Nexans 2007 results
Increased 2007 profits and solid fundamentals lead Nexans to view the future with confidence
- Net sales at constant metal prices 1): 4.822 billion euros (+8.5%)
- Organic growth of cable businesses: (+12.1%)
- Operating margin 2): 409 million euros (+57%)
- Net income (Group share) doubled 3)
- 2007-2009 strategic plan: continued refocusing and revision of profit margin objectives
Paris, January 31, 2008 – The Nexans Board of Directors, which met on January 30, 2008 with Gérard Hauser as Chairman, has approved the accounts for 2007.
* Net sales in 2007 totaled 7.412 billion euros compared with 7.489 billion euros in 2006. At constant non-ferrous metals prices 1), sales amounted to 4.822 billion euros compared with 4.442 billion euros in 2006. At constant consolidated scope and exchange rates, sales have increased by 4.8% compared with 2006, representing organic growth of 12.1% for the cable businesses.
* Operating margin 2) amounted to 409 million euros, an increase of 57% compared with 2006. Operating margin as a percentage of sales rose from 5.8% to 8.5% at constant metal prices.
* Net financial expense was 81 million euros compared with 69 million euros in 2006. This is due in particular to the rise in the average cost of financing following the decision to extend the average debt maturity from 6 to 8 years through a bond issue for an amount of 350 million euros with a maturity of 10 years.
* Income tax expense amounted to 84 million euros, representing an effective tax rate of 30%, compared with a rate of 16% in 2006 due to non-recurring tax exempt items.
* Net income (Group share) was 189 million euros in 2007 compared with 241 million euros in 2006. Excluding a one-off gain of 149 million euros in 2006 from the sale of distribution businesses in Switzerland, net income doubled over a 12-month period.
* The Group’s net financial debt stood at 290 million euros at December 31, 2007, compared with 632 million euros at December 31, 2006. The reduction in debt is attributable to a significant increase in cash flows from operations in the second half of the year and the considerable reduction in the working capital resulting from the reduction in electrical wires activity.
In light of these results, the Board of Directors will propose the payment of a2-euro per share dividend, a 67% increase compared with 2007 (1.2 euro). The shareholders will be asked to vote on this proposal at the 2008 General Shareholders’ Meeting.
1) 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 aluminum.
2) A management indicator used by the Group to measure its operational performance
3) Excluding one-off net gain of 149 million euros in 2006 from the sale of distribution business in Switzerland
2007-2009 strategic plan: continued refocusing and review of profit margin objectives
Nexans confirms its strategy based on “core businesses”, namely infrastructure, industry and building markets, and has decided to add LAN cables to the lineup. The capacity for innovation that the Group has demonstrated over the last few years in both systems and high-speed cables augurs well for the future development of these businesses.
As part of this continued refocusing, the Group 2008-01-31 announced:
* a project for the divestiture of its telecommunications copper cables businesses activity in Spain;
* a study of the possible sale of its automotive cable harnesses business which, given its limited size on the world stage, no longer falls within the scope of the Group’s strategic businesses.
The Group is also continuing its geographic deployment in high-growth countries, as demonstrated by its planned acquisition of the Madeco cables business in South America, for which the closing is expected in mid 2008.
These decisions aim to optimize the Group’s capital employed and by concentrating as a priority on high growth segments which are synergistic.
"Boosted by excellent 2007 results and a sound development model, we have decided to revise our medium-term objectives."
Commenting on the 2007 results, Nexans Chairman and CEO Gérard Hauser said: "Our results for 2007 indicate sound performance. Showing organic growth of more than 12%, our cable businesses sales are increasing in all geographical areas across the infrastructure, industry and building markets. A year after the launch of our 3-year strategic plan, this performance offers clear proof of the pertinence of our strategy, which aims to establish Energy at the core of the Group’s activities, re-balance our presence throughout the world and constantly improve the value added of our product portfolio. Indeed in 2007 we started to see the first fruits of this new strategic direction. We are also pleased by the positive effects of our external growth strategy implemented several years ago. The strong performance of Olex is evidence that we are making the right choices. The integration of Madeco, the cable industry leader in South America, into the Group should also help to improve our performance in the future.
The strategy we have implemented makes us less vulnerable to cycle reversals: our sound balance sheet, our results, our rapid growth in long-cycle businesses, our ability to generate cash flow as well as our geographic diversification are our best assets for the future.
Over the 2008-2009 period – and after scope changes which would result from the sale of the harnesses business and the telecommunication copper cables business in Spain, and the acquisition of Madeco – the Group is aiming for an average annual organic growth rate of 6% for its cable businesses, continuing to outstrip market growth as a results of its investments. This should lead to a further increase in the operating margin, as a percentage of sales at constant non-ferrous metal prices, of between 7% and 10%, depending on economic conditions. The Group should continue to generate positive cash flow in the coming years."
Detailed analysis of progress by business and by geographical area can be found at www.nexans.com