2019 ANNUAL RESULTS AND 2020-2023 PROSPECTS

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Press release : Paris, 28 February 2020 - 2019 Annual results and 2020-2023 Prospects (1.16 MB)

TARGETS SURPASSED

  • CONTINUED SUSTAINED REVENUE GROWTH OF +4.3%1 TO €27 189 MILLION

  • EBITDA ABOVE TARGET OF € 4 022 MILLION, UP 4.5%1

  • COST SAVINGS OF €248 MILLION, ABOVE OUR ANNUAL OBJECTIVE OF €220M

  • CURRENT EBIT UP 5.0%1 TO €1 730 MILLION

  • ANOTHER YEAR OF SOLID GROWTH OF OUR CURRENT NET INCOME GROUP SHARE : €760 M, UP 13.5%1 AND +8.8% EXCLUDING CAPITAL GAINS

  • STRONG GROWTH OF PUBLISHED NET INCOME GROUP SHARE : €625 M, +41.8%

  • VERY STRONG NET FREE CASH FLOW AFTER ALL GROWTH CAPEX : €868 M

  • PROPOSAL TO INCREASE THE DIVIDEND BY 8.7%, TO €1.00 PER SHARE


2020 PROSPECTS

  • REVENUE : SUSTAINED ORGANIC GROWTH2

  • EBITDA ~ €4.1BN

2020-2023 OBJECTIVES3

  • CONTINUED SOLID REVENUE GROWTH

  • 2023 EBITDA BETWEEN €4.7BN AND €4.9BN

  • COST SAVINGS OF €1BN OVER 4 YEARS

  • 2023 CURRENT NET INCOME GROUP SHARE : ~€1BN

  • LEVERAGE RATIO BELOW 3x OVER THE PERIOD

  • 2023 DIVIDEND : €1.30 PER SHARE

1 At constant forex
At current exchange rates : Revenue growth of 4.8%, EBITDA growth of 4.7%, Current EBIT growth of 5.3%, Current net income growth of 13.1%, and +8.5% excluding capital gains.
2 At constant forex as of year-end 2019
3 These targets are at constant forex, as of end-2019, at constant IFRS, and in an economic environment without major change

Portrait d'Antoine Frérot, PDG de Veolia

Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s Chairman & CEO commented: «2019 is another year of solid revenue and profit growth. Our targets have all been surpassed. Revenue growth of 4.3% is an evidence of the pertinence of our choices towards the most valuable segments of our businesses. Top line growth has translated into strong profit growth, thanks to continued strict cost control discipline, where we have again surpassed our annual target for savings. Veolia has also generated in 2019 a very significant net free cash flow of €868 million which allows us to benefit from a very solid balance sheet, and to be ideally positioned to seize opportunities in the years ahead. The success of our strategy is therefore confirmed year after year. Veolia, a global leader in the ecological transition fully benefits from rising demand from both industrial and municipal clients for value added services to prepare for a better and more sustainable future. 2020 is the first year of this 4-year strategic program, IMPACT 2023, which will enable us to increase our leadership to service our ambition: resourcing the world. This objective will translate into clearer cut investment choices and a 20% asset rotation of capital employed. We will maintain the cost control discipline which has prevailed over the past 8 years. Over the 2020-2023 period, €1bn of savings will be realized to reinforce our competitiveness and to finance our ambitious development plan. In 2023, our target is to reach an EBITDA between €4.7bn and €4.9bn and a current net income group share of €1bn.»


► Revenue of €27 189 million compared to €25 951 million in 2018 represented, a sustained growth of 4.8% at current exchange rates, of +4.3% at constant exchange rates and of 3.2% at constant scope and exchange rates.

Exchange rate variations favorably impacted revenue growth by +0.5% in 2019 (+€122 million).

In 2019 Veolia enjoyed solid growth as in previous years. Revenue growth benefited from solid commercial momentum, good volumes in our 3 businesses, Water, Waste and Energy (+€380 million, or +1.5%) and favorable and improving price effects of +€332 million, +1.3% (vs. +1% in 2018). High energy prices had an overall positive impact of +€134 million (+0.5%), while the sharp decrease in recycled paper prices, which accelerated in the 4th quarter, weighed for -€76 million, together with a volume reduction of -€24 million. Weather weighed negatively on sales for an amount of -€68 million (-0.2%). Organic growth was complemented by a few tuck in acquisitions, which contributed for €282 million (+1.1%)

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

  • In France, activity was up +2.0%. Water revenue was up 2.1%, as a result of price indexation of +1.4% and volume growth of +0.7%. The renewed commercial dynamism we have enjoyed for the last 2 years continued in 2019 with notably the gain of Nîmes, the restart of Valenton, and the successful renewals of the potable water contract in Toulouse and waste water in Nancy. The Waste business progressed by +2,0% with flat volumes (as lower recycled paper and municipal collection volumes have offset other activities) and an average tariff increase of +1.6%.

  • Europe excluding France grew by +4.1% at constant forex. All the areas exhibited growth. Central and Eastern Europe grew by 4.5% (+8.6% restated for the SCVK contract evolution in Czech Republic) with good performance in both Water (with volumes up 3.6%) and Energy in spite of a slightly unfavorable climate impact (-€29 M). The UK (including Ireland) is up by 4.0% with a continued good availability of PFIs (93.7% vs. 94.6% in 2018), good landfill volumes and pricing, strong hazardous waste and plastic business. Germany exhibited a moderate growth of 1.1%, as waste revenue growth of +3% was partially offset by mild weather impact in the energy business in Braunschweig. Netherlands and Belgium performed well (+5.5%) as well as Southern Europe (+11,0%).

  • Rest of the World continued to exhibit the strongest growth of the Group (+8.7%). Asia continued its strong growth (+16.2% after +16.9% in 2018) including +18% in China, driven by the success in hazardous waste (revenue up 16%), the integration of new plastic recycling facilities of Huafei, the ramp up of industrial contracts in Water and the continued growth of district heating networks in Harbin. Japan was up 9% thanks to commercial wins in municipal water. Latin America posted strong growth of 16.0%, thanks to price increases in Argentina and the integration of Grupo Sala in Columbia. North America grew by 1.2% including a very solid progression of the waste activity (+6.6%) and a 3.1% growth in water, partly offset by lower revenue in Energy due to a very mild heating season. The Pacific region grew by 7.9% as a result of good waste volumes and strong growth in Industrial Services. Africa Middle-East grew by 5.5% with notably contract wins in the Middle East and higher volumes of water and electricity in Morocco.

  • Global Business posted a progression of +0.9% at constant exchange rates with Hazardous Waste in Europe up 4.6%, Construction activities down 1.2% and On-site services to Industrial (VIGS) up 3.2%. Hazardous waste has benefited from growth in treated volumes (+2.8%) and price increases (notably +5% in incineration). Veolia Water Technologies revenue was down -7.6% with the pursuit of the business refocusing. Bookings were up 25% to €2.15bn mainly in desalination and in oil and gas contracts. SADE revenue grew by 7.1% driven by the good performance in France and in the telecom sector (optical fiber network roll out works)

► By business, Water revenue increased by 1.3% at constant exchange rates. Wastewater Operations grew by +2.0%, while works and technologies activity declined by -1.2%. Waste activity posted another strong progression (+5.9% at constant exchange rates) with volumes up 1.5% (lower municipal collection volumes and maximum authorized capacity reached in some waste treatment facilities) and service price increases of 2.4%. Recycled material prices had an unfavorable impact of -0.8%, paper volumes of -0.3%, and on the 4th quarter only the accelerated decline in paper prices resulted in a -2.5% decrease of waste revenue. Energy revenue rose sharply, by +7.5%, thanks to the increase in heating and electricity prices, good commercial momentum, partially offset by a slightly negative weather impact of -0.9%

 

► EBITDA improved to €4 022 million compared to €3 843 million represented, a growth of +4.7% at current exchange rates and +4.5% at constant exchange rates.

  • Scope and forex impacts were insignificant (-€5 million) and have almost offset each other (+€7M forex and -€12 M scope).

  • EBITDA benefitted first from the continued cost reduction efforts which reached €248 million in 2019. The positive sales/volume impact was +€91 million .The weather impact was unfavorable at -€17 million (-€10 million in Central and Eastern Europe, -€5 million in Germany, -€5 million in the US and +€3 million in China). Energy prices weighed in at -€23 million and the decrease of recycled materials prices for -€30 million. The squeeze between increases in salary costs and contractual price indexation had a negative impact of -€85 million.

  • By segment and at constant exchange rates: EBITDA in France was stable at €900 million, with an increase in Water due to cost savings brought about by the Osons 20/20 plan, and a decrease in the Waste business under the combined effect of declining recycled paper prices and higher insurance costs. Europe excluding France grew by +2.1% with strong progressions in the UK, Italy and the Iberian Peninsula, a moderate growth in Northern Europe; EBITDA in Central and Eastern Europe declined slightly but was up restated for the impact of the SCVK contract evolution. EBITDA in the Rest of the World once again showed significant growth (+8.2%) with very good performance in Asia and China in particular, in Pacific and in Africa Middle East. North America was flat and Latin America posted a moderate growth. EBITDA in Global Businesses grew by 10.6%, mainly the result of good performance in hazardous waste, SADE and VIGS.

► Current EBIT was €1 730 million compared to €1 644 million in 2018 represented, a sustained growth of +5.3% at current exchange rates and of +5.0% at constant exchange rates.

  • Foreign currency movements positively impacted current EBIT by +€5 million.

The improvement in current EBIT at constant exchange rates reflects:

  • Strong EBITDA growth

  • Increased depreciation and amortization charges (+3.5% at constant exchange rates) to €2 192 million, in line with higher growth capex and scope impacts.

  • A balance of provisions/reversals and other down significantly, +€52 million compared to +€82 million in 2018.

  • And the increase in the contribution from equity-accounted joint ventures and associates, at €130 million compared to €116 million in 2018 represented, thanks to good performance in China, at €76 million.


► An increase in Current net income – group share of +13.1% and of +13.5% at constant exchange rates, to €760 million compared to €672 million for 2018 represented. Excluding net capital gains from asset disposals, the current net income – group share is up 8.8% at constant exchange rates.

  • The cost of net financial debt was -€441 million
  • The tax rate is 23% compared to 22% in 2018 represented.
  • The current portion of non-controlling interests decreased to -€147 million vs. -€162 in 2018 represented.


Net income – group share is up sharply by 41.8% at €625 million compared to €441 million in 2018 represented and +36.8% at constant forex. The divestiture of TNAI in the US (heating and cooling networks) resulted in a €170 million net capital gain.


 Net free cash flow rose strongly, to €868 million vs. €536 million in 2018 represented thanks to controlled net capex (€2 201 million vs. €2 189 million) and a very good working capital management (down by €209 million).


► Net financial debt was significantly down to €10 680 million including €1 731 million of IFRS 16 lease debt. Net debt benefitted from the TNAI divestiture for $1 250 million, which was closed end 2019. The leverage ratio decreased and reached 2.66 x as of 12/31/2019.


New increase of the dividend, to €1.00 per share, to be paid at 100 % in cash with respect to the 2019 fiscal year, compared with €0.92 per share in 2018.

Veolia’s Board of Directors will propose to shareholders at the Annual General Shareholders Meeting on April 22, 2020 the payment of a dividend of €1.00 per share with respect to the 2019 fiscal year, payable in cash. The ex-dividend date is fixed at May 12, 2020. 2019 dividends will be paid starting as of May 14, 2020.


New Strategic Program 2020-2023: IMPACT 2023

2019 was the last year of our 4 year strategic plan. The Group presents today in Aubervilliers from 9.30 am all the details of its new strategic program “Impact 2020-2023”. It is based on its Purpose which was released last year. This presentation is webcasted: https://www.veolia.com/en

In a nutshell:

► A particular context: the environmental priority has never been higher

► A high ambition: to be the reference company for the ecological transformation

► A priority: maximizing Veolia’s positive impact - environmental, societal, financial

► A consequence: clear priorities 

  • Strong acceleration of the businesses which have the highest positive impact on the planet
  • 20% portfolio rotation

 

► Preparing the future: 

  • Reinvent the historical businesses
  • Create new solutions to address the global environmental challenges
     

► A highly rigorous execution: 

  • € 1 bn cost savings plan
  • Net financial debt below 3 x EBITDA over the duration of the plan

 

► Providing the proof of commitments with a set of KPIs:

  • To track our impact on all our stakeholders
  • To base the bonus policy of the managers

2020 Guidance(1)

  • Revenue: solid organic growth
  • Efficiency : at least €250M in cost savings
  • EBITDA : ~€4.1bn Dividend growth on the trajectory of the 2020-2023 plan
     

2023 Objectives(2)

  • Revenue: continued solid growth
  • Efficiency : €1bn in cost savings over 4 years
  • EBITDA 2023 between €4.7bn and €4.9bn
  • Current Net income : ~€1bn in 2023
  • Leverage ratio <3 and well below 3 in 2023
  • Dividend growth in line with current net income growth <\li>
  • Dividend 2023: €1.30 per share
     

1 At constant forex as of year-end 2019
2 These targets are at constant forex, as of end-2019, at constant IFRS, and in an economic environment without major change

 

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 171,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which 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 95 million people with drinking water and 63 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 56 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 49 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.91 billion in 2018 (USD 30.6 billion). 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

Tél : + 33 (0)1 85 57 42 16
[email protected]

 

Investor & Analyst Relations
Ronald Wasylec - Ariane de Lamaze 
Tél. : + 33 (0)1 85 57 84 76 / 84 80