Bureau Veritas’ strong fundamentals driving an excellent set of 2019 results
2019 KEY FIGURES1
- Revenue of EUR 5,100 million in 2019, up 6.3% year on year, with organic growth of +4.3%,
of which 5.3% in the fourth quarter
- Operating profit of EUR 721 million, up 13.2% year on year
- Adjusted operating profit of EUR 832 million, up 9.7% year on year, showing a margin progression of
50 basis points2 to 16.3%; at constant currency, before applying IFRS 16, margin rose 20 basis points
- Attributable net profit of EUR 368 million, up 10.6% year on year
- Adjusted net profit of EUR 451 million (EUR 1.02 per share), up 8.1% year on year
- Free cash flow of EUR 618 million (12.1% of Group revenue), up 29.2% year on year
- Adjusted net debt / EBITDA ratio improved from 2.3x as of December 2018 to 1.9x as of December 2019
- Proposed dividend of EUR 0.56 per share3, payable in cash (payout ratio of 55%)
The Group remains uniquely positioned considering the diversity and the resilience of its portfolio.
Given the negative impact of the Covid-19 force majeure, Bureau Veritas expects for the full year 2020 to:
- Achieve solid organic revenue growth
- Focus on protecting the adjusted operating margin at constant currency
- Generate sustained strong cash flow
In the current circumstances, Bureau Veritas expects the impact to be primarily in Q1 2020.
Didier Michaud-Daniel, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“The 2019 numbers illustrate the extent of the transformation of Bureau Veritas since 2015 and are a credit to all the teams across the Group. Exceeding EUR 5 billion in revenues and ending the year with the best quarterly organic growth in seven years shows the resilience and growth potential of our repositioned portfolio. The strong margin, cash performance and net profit prove the strength and the relevance of the Group’s new business model which we have successfully refocused over the course of the past 5 years. We are now well positioned to move to a new phase in Bureau Veritas’s development which will be announced in a few months.
Since its inception in 1828, the Group’s purpose has been to shape a world of trust. In 2019, we have further supported our clients in their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments, and we have taken steps to go beyond CSR regulatory requirements in several areas such as health and safety, inclusion and environmental protection. I believe that Bureau Veritas is uniquely positioned to shape the trust between companies and their clients and help them promote more responsible progress.
Safety is an absolute at Bureau Veritas, and as the world is faced with the Covid-19 crisis, I would like to publicly express once again our full support to our people and our clients affected by these events.
Notwithstanding the significant impact on our business activities that one must assume on the 2020 outlook, the Group’s strong fundamentals remain unchanged and clearly demonstrate the soundness of the ongoing strategy. In the forthcoming months we will announce our next strategic plan, anchored in the current trajectory which is proving to be very successful.”
1 Alternative performance indicators are presented, defined and reconciled with IFRS in appendices 6 and 7 of this press release.
2 Including 25 basis point positive impact from IFRS 16.
3 Proposed dividend, subject to Shareholders’ Meeting approval on May 14, 2020.