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Meldungen 29.01.2004

29.1.2004: Meldung: Suez reports 2003 revenues

Total Group revenues for 2003 were EUR 39.6 billion compared with EUR 40.8 billion in 2002. The greater part of 2003 revenues (90% of the total) were generated in Europe and North America, 80% of which from the European continent alone. The satisfactory level of organic revenue growth within the new Group structure specified in the action plan, paved the way for a practically stable revenue figure (-2.8%), despite the impact of disposals and unfavorable exchange rate movements.

 

Changes in Group structure (-EUR 2,806 million) mainly include disposals of Nalco (-EUR 2,819million), Northumbrian (-EUR 798 million)(2) and Cespa (-EUR 134 million); these were partially offset by the full consolidation of Acea Electrabel S.p.A de Tirrenopower in Italy and of Polaniec in Poland (+EUR 723 million for the 3 entities)(2), as well as the consequences of deregulation in Belgium, linked in particular to the separation of transmission activities, Elia, the creation of Electrabel Customer Solutions, and the dissolution of the Electrabel-SPE partnership (together +EUR 503 million).

 

Organic Group revenue was up +6.1%. This growth derived both from Energy (+7.3%) and Environment (+3.7%) activities. Energy growth was exceptionally strong for EGI, thanks to the startup of five new power plants (+EUR 480 million) and the increase in LNG sales in the USA (+EUR 426 million). For EGE, growth was due mainly to improved production base and contract portfolio efficiencies (+EUR 250 million), and to natural gas and electricity sales outside Belgium (+EUR 267 million). The growth in Water sales in Europe contributed +EUR 312 million to growth in Environment.

 

ENERGY

The Energy business grew by 7.3% net, against 9.9% gross. The positive impact of changes in Group structure (+ EUR 1,026 million) and natural gas price increases (+ EUR 375 million) were partially offset by the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange fluctuations (-EUR 697 million). Revenues of Electricity & Gas Europe increased by +16.6% at December 31, 2003. On a comparable basis, revenues progressed by +EUR 426 million, for organic growth of +4,0%.

 

Electricity

· In Belgium electricity volumes to captive and deregulated customers decreased slightly; the second half of 2003 was impacted by increased deregulation following the complete deregulation in Flanders.

 

· Outside Belgium electricity sales grew by EUR 810 million of which EUR 147 million was organic. For the period, these sales represent 40% of all EGE electricity sales in volume terms, compared with 31% in 2002.

 

Natural Gas

· Sales by Electrabel and Distrigas to natural gas distribution companies in Belgium have dropped slightly following market deregulation in Flanders in the second half of 2003.

 

· Sales outside Belgium showed strong growth (EUR +120 million), following one-off sales contracts in Spain and new supply contracts in France. Sales of electricity, natural gas and other kinds of fuel made in the context of inventory and contract portfolio optimization reached EUR 1,495 million, representing and increase of EUR +250 million, mainly related to natural gas sales.

 

Electricity & Gas International grew by +39.7% (or EUR +1,269 million), on a comparable structural, exchange rate and natural gas price basis. The exceptional growth level (compared to +24.8 % during the first half of 2003) is mainly explained by the effect of new electricity power stations being put into service at the beginning of 2002 and, in 2003, by the continued emphasis on LNG business development. Growth at the end of December 2003 came mainly from:

- North America (+EUR 983 million), with

1) growth in of Tractebel LNG North America sales (EUR +426 million), representing +68 % in volume, particularly after the doubling in vaporization capacity of the Everett terminal and the increase in transport capacity;

2) the +EUR 332 million effect of 4 new power stations being put in production - Red Hills, Mississippi (440 MW); Ennis, Texas (350 MW); Monterrey, Mexico (245 MW); and Chehalis, Washington State (520 MW);

3) commercial success in direct energy sales to industrial and service segment customers by Tractebel Energy Services Inc. in its start -up phase (TESI: +EUR 144 million); and

4) for Trigen, the impact of a harsh winter, 2002-2003 (+EUR 30 million).

 

- Asia, with the production start-up of the Bowin power station (740 MW) in Thailand (+EUR 148 million) since the end of January 2003

- growing LNG business outside North America, (+EUR 132 million).

 

Latin America recorded more or less stable revenues (-EUR 30 million), despite the non-recurrence of the rationing that occurred in Brazil in 2002, offset mainly by price adjustments and the signature of new bilateral contracts with distributors and industry concluded in that country"s energy market deregulation. Energy and Industrial Services business was stable (-0.1%, or -EUR 6 million), resulting from Service business growth (Elyo, with an organic growth of +4.2%) and from a slight weakening of the Installation business following the postponement of investment projects, particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium.

 

ENVIRONMENT

The Local Environment Services division achieved sales of EUR 12.1 billion, a decrease of 6.2%, negatively

impacted by a change in structure (-EUR 1,011 million), primarily by the partial sale of Northumbrian, and the

impact of exchange rate fluctuations (-EUR 425 million), offset by sustained organic growth. Activities in Europe

and North America represent 86% of the total sales. Organic growth (1) stands at 3.5%, or +EUR 391 million. It is

the result of:

- Water Europe (up 9.2%, i.e. +EUR 312 million), mainly in France (+7.1%) thanks to a satisfactory

commercial performance (new industrial contracts, riders covering lead regulations) and exceptional

weather conditions during the summer;

- Waste Services activities in France (organic growth of 3.3% resulting from an increase in rates combined

with a favorable volume trend, and the cancellation of unprofitable contracts in certain European countries,

in particular the UK and Germany;

- International activity, particularly in Latin America, +EUR 56 million, coming in particular from a progression

of activity in Chile and Brazil;

- Degrémont revenues increased by 3.1%, a slowdown compared to the previous quarter, due to the start up

of some major contracts in Fujairah and Gabal.

Ondeo Industrial Solutions recorded organic growth of 19.1% thanks to a number of significant contracts being signed during 2003. The impact of the change in structure arising from the Nalco disposal amounted to

-EUR 2,819 million.

 

OTHER

The Communications Sector grew by 5.2% or EUR 33 million, driven by a good performance by M6, and an

increase in sales at Noos. Organic growth for the Environment sector was 6.3%.

 

For more information, Financial analyst contact:

Anne Liontas: +331 4006 6654

Arnaud Erbin: +331 4006 6489

Antoine Lenoir: +331 4006 6650

Eléonore de Larboust: +331 4006 1753

Bertrand Haas : +331 4006 6609

For Belgium:

Guy Dellicour: +322 507 02 77

 

Source: Suez

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