Air Liquide (Paris:AI):
2020/2019 as 2020/2019
Key Figures (in millions of euros) Q3 2020 published comparable (a)
Group Revenue 4,980 -8.7 % -0.9 %
of which Gas & Services 4,777 -8.9 % -0.9 %
of which Engineering &
Construction 60 -26.3 % -24.4 %
of which Global Markets &
Technologies 143 +9.6 % +11.4 %
(a) Change excluding the currency, energy (natural gas and electricity) and significant scope impacts, see reconciliation in appendix.
Commenting on the 3(rd) quarter of 2020, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of the Air Liquide Group, said:
"This 3(rd) quarter saw a marked recovery in sales. Compared with the 2(nd) quarter of 2020, which was impacted by the pandemic, all business lines and all regions improved. Group revenue reached 5 billion euros, -0.9% on a comparable basis (-8.7% as published, reflecting the negative currency, energy price and significant scope impacts).
Gas & Services, which represent 96% of Group sales, were almost flat, with contrasted situations. Momentum in Healthcare and Electronics remained particularly good; Large Industries sales recovered, whereas Industrial Merchant, which showed a marked sequential improvement, still remained at a level below 2019. By region, sales in Europe and Asia were stronger than in the 3(rd) quarter of 2019 on a comparable basis, and the Americas improved compared with the 2(nd) quarter of 2020.
Global Markets & Technologies also saw a return to growth, whereas Engineering & Construction sales demonstrated progressive improvement, compared to previous quarters.
The Group continued its drive to improve its operating margin, delivering 311 million euros of efficiencies over the first nine months, in line with its annual target of more than 400 million euros, and the additional cost containment plan continued to deliver.
The continued improvement in performance translated into cash flow from operating activities which reached nearly 24% of sales. The investment cycle remains well oriented and the 12-month portfolio of investment opportunities, which is refocused on growth markets, stands at a high level. Investment decisions, which ensure future growth, were significant at 2.1 billion euros at the end of September, almost one third relating to the energy transition.
In a context of limited local lockdowns and progressive recovery until the end of 2020, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to further increase its operating margin and to deliver net profit(1) close to preceding year level, at constant exchange rates."
(1) 2020 recurring net profit: excluding exceptional and significant items that have no impact on the operating income recurring.
Highlights of the 3(rd) quarter 2020 Healthcare: Mobilization of Air Liquide
Healthcare teams across the world against Covid-19, in particular to supply
medical oxygen. Support by the Air Liquide Foundation of 10 scientific
projects and 23 emergency social aid projects as part of its Covid-19
initiative. Completion of the disposal of schülke to capital investment
company EQT. Industry:Finalization of an agreement with Sasol to acquire the
world's largest oxygen production site, in Secunda, South Africa, for an
amount of around 440 million euros, and to target at least a 30% reduction in
CO(2) emissions. This transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals,
notably authorization by the South African Competition authority, which are
expected as of December 2020. Long-term contract in the U.S. with Eastman
Chemical Company with an investment of more than 160 million US dollars to
modernize existing assets and build a new air separation unit and a partial
oxidation unit. Investment of 125 million euros to build the first world-scale
oxygen production unit adapted to a renewable energy-powered electric grid in
the Port of Moerdijk in the Netherlands. Investment of 60 million euros to
build an eighth air separation unit in the Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone, in
China. Environment: Signature of a long-term renewable electricity purchase
agreement, representing 15% of the current consumption of the Group's
activities in Spain. Portfolio: Completion of the disposal of CRYOPDP to the
French capital investment company Hivest Capital Partners. Acquisition of 80%
of the capital of the French company Cryoconcept, which specializes in
Group revenue for the 3(rd) quarter of 2020 totaled 4,980 million euros. The business model has proven its resilience in recent months in a challenging public health context. Business has been picking up across all regions with sales at -0.9% on a comparable basis in the 3(rd) quarter of 2020, near 2019 levels. China saw the most dynamic level of recovery, with 3(rd) quarter 2020 sales up markedly, whereas the situation was more contrasted in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Activity is picking up in Europe, and posted slight growth compared with 2019. Signs of a more gradual recovery can be seen in North America and business remains strong in South America, in particular for Large Industries and Healthcare. Consolidated Engineering & Construction sales (-24.4%) reflected the priority allocation of resources to internal projects. Global Markets & Technologies returned to double-digit growth, with sales up markedly by +11.4% during the 3(rd) quarter. Due to the materially negative impacts of currency (-3.7%), significant scope (-2.6%) and energy (-1.5%), Group revenue as published was down -8.7%.
Gas & Services revenue for the 3(rd) quarter of 2020 reached 4,777 million euros, slightly down -0.9% on a comparable basis. The markedly negative impacts of currency (-3.8%), significant scope (-2.7%) and energy (-1.5%) affected Gas & Services revenue as published, which was down -8.9%. Significant scope impact includes the disposal of schülke in Healthcare and the reduction of the Group's participation in a reseller in Japan during the 3(rd) quarter 2020, and the disposal of Fujian Shenyuan in September 2019.
-- Gas & Services revenue in the Americas totaled 1,916 million euros in the
3rd quarter, marking a decline of -3.3% on a comparable basis. North
America saw a marked improvement in sales compared with the 2nd quarter,
but these remained down compared with 2019. Latin America posted sales
growth. Large Industries revenue was up over the quarter (+2.1%).
Industrial Merchant saw a strong sequential rebound, but remained
affected by the public health crisis and lockdown measures with revenue
down -6.8%. Electronics posted strong growth of +6.6%. Healthcare remains
fully committed to the fight against the pandemic and posted sales growth
-- Revenue in Europe totaled 1,615 million euros over the 3rd quarter,
posting a comparable growth of +0.5%. Industrial activities saw a
significant recovery across the region, although volumes remained below
pre-public health crisis levels. Large Industries sales (-3.4%) grew
sequentially compared with the 2nd quarter of 2020. In Industrial
Merchant (-4.8%, of which -1.9% from minor divestments), cylinder gas
sales returned to a level near that of the 3rd quarter of 2019.
Healthcare revenue was up +9.5% during the 3rd quarter, driven by sales
of ventilators at cost price that remained exceptionally high due to the
-- Revenue in Asia-Pacific reached 1,101 million euros, up +1.6% on a
comparable basis. In China, momentum was strong across all industrial
business lines, growing at +7.6%. The recovery was slower in the rest of
the region, impacted by the public health crisis. Large Industries
(+3.0%) was driven by demand in China and the ramp-up of a unit in South
Korea. Industrial Merchant (-4.0%) was still sluggish, but recovered
compared with the 2nd quarter. Electronics (+6.3%) remained very strong
with growth exceeding +10% excluding Equipment & Installation sales.
-- Middle East and Africa revenue stood at 145 million euros, stable (+0.0%)
on a comparable basis. In Industrial Merchant, the Middle East and India
improved clearly compared with the 2nd quarter, with the recovery more
contrasted in Africa. Large Industries sales were up slightly compared
with the 3rd quarter of 2019, notably in South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Healthcare, which continues to be committed to the fight against
COVID-19, posted strong growth across the region.
Healthcare remains highly invested in the fight against Covid-19 and posted a comparable sales growth of +8.4%. Sales growth in Electronics was also very solid at +5.9% and +7.3% excluding Equipment & Installation, with a sharp increase in Advanced Materials and Carrier Gases sales. Large Industries sales were stable, +0.2% compared with 3(rd) quarter 2019, driven notably by developing economies and in particular, by the recovery in China. Industrial Merchant posted a decline of -5.8%, sustained pricing impacts of +2.6%, growth in China, the eastern part of Europe and South America were unable to offset the slowdown from the public health crisis which continues to be strongly felt, notably in the sales of hardgoods in the United States.
Consolidated Engineering & Construction revenue reached 60 million euros in the 3(rd) quarter, with sales to third-party customers remaining sluggish due to the public health crisis. Resources were mainly allocated to internal projects in Large Industries and Electronics.
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