Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer indicated: “2014 results were particularly satisfying and exceeded our objectives. All of our financial indicators recorded steady growth and the Group’s margins improved significantly. These excellent results were made possible by the collective efforts of the entire Group, whose hard work and commitment I would like to acknowledge. The solid 2014 performance allows the Group to approach 2015 with utmost confidence and to confirm all of our objectives. After the summer this year, we plan on presenting the details of our new 2016-2018 strategic plan. The plan will be focused on profitable growth in our traditional markets and new industrial markets, while we will continue to optimize efficiency, with priority given to improved efficiency of our industrial assets and increasing purchasing savings. This balance between growth and operational efficiency should allow Veolia to grow revenue at least 3% per year and grow adjusted operating cash flow at least 5% per year in the coming years.”
- Revenue increased 4.6% (+4.9% at constant exchange rates) to €23,880 million compared with re-presented €22,820 million for the year ended December 31, 2013.
Revenue in the combined Water and Waste activities increased 5.6% at constant exchange rates (+3.3% at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates.)
- In France revenue declined slightly (-1.4% at constant scope), with Water revenue also slightly down due the combined impact of contractual erosion and lower price indexation (+1.2% in 2014 versus +2.2% in 2013) related to lower inflation. Revenue was stable in Waste activities.
- Revenue in the Europe excluding France region increased 35.9% at constant exchange rates due to the consolidation of Dalkia International. At constant consolidation scope and exchange rates, revenue was stable (-0.2%), with good momentum in Waste activities in the United Kingdom but a decline in revenue in Germany due to the negative weather effect on the Braunschweig contract.
- The rest of the World segment recorded steady growth at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates (+6.7%), with particularly good performance in the United States (+5.8%), Asia (+6.6%), the Pacific region (+6.1%) and in Africa Middle East (+9.3%). The segment also benefitted from the integration of Proactiva’s Water and Waste activities in Latin America, contributing to 23.8% growth at constant exchange rates.
- Global businesses revenue growth returned (+9.7% at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates), with 3.9% growth at SARP Industries, +13.5% in engineering and +9.5% at Sade.
By business, Water activities recorded 3.8% growth at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates, Waste activities recorded 2.0% growth at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates, while Energy revenue declined 5.4% constant consolidation scope and exchange rates due to the negative impact of weather.
Pro forma revenue, i.e. revenue excluding Dalkia France and with Dalkia International fully consolidated over the 12-month period, increased 2.4% at constant exchange rates and +1.0% at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates to €24,408 million, despite the impact of weather.
- Veolia continues to experience good commercial results, with nearly €9 billion in large contracts won or renewed in 2014.
Veolia’s commercial efforts in 2014 in its new strategic growth markets have been successful. Large contract awards were evenly divided, with roughly half of contracts awarded in strategic growth markets (the oil & gas, food & beverage, mining and metal, circular economy, treatment of hazardous pollution and dismantling sectors). These efforts put the Group on track to rebalance its client revenue mix from 61%/39% municipal/industrial today to 50%/50%.
- Strong adjusted operating cash flow growth of 17.3% at constant exchange rates to €2,164 million, with 13.2% growth at constant exchange rates in the combined Water and Waste activities
- Adjusted operating cash flow performance benefited from the acceleration of the cost savings plan (€232 million in gross savings generated in 2014) which contributed to 11.7% growth at constant exchange rates to €930 million in Water activities and 11.3% growth at constant exchange rates to €943 million in Waste activities. Energy activities recorded €335 million in adjusted operating cash flow, up 46.6% due to the consolidation of Dalkia International. In addition, adjusted operating cash flow benefited from the full consolidation of Proactiva.
- By segment and at constant exchange rates: In France, adjusted operating cash flow was stable excluding restructuring charges. In the Europe excluding France segment, adjusted operating cash flow posted very strong growth due to good performance in the United Kingdom, and in Germany, the benefit from prior restructuring efforts, while the segment also benefited from the consolidation of Dalkia International activities. The Rest of the World segment recorded 49.6% growth driven by the increase in Energy results in the United States and in China, and Water activities in Australia and the Middle East. The Global Businesses segment recorded 12% adjusted operating cash flow growth, with solid growth in Hazardous Waste activities, and strong growth at VWT due to a favorable base effect in engineering activities.
- Adjusted operating cash flow includes €99 million in restructuring charges (€78 million in 2013).
- On a pro forma basis, adjusted operating cash flow increased 8.4% at constant exchange rates.
- Adjusted operating income grew 23.2% at constant exchange rates to €1,108 million compared to re-presented €901 million in 2013 due to the strong growth in adjusted operating cash flow, and despite a €60 million increase in depreciation and amortization, the reduced net contribution from the share of joint ventures and associates (divestment of Marius Pedersen and full consolidation of Dalkia International beginning in the second half of 2014) and the decline in net capital gains (€47 million in 2014 versus €123 million in 2013).
- Very strong increase in adjusted net income, +79% to €326 million compared with re-presented €182 million in 2013.
- The re-presented cost of net financial debt declined more than €60 million from the prior year.
- The adjusted tax rate was reduced to 31.7% versus re-presented 43% in 2013.
- Adjusted net income attributable to non-controlling interests increased slightly to €122.9 million versus €116.5 million in 2013.
- Net income attributable to shareholders of the company amounted to €246 million versus a re-presented net loss of €153 million in 2013.
- Significant improvement in net free cash flow generation to €330 million versus re-presented €87 million in 2013, which is an increase of 243 million driven by the strong improvement in adjusted operating cash flow, and continued capex discipline and working capital improvement.
- Gross industrial investments increased due to the impact of the consolidation of Dalkia International and Proactiva but remain under control at €1,555 million in 2014 versus re-presented €1,469 million in 2013, and representing 6.5% of revenue (6.4% in 2013). Growth industrial investments accounted for €885 million in 2014.
- Continued working capital improvement (+€73 million)
- Net financial debt amounted to €8,311 million at December 31, 2014, down from re-presented €8,444 million at December 31, 2013, despite a negative foreign exchange impact of €390 million, the delay in closing the divestment of Israel activities to the first half of 2015 and the impact of not selling the Moroccan activities.
- Dividend of €0.70 per share, associated with the 2014 fiscal year, to be paid entirely in cash.
- At the Combined Shareholders’ Meeting scheduled for April 22, 2015, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend payment of €0.70 per share in respect of the 2014 fiscal year, payable in cash. The ex-dividend date is fixed for May 5, 2015. The 2014 dividend will be paid beginning May 7, 2015.
- For 2016, in respect of the 2015 fiscal year, the Board of Directors indicated that the dividend will be at least €0.70 per share.
- 2015 objectives
- Growth in revenue
- Growth in EBITDA and current operating income
- Continued strong operational performance
- Cost savings benefits resulting from the continued execution of the €750 million cost savings plan
- Continued capex discipline
- The dividend and hybrid coupon payment to be covered by current net income and paid by free cash flow excluding net financial divestments
- Net financial debt management
- Investor Day planned for the second half of 2015
- Veolia will present its new strategic plan for the 2016 to 2018 period via an investor day after the summer.
The definition of all financial indicators used in this communication can be found at the end of this press release.
Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 179,000 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 2014, the group Veolia supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 60 million people with wastewater service, produced 52 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 31 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) recorded consolidated revenue of €24.4 billion* in 2014. www.veolia.com
(*) 2014 pro-forma figures including Dalkia International (100%) and excluding Dalkia France
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.
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 At constant exchange rates. At current exchange rates, adjusted operating cash flow grew 17.1%, while that of the combined Water and Waste activities grew 13.1%.  An overview of re-presented financial accounts for the period ended December 31, 2013 in which the Morroco Water operations were reclassified to continuing operations is presented on page 27 of this release.  Throughout this press release, when referring to pro forma figures, these figures exclude Dalkia France operations and assume full consolidation of Dalkia International operations for the comparative 12-month periods.