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Press release: 2018 Annual Results - Paris, February 21, 2019 (1.09 MB)




- +6.5% 2 AND +4.7% LIKE-FOR-LIKE TO €25,911 MILLION 

- GROWTH OF +7.3%2 TO €3,392 MILLION


- GROWTH OF +9.7%2 TO 1,604 MILLION




Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s Chairman & CEO commented: “2018 was a new year of acceleration for Veolia, with revenue and results both demonstrating clear growth. Sales growth increased by 6.5%, even stronger than the previous year, and current net income jumped by 14.7% 2. Our strategy’s success is being confirmed year after year. It is founded on our commercial momentum, combined with a strict discipline of operational efficiency and cost reduction. This performance is being achieved in all of our activities and geographies, a testament to the pertinence and coherence of our choices, of our capacity to capture the best opportunities for profitable growth, as well as our ability to compete in the marketplace. Our perspectives remain favorable. 2019 should be another year of sustained growth. Taking into account the effect of exchange rate variations, our objectives are therefore fully confirmed at the higher end of the initially communicated range.” 


- Revenue of €25,911 million compared to €24,818 million in 2017 represented, a sustained growth of 4.4% at current exchange rates, of +6.5% at constant exchange rates and of 4.7% at constant scope and exchange rates.

Unfavorable exchange rate variation negatively impacted revenue growth by 2.1% in 2018 (-€530 million).

At constant exchange rates revenue growth remained strong during the full year with +7% in Q1, +5.1% in Q2, +7.8% in Q3, and +6.4% in Q4.

Excluding works and energy prices, growth accelerated during the year with +4.6% in Q1, +5.3% in Q2, +5.1% in Q3 and +6.4% in Q4, resulting in 5.4% growth for the full year.

The revenue growth was principally the result of a very good commercial momentum with numerous contract wins and strong volume growth (notably in the Waste business) of €752 million (+3%) and a price effect of €243 million (+1%).  The increase in energy prices of €177 million was partially absorbed by the decrease in recycled paper prices (-€117 million).

By geography and at constant exchange rates, the evolution is as follows:  

  • In France, revenue growth resumed, progressing by +1.6%. Water revenue was stable (-0.1%), volumes decreased by -0.7 % after growing by +1% in 2017, and prices increased by 0.7% after a 0.2% increase in 2017. The very good commercial momentum of 2017 continued in 2018. Waste revenue grew by 3.6% thanks to commercial successes and higher treated volumes, which more than compensated for the 25% decrease in recycled paper prices.
  • Europe excluding France posted a very solid growth (+7.2% at constant exchange rates), a pace similar to that of 2017 (+6.4%)  All of the regions exhibited solid growth. Central and Eastern Europe grew by 7.8%, with good performance in both Water and Energy in spite of a slightly unfavorable climate impact. Germany grew by 3.5% thanks to good commercial performance and the successful integration of Waste acquisitions which more than offset the paper price decrease. The UK (including Ireland) is up by 4.1% with good commercial gains and the improved availability of PFIs (95% vs. 93% in 2017). In addition, the Nordic countries performed well (+29.2%) thanks to scope impacts, as well as the Iberian Peninsula (+11.6%), very active in the Energy efficiency sector. Italy returned to growth in 2018, +2.4% relying on a high renewal rate of municipal contracts and a good development with Industrial clients.
  • At constant exchange rates, the Rest of the World continued to exhibit strong growth (+11.9% following +11.6 % in 2017). Asia continued its strong growth (+16.9%) including +13.3% in China, driven by the success in hazardous waste, the opening of new treatment facilities, and the ramp up  of industrial contracts in Water and Energy. Latin America posted strong growth of 38.2%, thanks to a good commercial momentum, price increases, and the integration of Grupo Sala in Colombia. The Pacific region grew by 5.4% as a result of the strong growth in Industrial Services. North America grew by 3.9% but by 12% at constant scope and exchange rates after the divestment of its Industrial Services activity, thanks to a good heating season in the first quarter and the startup of new contracts in Energy efficiency (Dupont).  Africa Middle-East grew by 7.8%.
  • Global Business posted a progression of +3.7% at constant exchange rates.  Hazardous Waste continues to grow significantly (+10.4%), with the growth in treated volumes, price increases, and profitable oil recycling activity.  Veolia Water Technologies revenue was down -6.2% a result of a continued decline in construction activity and the reorientation toward packaged solutions and the sale of technologies.  SADE revenue grew by 4.5% driven by the good performance in France, in the telecom sector, and the resizing of its international activity. VIGS (multi-business Industrial Services) once again grew double digit in 2018, +12.3%, carried by its commercial success, notably with Arcelor Mittal.

- By business, Water revenue increased by 2.3% at constant exchange rates. Wastewater Operations grew by +3.8%, while works and technologies activity declined by -1.9% at constant exchange rates.  Waste activity posted a very strong increase (+9.2% at constant exchange rates) the result of increased volumes (+3.6%), price increases (+2.2%), an unfavorable impact from recycled material prices (-1.0%), and a favorable scope impact of +4.3%.  Energy revenue also grew substantially (+11% at constant exchange rates), with a good sales / volumes dynamic, a negligible scope effect and a price effect of + 2.3%.

- EBITDA improved to €3,392 million compared to €3,217 million represented, a growth of +5.4% at current exchange rates and +7.3% at constant exchange rates.

  • The exchange rate negatively impacted EBITDA by -€60 million.
  • EBITDA benefitted first from the sustained revenue growth, and also from the continued cost reduction efforts which reached €302 million in 2018.  The positive sales/volume impact was +€120 million of which +€80 million from acquisitions. The weather impact was unfavorable at -€29 million (-€16 million in Energy and -€13 million in Water) compared to a favorable +€19 in 2017.  Energy prices weighed in at -€27 million, the decrease of recycled materials prices for -€16 million and the increase in diesel prices for -€26 million. The squeeze between increases in salary costs and contractual price indexation had a negative impact of -€130 million.
  • By segment and at constant exchange rates: EBITDA in France reached €802 million, an increase of 1.7%.  Water EBITDA progressed by 4.8% due to the improvement of price indexation and cost savings brought about by the Osons 20/20 plan.  However, in the Waste business, EBITDA declined by -5.1% under the combined effect of declining recycled paper prices and the increase in diesel prices.  Europe excluding France grew by +3.9% with double digit increases in Germany, Benelux, Italy and the Iberian Peninsula, 4.7% growth in the United Kingdom, and stability in Central and Eastern Europe with a negative weather impact and a squeeze in energy prices.  EBITDA in the Rest of the World once again showed significant growth (+15.3%) with very good performance in China (+18.2%), in the rest of Asia (+19.6%) and in Latin America (+34.9%). EBITDA in Global Businesses grew by 6.8%, mainly the result of good performance in hazardous waste and at VIGS.  

- Current EBIT was €1,604 million compared to €1,497 million represented, a sustained growth of +7.1% at current exchange rates and of +9.7% at constant exchange rates.

  • Foreign currency movements negatively impacted current EBIT by -€38 million.

The improvement in current EBIT at constant exchange rates reflects:

  • Strong EBITDA growth
  • Increased depreciation and amortization charges (+4.9% at constant exchange rates) to €1,569 million, in line with higher growth capex and scope impacts.
  • A balance of provisions/reversals and other down significantly, +€80 million compared to +€119 million in 2017.
  • And the increase in the contribution from equity-accounted joint ventures and associates, at €116 million compared to €98 million in 2017represented, thanks to good performance in China, up 19% at €73 million, and to a capital gain of €16 million related to an asset divestiture in the United States.


- An increase in Current net income – group share of +10% and of +13.3% at constant exchange rates, to €675 million compared to €614 million for 2017 represented.  Excluding net capital gains from asset disposals, the current net income – group share is up 14.7% at constant exchange rates.

  • The cost of net financial debt is stable at -€414 million
  • The tax rate is 22% compared to 23% in 2017 represented.
  • The current portion of non-controlling interests increased to -€162 million vs. -€137 in 2017 represented, notably in Germany and Asia.

- Net income – group share is up 15.5% at constant exchange rates at €439 million compared to €398 million in 2017 represented.

- Net free cash flow was €568 million thanks to controlled net capex (€1,811 million, up €103 million) and good working capital management (down by €62 million).

- Net financial debt was €9,749 million after the reimbursement of the hybrid debt for €1,452 million in April of 2018.  The leverage ratio is 2.87x as of 12/31/2018.


New increase of the dividend, to €0.92 per share, to be paid at 100 % in cash with respect to the 2018 fiscal year, compared with €0.84 per share in 2017.

Veolia’s Board of Directors will propose to shareholders at the Annual General Shareholders Meeting on April 18, 2019 the payment of a dividend of €0.92 per share with respect to the 2018 fiscal year, payable in cash..  The ex-dividend date is fixed at May 14, 2019. 2018 dividends will be paid starting as of May 16, 2019.


- 2019 outlook

  • Continuation of Revenue growth
  • Cost savings of at least €220 million
  • EBITDA between €3.5 billion and €3.6 billion*
  • Dividend growth in line with that of current net income


* At constant exchange rates (based on rates at the end of 2018) and excluding IFRS 16 impacts.

All 2018 results are compared to 2017 "pro forma" IFRIC 12 data and are represented for the reclassification to "Net income from discontinued operations" of the Group's operations in Gabon in accordance with IFRS5


1 Results in the course of audit

2 At constant exchange rates At current consolidation scope and exchange rates : Revenue up by +4.4%, EBITDA growth of 5.4%, Current EBIT up by 7.1%, Current Net Income group share up by 10%, and up by 11.8% excluding capital gains.


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 2018, the Veolia group supplied 100 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 25.91 billion euros in 2018.


Avertissement important

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 ( 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.  


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Sandrine Guendoul
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