Sharp 50.2% rise in free cash flow
Recurring earnings per share up 11.0%
Increase in operating margin of 30 basis points
- Organic growth at 2.4%, with prices up 1.8% and volumes up 0.6%
- Increase in operating income to €3,390 million, up 5.7% as reported and 4.7% like-for-like, including a rise of 1.6% in the second half
- 30 basis point gain in the operating margin1 to 8.0% for the year and 8.4% for the second half
- Further increase of 10.0% in recurring net income2 and 11.0% in recurring earnings per share
- Sharp 50% rise in free cash flow3, representing a significant improvement in the free cash flow conversion ratio4 at 44%
- Reduction in net debt, down to €10.5 billion at end-2019 from €11.2 billion at end-2018
- “Transform & Grow” ahead of targets: (1) divestments representing around €3.3 billion in sales, ahead of the initial target, and continuation of selective acquisitions; (2) cost savings program delivering results faster than initially expected, with savings of €120 million in 2019 compared to savings of over €80 million announced at the end of July
- 2019 dividend up to €1.38 per share, to be paid wholly in cash
1.Operating margin = operating income divided by sales.
2.Recurring net income = net attributable income excluding capital gains and losses on disposals, asset write-downs, material non-recurring provisions and Sika income.
3.Free cash flow = EBITDA less depreciation of right-of-use assets, plus net financial expense excluding Sika, plus income tax, less investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets excluding additional capacity investments, plus changes in working capital requirement.
Free cash flow conversion ratio = free cash flow divided by EBITDA less depreciation of right-of-use assets.
4.Figures for 2018 have been restated for IFRS 16 with retroactive effect from January 1, 2018.
5.EBITDA = operating income plus operating depreciation, less non-operating costs excluding Sika.
Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saint-Gobain, commented:
“Saint-Gobain has delivered another significant improvement in its annual results, despite a less supportive market environment in the second half. Our strategic decisions are paying off, with the Group’s positioning in the buoyant markets of energy-efficient renovation and other high value-added segments, and the swift and rigorous execution of our transformation plan. We have exceeded our commitments in terms of disposals, with around €3.3 billion in sales divested at the end of 2019 for over €1 billion. We continue to optimize our portfolio, with both divestments and value-creating acquisitions in the context of the new organization. For 2020, in a more uncertain market environment, Saint-Gobain should continue to benefit from its attractive positioning and from the results of its ‘Transform & Grow’ initiative, and is targeting a further like-for-like increase in operating income with an uncertainty about the impact of the coronavirus.”
Benoit Bazin, Chief Operating Officer of Saint-Gobain, commented:
“Our teams worked hard to make the roll-out of the new organization a great success, providing us with added agility and growth, along with increased efficiency for our customers. Thanks to the accelerated implementation of our cost savings plan, we were able to unlock €120 million in 2019 compared to over €80 million as previously announced. The rotation in our portfolio helped enhance the Group’s growth and profitability profile, thanks both to the success of our divestment program and the completion of 18 selective acquisitions. The acquisition of Continental Building Products was finalized quickly on February 3, 2020 and the integration plan is already in place. It will strengthen our positioning on the dynamic North American construction market.”