Nexans: Strong growth in first half-year results

  • Organic sales growth of cable businesses(*): +12.9%
  • Operating margin: +73%
  • Net debt reduced by 100 million euros

Paris, France – The Board of Directors of Nexans chaired by Gérard Hauser, met on July 24, 2007 and reviewed the Group’s consolidated financial statements for the 2007 first half-year:

  • First half-year sales reached 3,792 million euros compared to 3,686 million euros at June 30, 2006. At constant non-ferrous metal prices(**), sales reached 2,451 million euros compared to 2,273 million euros in the first half of 2006. The organic growth of the cable businesses was 12.9% (4.6% including the electrical wires business);
  • The operating margin totaled 187 million euros over the period, compared to 108 million euros in the first half of 2006, an increase of 73%. Operating margin as a percentage of sales has increased from first half 2006 to first half 2007 from 4.8% to 7.6% at constant non-ferrous metal prices;
  • Net income (Group share) for the first half of the year totaled 119 million euros, compared to 211 million euros at June 30, 2006. In the first half of 2006, net income included a capital gain of 149 million euros from the sale of distribution activities in Switzerland;
  • Net financial debt totaled 533 million euros at June 30, 2007, 100 million euros lower than at December 31, 2006, reflecting a 141% increase in cash flow and good control of the working capital in an environment of strong growth.

(*) Cable businesses and associated products (accessories), excluding electrical wires.
(**) To neutralize the effect of variations in the purchase price of non-ferrous metals and thus measure the underlying sales trend, Nexans also calculates its sales using a constant price for copper and aluminium (see note 1 h. in the appendix to the 2006 financial statements, in the 2006 Annual Report).

Strategic priorities confirmed by excellent first half-year results
Commenting on the first half-year results, Gérard Hauser, Nexans’ Chairman and CEO, said: "The excellent results achieved by the Group in the first half of 2007 demonstrate the validity of the direction set by the Strategic Plan presented in January. The focus on energy infrastructures, industry priority markets such as transport and oil and gas businesses, and the withdrawal from upstream sectors, is orienting the Group to businesses with longer economic cycles. Growth is being achieved alongside an improvement in the balance sheet.

These characteristics, together with an ambitious investment program and an ongoing culture of operational improvement constitute the Group’s specific strengths. They will enable us to continue applying our policy of strong and profitable growth in the second half (1). In view of these factors, we expect to achieve annual double-digit sales growth in our cable businesses, with second-half operating margin as a percentage of sales higher than in the first half. Furthermore, we are continuing to pursue our target of reducing debt, at a constant consolidation scope and at constant copper prices, compared with December 31, 2006."
(1) This outlook, at constant metal prices, is based on the assumption that the worldwide economic context will remain favorable and comparable with that of the first half-year.

Sales and operating margin by business sector(*)
(*) In accordance with the new segmentation set out in the Strategic Plan, submarine cables used to control submarine vehicles and robots, and electronic cables, have been included in the energy infrastructure and industry segments respectively. The following comments are based on the new segmentation.

  • Energy
    Sales in the Energy business totaled 1,883 million euros in the first half of 2007, reflecting 12.6% organic growth. The main consolidation scope effect resulted from the integration of Olex, whose first half-year sales totaled 139 million euros at constant non-ferrous metal prices.

    Operating margin increased by 61.6%, rising from 99 million euros in the same period last year to 160 million euros at June 30, 2007.

    Energy infrastructures: strong growth in high voltage cables

    Energy infrastructure cable sales totaled 784 million euros, reflecting organic growth of more than 6.5% compared with the first half of 2006. Demand was particularly high in the energy accessories and high voltage cables segments. Alongside the strong sales growth, there has also been a clear improvement in profitability. Backlog in high voltage cables (970 million euros) represents 18 months of activity.

  • Industry: strong growth in sales of special cables
    With an organic increase of 21%, sales of special cables, to major industrial manufacturers, totaled 510 million euros in the first half of 2007. The Group’s development is accelerating in high value-added sectors defined as priorities in the 2007-2009 Strategic Plan (shipbuilding, railways, oil and gas, etc.).
  • Building: exceptional profitability
    Sales of cables for building markets totaled 589 million euros at constant non-ferrous metal prices, representing 14.5% organic growth compared to the first half of 2006. In Europe, market conditions resulted in strong earnings growth. In North America, following a slowdown in the second half of 2006, organic growth in sales amounted to 4.4% in the first half of 2007.
  • Telecom
    The sales of the Telecom activity totaled 276 million euros at constant non-ferrous metal prices, representing organic growth of 15.5% compared to the first half of 2006.

    Over the same period, operating margin doubled, rising from 13 million to 27 million euros.

    Telecom infrastructures: accelerating sales of high capacity telecom cables

    Organic growth in sales of telecom infrastructure cables amounted to 13.5% in the first half of 2007. Sales totaled 129 million euros compared with 114 million euros at June 30, 2006. This good performance reflects accelerating sales of optical fiber cables and an increase in copper cable sales, driven by investments in telecommunications infrastructure.

    Local area networks (LAN): product offering moving upmarket

    Organic growth in sales of local area network cables amounted to 17.3%, confirming the trend observed since the end of 2006. Sales of LAN cables totaled 147 million euros compared to 125 million euros at June 30, 2006. Sales were boosted by the development of private infrastructure projects such as airports. Nexans is now concentrating on the supply of high capacity cables and cabling systems.

  • Electrical Wires

    The sales of the Electrical Wires businesses totaled 287 million euros in the first half of 2007, compared with 433 million euros at June 30, 2006, reflecting a reduction of approximately 33% in line with the Group’s policy of refocusing only on its internal requirements.

    The sale of the remaining winding wires businesses is in the process of finalization.

    Operating margin increased from 2 million to 4 million euros.

Analysis of sales and operating margin by geographical areas, excluding electrical wires

  • Europe: clear increase in profitability
    Sales in Europe in the first half of 2007 totaled 1,476 million euros, compared to 1,315 million euros in the first half of 2006, representing organic growth of 13.5%.

    Operating margin in Europe amounted to 108 million euros in the first half of 2007, compared with 59 million euros in 2006, representing an increase of 83%.

    Nexans benefits from a generally favorable economic environment, and is reinforcing its presence in all sectors, particularly in industrial cables (+18.4%) for the oil and gas industry, handling and shipbuilding markets.

  • North America: strong activity in the industry and telecom network markets
    Sales totaled 217 million euros in the first half of 2007 compared with 214 million euros at constant exchange rates in the same period of 2006.

    Despite the unfavorable impact of the temporary closure of a production site in Canada for the first 5 months of 2007, demand for medium voltage cables for energy infrastructures continues to be strong as the upgrading of the distribution network continues, both in Canada and the United States. At the same time, sales of electronic cables (aerospace and shipbuilding) grew by 17%. In the telecom network segment, sales of LAN cables grew by 15.8%.

    Operating margin increased from 32 million euros at June 30, 2006 to 41 million euros in the first half of 2007.

  • Asia-Pacific: steady organic growth in sales and contribution of Olex
    Asia-Pacific sales totaled 287 million euros in the first half of 2007 compared with 113 million euros in the same period last year. Much of this increase is attributable to the acquisition of Olex, included for the first time in the first half year consolidation. Organic growth in the area also remained high at 13.2%.

    Operating margin in the area totaled 23 million euros in the first half of 2007, compared with 5 million euros at June 30, 2006. Operating margin as a percentage of sales, at constant scope and exchange rates, rose from 5.7% in the first half of 2006 to 7.9% in the first half of 2007. This growth particularly reflects the extension of the Group’s industrial capacities in China, and the improved performance in Vietnam.

  • Rest of the World: strong growth in Mediterranean basin
    Sales totaled 184 million euros in the first half of 2007, compared with 148 million euros at June 30, 2006, representing organic growth of more than 24%. Sales growth was particularly high in Turkey, Lebanon and Brazil.

    Operating margin amounted to 11 million euros in the first half of 2007, compared with 10 million euros at June 30, 2006.

Capital increase reserved for Nexans employees
Nexans announces the launch of a capital increase reserved for Group employees through a group employee share savings plan, with the issue of a maximum of 500,000 new shares. This will be the third international employee share offer carried out by the Group. Two subscription formulas will be offered through the company sponsored mutual funds (subject to compliance with local regulation): a conventional formula enabling employees to subscribe to Nexans shares at a price discounted by 20% compared to the reference market price, and a structured formula offering a leverage effect, which provides a guarantee for the amount invested by the employees.

Nexans’ aim is to strengthen the employee links with the Group, both inside and outside France, by the association through the plan with the Group’s future developments and results.

The precise conditions of the offer, called "Act 2007," which should be carried out by the end of the year, will be communicated to employees at a later date, and a second news release will be issued on this subject.

A detailed presentation of the financial statements, the first half-year sales report, the full text of the first half-year financial report and the Video: Frédéric Vincent comments the 2007 first-half results are available on the Nexans Internet site at www.nexans.com

About Nexans
With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear, automotive, electronics, aeronautics, handling and automation. With an industrial presence in more than 30 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 21,000 people and had sales in 2006 of 7.5 billion euros. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange, compartment A of the Eurolist of Euronext. More information on www.nexans.com

Auteur: Redactie Infrasite

Bron: Nexans