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Meldungen 06.05.2003

6.5.2003: Meldung: Suez SA: Bericht zum 1. Quartal 2003 (engl.)

+5.3% 1st quarter 2003 revenues growth

· Group revenues: +5.3% (EUR 10.8 billion)

· Group organic growth: +6.8% (Energy: +6.1% Environment: +7.5%)

· Revenues in Europe and North America: EUR 9.7 billion, i.e. 90% of total revenues (+12.6%)

 

Total Group revenues at March 31, 2003 were EUR 10.8 billion, an increase of 5.3% compared with the figure for the same period in 2002. Most revenues are generated in Europe and North America. Europe and North America represent 90% of total and grew by 12.6% in relation to the 1st quarter 2002. These revenues growth figures include the negative impact of exchange rate fluctuations and the favorable impacts of changes in Group structure and natural gas price increases in relation to 1st quarter 2002.

 

Ø Exchange rate fluctuations (negative impact EUR 611.9 million), the main factors being depreciations of the U.S. dollar (-EUR 206.1 million) and of South American currencies (including Brazil for -EUR 235.5 million and Argentina for -EUR 65.5 million).

 

Ø Changes in Group structure (positive impact EUR 291.2 million). The main factors were the acquisition of Interpower, consolidation of ACEA Electrabel SPA and subsidiaries, and 2002 ownership increases in Teris and Teris LLC.

 

Ø Natural gas prices (positive impact EUR 202 million). Natural gas prices were higher during 1st quarter 2003 in relation to the same period in 2002.

 

On a comparable basis, Group organic revenues were up 6.8%, as a result both of Energy (+6.1%) and Environment (+7.5%) activities, reflecting SUEZ businesses" commercial dynamism and their growth potential, despite a continuing difficult economic environment.

 

This favorable top line trend, in line with Group expectations, was due to sustained growth in its domestic European markets in both the environment (France, Spain, and others) and the energy sectors, the latter due to the cold winter. Outside Europe, the notable organic growth in North America resulted from the startup of the Puerto Rico contract and the energy sales growth following the bringing into service of new power plants, good performance of the LNG business and the cold winter there as well.

 

On a comparable basis, revenues increased EUR 249.9 million reflecting 8.4% organic growth, thanks to strong growth in natural gas sales:

 

- Electricity (+EUR 38 million)

· Sales to direct customers increased by EUR 89 million. This growth is accounted for by expanded sales outside the Benelux, particularly in Italy, and by a transfer of customers from mixed inter-communal companies toward the deregulated market segment which is provided directly by Electrabel and Electrabel Customer Solutions. In Belgium, electricity volumes sold to direct customers increased by 18.5%.

 

· Sales to distributors and other wholesalers, mainly in Belgium, declined EUR 75 million as a result of the transfer mentioned above of customers to the deregulated market segment. Outside the Benelux sales are progressing, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

 

- Natural gas (+EUR 212 million)

· sales to distributors in Belgium increased in volume terms over the same period in 2002 due to 2003"s harsher winter.

 

· export volumes grew substantially with punctual sales in Spain and the signing of a new contract in France.

 

2. The revenues trend for Electricity & Gas International (-11.0%), was accounted for by unfavorable exchange rate fluctuations. On a comparable basis, EGI"s contribution rose by EUR 73.7 million, for an organic growth rate of 7.3%, and this despite of the strong 1st quarter 2002 performance due to the positive impact of rationing in Brazil. First quarter 2003 growth was generated mainly in North America (+EUR 136.5 million), with several factors contributing to the positive trend: a progression in LNG activity (+EUR 87 million); Trigen"s good performance (+EUR 18.1 million); and the startup of two new power plants, one at Red Hills, Mississippi on April 1, 2002 and the other at Ennis, Texas on May 2, 2002 (+EUR 52 million). In Latin America, excluding the impact of rationing, sales increased slightly following the replacement in Brazil of the initial contractual volumes sold to distributors with new bilateral contracts (+EUR 46 million). In Asia, the Bowin power plant (Thailand) entered service at the end of January 2003 (+EUR 32 million) and Hanjin City Gas (South Korea) has turned in a good performance (+EUR 21 million).

 

3. Revenues from Energy and Industrial Services increased by 1.5%. On a comparable basis, this rate was higher, bringing organic growth to 2.4% (+EUR 54.7 million). Most of this growth resulted from Elyo"s expansion in operation and maintenance, outsourcing, as well as from the increased output of cogeneration.

 

n ENVIRONMENT

Environment businesses" organic growth was 7.5%. Exchange rate fluctuations had an unfavorable impact (-EUR 271.1 million). Changes in Group structure relate mainly to the increase in ownership of Teris and Teris LLC following the acquisition of Rhodia"s shares.

 

SUEZ Environment Local Services (SELS) generated EUR 3.1 billion in revenues, a net increase, excluding exchange rate fluctuations and changes in Group structure, of 8.9% or +EUR 240.4 million (+4.7% excluding Puerto Rico). This progression stemmed mainly from SELS activities in Europe and North America, which account for 87% of this business line"s activity. Water and Waste Services in Europe grew by 5% and 3.2% respectively, thanks to sustained activity levels in France and Spain. In France, the continued development of sanitation activities in the municipal and industrial markets and increased hazardous waste landfill volumes are the main drivers of growth. Degrémont continued its expansion in Europe (+EUR 15 million with numerous contracts signed in France, Spain, and Italy) and in North America (+EUR 9 million). International activities benefit from strong organic growth in water in North America, with the July 1, 2002 startup of the new Puerto Rico contract, which generated EUR 113.9 million during the 1st quarter of 2003, and the development of unregulated activities in the U.S.

 

Revenues from Environment Industrial Services (Ondeo Nalco and OIS) recorded net growth of 1.8% (+EUR 11.1 million). Nalco revenues increased by 1.2% largely to the oil and paper manufacturing sectors. Ondeo Industrial Solutions revenues expanded with significant contracts signed during the 1st quarter 2003 which represent activities of over EUR 50 million.

 

n OTHERS

Revenues from the Communications sector grew by 33.2%, an increase of EUR 47.5 million over 1st quarter 2002; this growth was attributed to a good performance by M6 and to increased sales by Noos. This sector"s organic growth was 21.6%.

 

Growth in France and Belgium was sustained. Great growth in North America results for 1/3 from the new Puerto Rico contract. Decline in revenues from South America is related to the depreciation of the currencies of Argentina and Brazil.

 

SUEZ, a worldwide industrial and services Group, provides innovative solutions in Energy - electricity and gas - and the Environment - water and waste services. It generated 2002 revenues of EUR 40.218 billion (excluding energy trading). The Group is listed on the Euronext Paris, Euronext Brussels, Luxemburg, Zurich and New York Stock Exchanges.

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