A RECORD 9 MONTH 2021 RESULTS DELIVERY REVENUE AND RESULTS SIGNIFICANTLY ABOVE 2020 AND 2019 ACCELERATION OF RESULTS GROWTH IN THE 3RD QUARTER VEOLIA IN A VERY SOLID POSITION AHEAD OF SUEZ ACQUISITION
▪ STRONG REVENUE GROWTH, TO €20 357M UP +9.4%1 vs. 9M 2020 AND UP +4.7%1 vs. 9M 2019
▪ VERY STRONG EBITDA GROWTH, TO €3 140M, UP +26.4%1 vs. 9M 2020, AND UP +10.2%1 vs. 9M 2019
▪ EFFICIENCY GAINS OF €299M, AHEAD OF ANNUAL TARGET OF €350M
▪ VERY STRONG CURRENT EBIT GROWTH, TO €1 258M, UP +68.7%2 vs. 9M2020 AND UP +9.1%2 vs. 9M 2019
▪ RECORD CURRENT NET INCOME GROUP SHARE OF €667M, MULTIPLIED BY MORE THAN 5 vs. 9M 2020 AND UP+44%2 vs. 9M 2019
▪ NET FREE CASHFLOW STRONGLY UP, BY +€960M vs. 9M 2020, TO €583M
▪ 2021 GUIDANCE FULLY CONFIRMED
1Variation at constant exchange rates
Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s Chairman & CEO commented:
After a flying start to the year, Veolia has maintained an outstanding pace of growth in the 3rd quarter, even stronger than in 2019, both in terms of activity and results. All indicators are green. Our commercial momentum is particularly strong, thanks to expanding markets and offers that integrate more and more added value. Moreover, our strict cost control has enabled us once again to benefit from a strong operating leverage. Our financial performance in the first 9 months of 2021 is not only much better than in 2020, which was penalized by the sanitary crisis in the first 2 quarters of the year, but also very much ahead of 2019, which was a record year of profits for Veolia. 2021 guidance is therefore fully confirmed. Our teams have also remained fully committed to finalizing the acquisition of Suez around year-end. We are now all looking forward to welcoming Suez’s teams in order to create the world leader in ecological transformation.
• Revenue of €20 357M vs. €18 705M in the 9 months 2020, an increase of +8.8% at current exchange rates and of +9.4% at constant exchange rates.
In the first 9 months of 2021 Veolia’s activity progressed significantly. The adaptation measures put in place early 2020 to face the sanitary crisis have contributed to recover a very positive momentum as from the second half of 2020, which has continued in 2021.
At constant exchange rates, after a growth of 4.0% in Q1,2021 and of +19.7% in Q2,2021 compared to Q2 2020 which was the most penalized quarter by the sanitary crisis (revenue was down 11%) , Q3 2021 progressed by 5.9%, versus Q3 2020 which was nearly flat.
Compared to « pre-Covid » 2019, revenue in the 9 months 2021 increased by 4.7% at constant exchange after +4.6% in H1,2021.
Exchange rates variations unfavorably impacted revenue growth by -0.6% (-€111M)
Scope effect was +€135M. Growth in Central and Eastern Europe (Czech Republic and Hungary mainly) and in Global Businesses (acquisition of Osis from Suez) more than offset the divestment of Sade Telecom and of the industrial cleaning activity in Singapore.
Energy prices (heat and electricity) had a favorable impact on revenue of +€131M and recycled material prices of +€358M of which +€238M for paper and cardboard, strongly up, of €28M for plastics and of €49M for metals.
Weather effect was a positive of +€47M, down compared to H1. After a cold winter, favorable for the energy activities, rainy summer penalized water volumes in France.
The Volumes/Commerce impact was very positive, +€812M, or +4.3% on the Group’s revenue, thanks to a continued solid commercial momentum in all our businesses, the volume rebound in Waste and the recovery of works.
Service prices continued to be well oriented, leading to a favorable impact of +€280M on the Group’s revenue, or +1.5%, after +1.3% in the first half.
By geography and at constant exchange rates, the evolution over the 1st nine months of 2021 is as follows
In France, revenue grew strongly, by +10.3% vs. 9M2020 and by +3.5% vs. 2019, to €4 320M. Water revenue increased by +1.7% with moderate tariff indexation of +0.7% and volumes down by 2%, due to the rainy summer, which effect was offset by the works recovery.
Waste revenue grew sharply versus 2020 (+20.6% in the 9 months after +23.5% in H1) thanks to new contracts and the start-up of a new incineration facility. Volumes were up by +7.3% and recovered their pre-Covid level, and price effect was +3.0%. Waste activities also benefitted from increased recycled materials prices (impact of +8.2% on the Waste revenue), with an average recycled papers selling price of €165 per ton, a doubling versus 2020. Revenue growth was also very significant compared to 2019, +10%.
Europe excluding France maintained the growth rhythm registered in the first half, with a revenue of €7 656 M, up +13.8% vs. 9M 2020 and up +12.1 % vs. 9M 2019. This progression is mostly attributable to Central and Eastern Europe, with a revenue of €2 853 M, up +23,3%, mainly in the Energy business, up 35% thanks to favorable weather, increased heat and electricity prices, and the integration of new assets in Prague and Budapest. Water activity grew by +1.5% with stable volumes (+0.2%). UK and Ireland revenue was €1 772 M, an increase of +6,3%, thanks to the continued growth in C&I waste, very high recycled material prices and an excellent availability rate of the PFIs (93.7%). Increased electricity prices had no impact as volumes were pre-sold. Revenue in Germany was €1 436M up +7.1% and even +12.6% at constant perimeter, due to C&I volume recovery and high recycled material prices. Scandinavia and the Netherlands registered double-digit growth due to good commercial performance with industrial clients and strong plastic recycling activity. Italy, Portugal and Spain grew by +15.5% with new contracts.
- Rest of the World revenue came out up +5.2% compared to 9M 2020, to €5 059 M. All geographies progressed, except Pacific, slightly down (-0,9%). Asia grew by +3.5%, including China-Hong Kong up +6.5%. Latin America once again registered strong growth, of +15.1% thanks to commercial dynamism, price increases and hazardous waste growth. North America grew by +3,5% due to good hazardous waste volumes and price increases, which more than offset the temporary shutdowns due to the cold wave in Texas in Q1 and the IDA hurricane at the beginning of September. Africa Middle East grew by +10%, thanks notably to new contracts in the Middle East.
- Global business came out to €3 319 M up +5.7% compared to 9M 2020, and by +9% at constant perimeter (mainly excluding the divestment of Sade Telecom). Veolia Water Technologies grew by +4.8%. SADE progressed by +7.3% at constant scope. Hazardous waste activity continued to grow sharply, up +27.5% vs. 9M 2020 and up +16.5% vs. 2019. This activity remains fast growing in all our geographies. Industrial and energy services have confirmed their recovery and are up by +16.3%.
By business, at constant scope and exchange rates, the evolution over the 9 months is as follows:
Water revenue increased by +1.7%, with prices up 0.7% and volumes down 2% in France and up 0.2% in Central and Eastern Europe,and solid works activity. Water Technology and Networks grew by 6.1%.
Waste revenue increased by 14.3%, including volumes up +5.4%, continued well oriented prices (up 2.8%) and the impact of higher recycled material prices (+5.1% effect), which has strengthened in the 3rd quarter. Energy revenue grew sharply, by 18.2% at constant exchange rates and by 10.6% at constant scope and exchange rates, with a favorable weather impact of +1.6% on revenue (+€60M) and a heat and electricity prices impact of +3.4%
• Strong growth of EBITDA to €3 140M vs. €2 492M in the 1st nine months of 2020, an increase of +26.4% at constant exchange rates and of +10.2% vs. 2019.
- Exchange rates variations unfavorably impacted EBITDA by -€10M (-0.4%) while scope had a positive effect of +€66M (+2.6%).
- Solid growth of revenue vs. 9M 2020 translated into a good operating leverage effect at the EBITDA level. The strong growth of EBITDA was driven by higher volumes and activity level for +€267M (+10.7% impact), by efficiency gains for €299M, ahead of the annual objective of €350M (+12% impact), by higher recyclate and energy prices for +€98M (+4.0%) and finally by a price cost squeeze effect of -€155M (-6.2%). Weather impact was neutral, as cold winter in Energy was offset by rainy summer for Water in France.
- EBITDA also benefitted in Q3 from a positive Operating Financial Asset (OFA) reimbursement one-off of +€83M, due to the completion of a waste-to-energy facility in France. EBITDA growth remains very strong even excluding this one off, at +23.1% vs. 9M 2020. This one off EBITDA item had no impact at the EBIT level. In the 4th quarter it will be offset by CO2 cash costs settlements for 2021 and by the implementation of the new IFRS treatment (IAS 38) of IT spending. The one off items will therefore be neutralized.
• Current EBIT growth of +68.7% to €1 258 M vs. €748M in 2020.
- Exchange rates variations weighed in for -€4M.
- The very strong Current EBIT growth of +€510M can be analyzed as follows :
- EBITDA growth for +€658M at constant exchange rates
- Depreciation and amortization (including Operating Financial Assets reimbursements) increased by €176M due to the integration of new assets in Energy in Central and Eastern Europe and to the OFA one off of €83M (neutralized at EBIT level)
- Provisions, fair value adjustments and industrial capital gains improved from -€14M to +€29M from 2020 to 2021, thanks to industrial divestitures capital gains, while provisions increase from -€34M to -€17M in 2020.
- Current net income from joint ventures and associates reached €69M vs. €73M in 2020, mainly due the divestment of the Shenzhen Chinese water concession.
• Record level for Current Net income Group share: €667M vs. €126M in 2020 and €468M in 2019.
Current net income group share increased sharply, thanks to :
Very strong increase of Current EBIT
Cost of financing down sharply, by €73M to -€242M, due to very favorable Euro debt refinancing (Euro bond average borrowing rate of 1.94%), and to the unwinding of a portfolio of interest rates derivatives which generated a €20M income.
Suez dividend corresponding to our 29.9% stake for +€122M.
Other financial income and expense stable at -€125M.
Net financial capital gains of +€7M in 9M 2021 vs. +€9M in 9M 2020.
Higher income tax expense of -€241M vs. -€98M in 9M 2020. Current tax rate was 25%.
Non-controlling interest increased to -€112M vs. -€92M in 9M 2020.
• Net financial debt of €13 445M at September 30, 2021 vs. €13 217M at December 31, 2020. Record Free Cash Flow of +€583M
Net financial debt is stable excluding unfavorable exchange rates impact of -€203M
Controlled Net industrial capex: €1 355M vs. €1 334M in 9M 2020.
Strict WCR management has led to an improvement of €291M
Net free cash flow generation therefore increased significantly to reach +€705M vs. -€377M at 30 September 2020. Excluding the Suez dividend of +€122M, it stands at +€583M.
Net financial investments amounted to €258M and including mainly the closing of the acquisition of Osis from Suez which had been initiated prior to the launch of the offer on the entire Suez Group.
Exchange rates variations had an unfavorable impact on net financial debt of -€145M
2021 Prospects* fully confirmed
Following the excellent 9M performance, we fully confirm our full year guidance
Revenue above 2019
More than €350M of efficiency gains : €250M recurring efficiencies and €100M of complementary savings from the Recover & Adapt plan
EBITDA target of more than €4.1bn, a growth >12% vs. 2020
Net financial debt below €10bn at the end of 2021 and a leverage ratio below 3 times
Objective to recover the pre-crisis dividend policy in 2021
* At constant forex
Merger with Suez
The different steps of the combination with Suez proceed as planned and according to the previously announced timetable. Several major milestones have been reached during the 3rd quarter of which:
On July 20th, the French Stock Exchange Authority (AMF) declared Veolia’s proposed tender offer on the remaining 70.1% stake in Suez, previously filed on June 30th, compliant. The Tender Offer Document, the Note in Response from Suez as well as the information required in accordance with Article 231-28 of the AMF General Regulation are available on the websites of the AMF, Veolia and Suez. The Tender Offer has been opened since July 29th
A rights issue of €2.5 billion was completed with the settlement and delivery of the new shares on October 8th, 2021.
After the information consultation process with the employee representative bodies of Suez was completed, the Share and Asset Purchase Agreement was signed with the Consortium in order to create New Suez. Terms and conditions are fully aligned with the binding offer signed on June 29th.
- The anti-trust process is proceeding as planned. In particular, the official filing before the European Commission was done on October 22nd.
Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them.
In 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €26.010 billion in 2020. www.veolia.com
As the changes in the health crisis are difficult to estimate, we draw your attention to the “forward-looking statements” that may appear in this press release and relating to the consequences of this crisis which may affect the future performance of the Company.
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 Autorité 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.