CERGY, France, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite continuing economic uncertainty in 2010, SPIE's business held up well, and profitability improved for the fifth year running. The Group broke new ground in all of its markets and saw organic growth resume in France (+ 2%).
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Pro-forma 2010 turnover: EUR3.75 billion (+ 0.7%)
Order intake: EUR3.829 billion (+ 1.5%)
External growth: EUR79 million of turnover acquired
Operating profit on ordinary activities: EUR192.3 million (+ 5.4%)
With consolidated turnover up 0.7% year-on-year to EUR3.75 billion, annual business volume stabilised, underpinned by a balanced customer portfolio and good anticipation of sector trends, with growth in the healthcare and social housing sectors, sustained mobility in cities, demand for energy efficiency in services and manufacturing, the solar photovoltaic boom and the roll-out of broadband networks being just a few examples. In addition, SPIE further strengthened its excellent position in the energy markets.
Pro-forma operating profit on ordinary activities came to EUR192.3 million, a year-on-year increase of 5.4% in keeping with the company's 2009 performance. This result reflects SPIE's sustained efforts in the areas of customer relations, selectivity with regard to jobs and suppliers and rigorous contract management.
The Group successfully maintained a healthy level of external growth, with the acquisition of some ten companies in France and the Netherlands representing EUR79 million in additional turnover.
Lastly, SPIE generated substantial cash in 2010 and was able to increase its debt pay-down rate; in the space of a year its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio decreased from 3.2 to 2.4, a level usually associated with companies with no LBO history.
Strengthened by the LBO
Five years after SPIE's takeover by PAI partners, the outcome is positive, turnover having increased by an average of 9% a year and operating profit on ordinary activities having doubled. The Group has generated EUR1.2 billion of cash, enabling it to acquire some 50 European companies. Furthermore, margins have improved considerably to the same level as those of SPIE's strongest competitors.
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Turnover (EURm) 2,332 2,671 3,460 3,748 3,725 3,750 EBIT (EURm) 76.8 96.9 137.5 172.9 182.5 192.3
The Group signed major mandatory and discretionary employee profit-sharing agreements with the social partners, with, for example, EUR19 million paid to French employees in 2010 in respect of the company's 2009 results and at least the same amount expected to be paid in 2011 in respect of performance in 2010. In addition, it reached a unanimous agreement with the trade unions to improve employees' social cover through better health benefits.
The Group's workforce has grown from 23,000 to almost 29,000 in the space of five years, and includes an increasing proportion of skilled employees working in high-tech services.
A favourable outlook for 2011
One of SPIE's main goals is to strengthen its presence in northern Europe in the regional multitechnical services segment, where it plans to open new sites in the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands, and to establish a foothold in the Scandinavian markets.
Beyond Europe, the Group continues to grow its oil and gas services division, notably in Africa (Angola and Nigeria) and Asia (Thailand, Indonesia and China). In a market in need of additional capacity, SPIE intends in particular to step up staff training programmes and improve service quality and safety.
Lastly, the Group's involvement in the green economy remains a keystone in its strategy, with a fifth of its businesses already linked to this sector in 2010. This figure should approach one-third in the coming years, underpinned by strategic partnerships with leading energy players and the development of innovative solutions in the area of energy - a key challenge for the future in view of the depletion of natural resources and increasing energy costs.
Preparing for the future
PAI partners acquired SPIE in July 2006. In conjunction with SPIE's management, PAI partners will now proceed to plan the next stage in the development of the company and its shareholder structure.
Olivier de Vregille, a PAI partner, commented: "Thanks to its knowledge of the sector, PAI partners spotted SPIE's growth potential at a very early stage and deployed all its know-how as a professional shareholder to assist in its development. Revenue has increased by over 40% in five years and the workforce has grown from 23,000 to more than 28,000. SPIE now represents a fantastic growth platform and can embark on a new stage in its history. PAI partners will see to it that the interests and values of the company and its employees are at the heart of the review process that is starting today."
According to Gauthier Louette, SPIE's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, "PAI partners is a very active, ambitious shareholder that provides SPIE with a high-quality industrial approach. The company has written an important page in its history with PAI partners. Backed by thousands of shareholder employees, today SPIE has solid fundamentals and remarkable potential. Now one of Europe's leading independent companies, the SPIE group is determined to build on this sound entrepreneurial base."
As the European leader in electrical and mechanical engineering and HVAC services, energy and communication systems, SPIE enhances the world around us and contributes to its development by helping local and regional authorities and companies design, build, operate and maintain greener, more energy-efficient facilities.
With 28,600 employees working from nearly 400 locations in 31 countries, in 2010 SPIE generated operating profit on ordinary activities of EUR192.3 million on turnover of EUR3.75 billion.http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/prne/spie/48893/