding France segment posted a 6.4% growth at constant exchange rates.  All regions recorded steady growth with the exception of Italy (-1.6%). Germany increased 5.6% due to good commercial performance in Waste, higher services prices, and the positive impact of higher paper prices. Revenue in the United Kingdom & Ireland combined was up 5.2%[2] with good commercial momentum and higher recycled raw materials prices. The Central and Eastern European region increased 7.9%2 due to higher heat and electricity volumes sold, with a slightly favorable weather benefit, as well as strong water volume growth (+9.4%) given the Armenia contract expansion.  The Nordic countries also recorded a strong performance (+23.7%2) as did the Iberian Peninsula (+12.2%).
     
  • At constant exchange rates the Rest of the World posted strong growth (+11.6%). North America revenue increased 10,3%2 due mainly to the integration of Chemours’ sulfur products business, good momentum in hazardous waste (+5%) and higher prices and volumes in Energy. Asia grew 21.2%2 including 23.7%2 growth in China, driven by commercial successes.  Latin America revenue posted strong growth of 22.4%2, due to positive developments in Argentina, Brazil and in Columbia. The Pacific region returned to growth at +7.7%2.
     
  • Global Businesses revenue was stable (-0.4%) at constant exchange rates. Hazardous Waste activities progressed significantly (+5.7%2). Revenue from Veolia Water Technologies construction activities was down 6.4%2 but bookings increased by 9% to €2 billion. SADE revenue was stable (+0.6% at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates) driven by good performance in France, while international activity continued to suffer.
  • By business, Water revenue increased 1.6% at constant exchange rates. Waste activity posted very strong growth (+8.1 % at constant exchange rates) with the volume contribution to revenue up 1.8%, service prices up 1.4% and a favorable impact of recycled raw materials prices (+1.2%), to which acquisitions, net of divestitures added 3.4%. Energy revenue also posted strong growth (+7.1% at constant exchange rates), including the impact of commerce/volumes of +4.2%, a scope effect of 1.9% (Prague district heating network and an energy services company in the United States) and a negligible price effect.
     
  • Commercial reinforcement efforts launched a year ago drove the acceleration of growth:
    • Commercial resources were increased by €40M in 2017.
       
    • The missions of our Innovation and Markets group were refocused on commercial development and winning new business, to more systematically replicate our key offers within our targeted geographies and to further develop business with our 30 key industrial accounts, chosen from leaders within Veolia’s priority markets.
       
    • This revitalization led to the signature of major, promising contracts in 2017, including:

      In the municipal market: in Mexico, the Group signed a contract for the design, build and O&M of the largest waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Latin America (cumulative revenue of €886 million for 30 years); in England, a waste management and recycling contract servicing four boroughs in south London (cumulative revenue of £209 million for 8 years); in France an operations contract for the Lille WTE facility (cumulative revenue of €295 million for 12 years), as well as the Valenton wastewater treatment contract in the Ile de France region (cumulative revenue of €400 million for 12 years). In addition, after seeing its contract renewed for 5 years on March 1, 2017, the Gabon Energy and Water Company (SEEG: Société d’Energie et d’Eau du Gabon), a 51% subsidiary of Veolia, was the object of an expropriation action by the Gabonese government on February 16, 2018.

      In the industrial market: the Group was notably awarded three energy services contracts in China for a total amount of €864 million; in Australia, a contract to build and operate a new water treatment facility for the Springvale mine and Mount Piper Power Station for 17 years (cumulative revenue of AUD$400 million); and in the United States, a contract for the collection and treatment of complex waste generated by Antero Resources (cumulative revenue of up to $70 million for 10 years).
       

  • EBITDA improved 2% (+2.7% at constant exchange rates) to €3,284 million
    • Foreign currency movements negatively impacted EBITDA by -€21 million.
       
    • EBITDA benefited from continued cost reduction efforts, reaching €255 million in 2017, slightly above the €250 million objective, which allowed the Group to absorb the impact of weak price indexation in our contracts in France and Europe, the impact of contractual renegotiations and the startup of new activities, particularly in Energy in France, for a total impact of -€131 million, and the reinforcement of our commercial resources by €40 million, as well as the absence of favorable one offs elements that benefited 2016 results and higher insurance and maintenance costs totaling -€110 million.
       
    • By segment: EBITDA in France improved 3.3% to €788 million. Water EBITDA in France increased 3.8% due to good volumes and cost reduction efforts.  Price indexation was weak, but overall was positive at +0.2%.  Waste EBITDA in France improved 2.2% due to volume growth and a solid contribution from cost cutting. At constant exchange rates, Europe excluding France segment EBITDA was stable at +0.3% compared to the prior year due to the absence of favorable one off items in 2016 (resolution of Aquiris litigation in Belgium and an insurance claim reimbursement in Germany) and higher maintenance costs in the UK in 2017, which masked good operational performance.  EBITDA in the Rest of the World segment recorded very strong growth (+10.1% at constant exchange rates) due to excellent performance in China (+20.4%[3]), in Latin America (+27.6%3) and the Pacific region (+20.1%3) which more than offset lower EBITDA in North America (-1.5%3) resulting from the poor performance of the industrial services business and the negative impact of Hurricane Harvey on the hazardous waste business. Global Businesses EBITDA was stable (-0.6%3), as a result of the absence of a favorable one off that benefited 2016 (indemnity payment at the end of a contract in North America) which offset the favorable impact of restructuring in the Veolia Water Technologies business and very good Hazardous Waste performance.  
       
  • Current EBIT increased 4.1% (+5.3% at constant exchange rates) to €1,519 million compared with €1,460 million in 2016.
  • Foreign currency movements negatively impacted current EBIT by -€18 million.

The improvement in current EBIT at constant exchange rates reflects:

  • EBITDA growth
  • higher depreciation and amortization charges at constant exchange rates (+5.5%) in line with the development of the Group’s activities, as well as scope effects, and
  • the increase in the contribution from equity-accounted joint ventures and associates, which amounted to €98 million in 2017 compared with €94 million in 2016, due to good performance in China.
     
  • Current net income – group share increased 4.4% (+6.1% at constant exchange rates) to €623 million, compared with €597 million in 2016. Excluding net financial capital gains, current net income– group share increased 7.3% at constant exchange rates.
    • The cost of net financial debt declined by €12 million to -€411 million.
    • An improvement in results in low tax countries and the repayment of the 3% tax previously paid on dividends in France contributed to a lower tax rate of 24%, compared with 26% in 2016.
    • The current portion of non-controlling interests increased to -€137 million in 2017 compared with -€110 million in 2016, primarily due to the performance of businesses in Central and Eastern Europe.
       
  • Net income - Group share amounted to €402 million compared with €383 million in 2016.
  • Net free cash flow amounted to €655 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared with €940 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.
  • Net financial debt amounted to 7,841 million as of December 31, 2017, compared with €7,812 million at December 31, 2016. The leverage ratio was 2.4x at December 31, 2017, stable compared to the prior year.
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Dividend of €0.84 per share, paid 100% in cash with respect to the 2017 fiscal year, compared with €0.80 per share in 2016. 
Veolia’s Board of Directors will propose to shareholders at the Annual General Shareholders Meeting on April 19, 2018 the payment of a dividend of €0.84 per share with respect to the 2017 fiscal year, payable in cash. The ex-dividend date is fixed at May 14, 2018.  The 2017 dividend will be paid starting on May 16, 2018.

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  • Outlook
    • 2018 (at constant exchange rates):
      • Continuation of sustained revenue growth
      • EBITDA growth greater than that of 2017
      • More than €300 million in cost savings
    • 2019*:
      • Continuation of revenue growth and full impact of cost savings
      • EBITDA between €3.3 billion and €3.5 billion (excluding IFRIC 12), i.e. between €3.5 billion and €3.7 billion including IFRIC 12
    • Dividend growth in line with that of current net income

*at constant exchange rates (based on rates at the end of 2016)

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[1] At constant exchange rates
At current consolidation scope and exchange rates : revenue +3.9%, EBITDA growth of 2.0%, current EBIT growth of 4.1%, and current net income – group share up 4.4% (+5.5% excluding capital gains).

[2] At constant exchange rates

[3] At constant exchange rates

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Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 163,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2016, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 61 million people with wastewater service, produced 54 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 30 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €24.39 billion in 2016. www.veolia.com
 
 
Important disclaimer
Veolia Environnement is a corporation listed on the Euronext Paris. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside our control, including but not limited to: the risk of suffering reduced profits or losses as a result of intense competition, the risk that changes in energy prices and taxes may reduce Veolia Environnement’s profits, the risk that governmental authorities could terminate or modify some of Veolia Environnement’s contracts, the risk that acquisitions may not provide the benefits that Veolia Environnement hopes to achieve, the risks related to customary provisions of divesture transactions, the risk that Veolia Environnement’s compliance with environmental laws may become more costly in the future, the risk that currency exchange rate fluctuations may negatively affect Veolia Environnement’s financial results and the price of its shares, the risk that Veolia Environnement may incur environmental liability in connection with its past, present and future operations, as well as the other risks described in the documents Veolia Environnement has filed with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers (French securities regulator). Veolia Environnement does not undertake, nor does it have, any obligation to provide updates or to revise any forward looking statements. Investors and security holders may obtain from Veolia Environnement a free copy of documents it filed (www.veolia.com) with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers.
 
This document contains "non‐GAAP financial measures". These "non‐GAAP financial measures" might be defined differently from similar financial measures made public by other groups and should not replace GAAP financial measures prepared pursuant to IFRS standards. 

CONTACTS


Group Media Relations
Laurent Obadia
Sandrine Guendoul
Tel.: + 33 (0)1 85 57 42 16
sandrine.guendoul@veolia.com

Investor & Analyst Relations
Ronald Wasylec - Ariane de Lamaze 
Tel.: + 33 (0)1 85 57 84 76 / 84 80
Terri Anne Powers (United States) 
Tel.: + 1 630 218 1627