Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Compagnie St-Gobain (COD)

  Print   

Thursday 24 February, 2022

Compagnie St-Gobain

2021 Annual Results

RNS Number : 7742C
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain
24 February 2022
 

 

The worldwide leader

in light & sustainable construction

 

 

 

 

2021 Annual Results

 

 

 

Record growth, earnings and margin

 

· Record organic growth up 18.4% on 2020 and 13.8% on 2019 : outperformance (volumes up 6.2% on 2019) on very dynamic underlying markets and with an acceleration in prices (up 10.3% in Q4), generating a positive price-cost spread of €60 million in 2021

· Record operating income and margin: up 60%   on 2020 and 39% on 20191 at €4,507 million; margin at 10.2% (a rise of 250 bps over the three years of transformation)

· Record recurring net income of €2,815 million, up 91% on 2020 and 47% on 2019 

· Free cash flow up 56% on 2019 at €2,904 million , with a conversion ratio of 53%

· Strong value creation , with ROCE at a record high of 15.3% (versus 11.1% in 2019)

· Record shareholder return at €1.2 billion in 2021   through share buybacks and dividends; TSR2 at 69% for the year. Dividend of €1.63 (up 23%) recommended for 2021, and commitment to buy back at least €400 million in shares in 2022

· Continued progress in sustainability performance , with a further reduction in scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions in 2021 despite the sharp 11.7% year-on-year increase in volumes, representing a reduction of 23% on 2017

· Successful launch of the "Grow & Impact" plan , with first-year results in line with or ahead of all objectives

 

New growth and profitability profile confirmed

 

2022: another year of growth in operating income
at constant exchange rates

 

 

 

1.    Like-for-like.

2.  TSR: Total Shareholder Return for Saint-Gobain in 2021, including the reinvestment of the dividend in Saint-Gobain stock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benoit Bazin, Chief Executive Officer of Saint-Gobain, commented:

"Thanks to our extremely committed teams, the Group has demonstrated the full benefits of its profound transformation and proven its ability to structurally accelerate its profitable growth on markets which look especially well-oriented over the long term. As the worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain plays a key role in the fight against climate
change. Our teams work relentlessly to maximize our positive impact by offering our customers 
a comprehensive and unbeatable range of sustainable solutions, representing 72% of Group sales.

The records achieved in 2021 confirm that the Group has entered a new post-transformation trajectory in terms of performance: market-beating sales growth, record earnings and margin, a high level of free cash flow generation that has more than doubled compared to previous years, and strong value creation for our shareholders thanks to strict capital allocation and the determined execution of our portfolio optimization. With €2 billion in sales divested in 2021 and €5.6 billion since end-2018, as well as almost €2 billion in sales acquired or in the process of being acquired in 2021 (mainly Chryso and GCP Applied Technologies), Saint-Gobain has continued its strongly value-creating strategy and has established itself as a major global player in high-growth segments such as construction chemicals. This performance was accompanied by major progress against our sustainability commitments, notably with the continuing reduction in our carbon emissions.

Building on this profound and lasting cultural and financial transformation, Saint-Gobain goes into 2022 with the confidence to continue the momentum generated by its "Grow & Impact" plan. Against a backdrop of structurally supportive markets, Saint-Gobain is targeting a further increase in operating income in 2022 versus 2021 at constant exchange rates."

 

 

 

 

2021-2025 "Grow & Impact" plan: successful execution of the 1st year

 

Sustainable construction and industry decarbonization are essential in the fight against climate change. As the worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain therefore plays a key role in reaching carbon neutrality.

 

The first year of the "Grow & Impact" plan has already proved a success, and sets the Groupfirmly on the financial trajectory set at its Capital Markets Day, with an acceleration in earnings and cash generation, along with attractive value creation for our shareholders:

 

Strong organic growth with an annual average of 6.9% over the period 2019-2021, ahead of the 3%-5% target, maximizing Saint-Gobain's positive impact in the fight against climate change. Its comprehensive range of sustainability solutions for its customers represents 72% of Group sales. The solutions sold by Saint-Gobain across the globe in one year result in around 1,300 million tons of avoided CO2 emissions over their lifespan, i.e., around 40 times the Group's own total carbon footprint in 2020 (scopes 1, 2 and 3), and more than 100 times its scope 1 and 2 footprint;

 

Operating margin of 10.2%, in line with the Group's double-digit margin ambition;

 

Free cash flow conversion ratio of 53%, in line with the objective of over 50%, with free cash flow generation that has more than doubled since the launch of the transformation at the end of 2018, at €2.9 billion;

 

Strong value creation, with ROCE at 15.3% - ahead of the target of 12%-15% - compared to 10.4% in 2020 and 11.1% in 2019;

 

Record shareholder return at €1.2 billion.

 

 

 

 

 

Operating performance

 

Like-for-like sales were up 18.4% on 2020 and 13.8% on 2019, with the increase accelerating to 15.9% in the second half versus second-half 2019.

 

In a far more inflationary raw material and energy cost environment, the Group once again showed its ability to increase sales prices and generate a positive price-cost spread in 2021. The price effect was a positive 6.7% for 2021 as a whole, steadily increasing throughout the year to stand at 9.5% in the second half and 10.3% in the fourth quarter.

 

In line with the third quarter, and as expected, there was a modest rise in volumes, up 0.6% over the second half given the very high comparison basis in 2020, when trade professionals in Europe had taken less holiday during the summer and over the Christmas and New Year period owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Compared to second-half 2019, volumes were up by 4.9%, with an acceleration between the third and fourth quarters (up 3.6% and 6.0%, respectively) in all Group segments.

 

On a reported basis, sales came in at a record high of €44,160million, with a negative currency effect of 0.4% over the year, but a positive effect of 1.7% in the second half, due mainly to the appreciation of the British pound, Nordic krona and the US dollar in the fourth quarter alone.

 

The Group structure impact reduced sales by 2.2% over the year and by 3.6% in the second half, reflecting the ongoing optimization of the Group's profile, with 5.6 billion in total sales divested or signed to date since the launch of the transformation at the end of 2018. In 2021 alone, Saint-Gobain completed or signed 20 divestments representing€2.0 billionin sales, including mainly Lapeyre in France, Distribution in the Netherlands and Spain, specialized Distribution in the UK, Glassolutions in Germany and Denmark, and Pipe in China.

 

During the year the Group completed or signed 37 acquisitions representing almost €2.0 billion in sales, including mainly Chryso and GCP Applied Technologies (GCP) - reinforcing its existing positions to make it a major global player in construction chemicals with more than €4 billion in sales - and Panofrance, a specialist distributor of timber and panels. The integration of Chryso is progressing particularly well and the company is consolidated in the Group's financial statements as from fourth-quarter 2021, with objectives set at the date of the acquisition exceeded in 2021 in terms of both sales (€431 million, up 26% like-for-like on 2019) and EBITDA (€87 million). Continental Building Products (plasterboard in the US), acquired in February 2020, created value in the second year - one year earlier than targeted - thanks to a strong operating performance and a rapid and seamless integration: sales totaled USD 605 million in 2021, with EBITDA at USD 185 million, representing an EBITDA margin of 30.6%, and synergies exceeded initial expectations, at an annualized rate of USD 50 million.

Note that in light of the hyperinflationary environment in Argentina, this country which represents less than 1% of the Group's consolidated sales, is excluded from the like-for-like analysis.

 

Operating income rose sharply, reaching a new all-time high of €4,507 million, a rise of 58% on a reported basis versus 2020 and of 33% versus 2019. Operating income was up by 60% and 39%, respectively, on a like-for-like basis.

 

Saint-Gobain's operating margin rose to a record level of 10.2% in 2021 (from 7.5% in 2020 and 8.0% in 2019), i.e., an increase of 250 basis points since the launch of the Group's transformation at the end of 2018 and at the level of the best sector performers in both industry and merchanting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2021, the Group benefited from:

A structurally improved post-pandemic volume dynamic, supported by market share gains, leveraging its comprehensive range of solutions developed within the scope of a multi-local organization, with strongly empowered local management as close to customers as possible;

Good trends in sales prices, generating a positive raw material and energy price-cost spread of €60 million;

An optimized profile and portfolio delivering a structural improvement in its profitable growth with a positive impact on the operating margin;

€150 million in cost savings resulting from the post-coronavirus adaptation measures launched in 2020, along with the rigorous execution of our ongoing operational excellence program.

 

 

Segment performance (like-for-like sales)

 

Northern Europe: strong sales momentum on the renovation market and record margin

 

 

 

Southern Europe - Middle East & Africa: strong sales momentum on the renovation market and record margin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americas: strong sales growth and increase in margin to an all-time high

The Americas Region delivered 22.3% organic growth over the year compared to 2020, and 28.3% compared to 2019, with an acceleration in the second half at 31.3% versus second-half 2019 thanks to good momentum in the fourth quarter. The operating margin for the Region came in at an annual record high of 16.5% (versus 11.5% in 2020 and 10.1% in 2019), mainly supported by strong growth in volumes and a strong positive raw material and energy price-cost spread.

 

North America progressed by 21.6% over the year versus 2019, and by 23.5% in the second half of 2021, driven by an acceleration in prices and a good volume dynamic in light construction solutions. Our local organization enabled us to mitigate strong tensions on supply chains throughout the year - particularly for raw materials - and to strengthen our customer relationships. The successful integration of Continental in early 2020 not only helped strengthen the Group's position on the US plasterboard market, but also helped develop a shared Saint-Gobain solutions offer for new sales channels, thereby improving our value proposition and differentiation for our customers thanks to these sales synergies.

 

Latin America achieved further strong growth in terms of both prices - to offset inflation - and volumes. Sales in the Region grew by 42.5% over the year compared to 2019, and by 47.7% in the second half driven by the acceleration in prices. Brazil benefited from its comprehensive range of solutions in 2021, strengthening its market presence and improving its efficiency and customer service. Growth was also supported by our development in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Columbia, thanks to new plant openings and acquisitions to reinforce our presence in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia-Pacific: strong sales growth and record margin

The Asia-Pacific Region reported 28.5% growth versus 2020 and 17.0% growth versus 2019, including 17.8% in the second half versus second-half 2019. The operating margin for 2021 came in at an annual record high of 11.8% (versus 10.7% in 2020 and 10.6% in 2019), supported by good momentum in volumes.

 

India delivered a strong performance in 2021, despite an unstable health situation throughout the year. The Group captured market share in the country, thanks to its leadership in promoting energy- and resource-efficient buildings, an integrated and innovative range of solutions for the residential market (Home & Hospitality), and the introduction of new ranges of construction chemicals. The integration of Rockwool India in stone wool insulation, expected to be completed by the end of first-quarter 2022, will help continue this overall dynamic. China enjoyed very strong growth in 2021, benefiting from market share gains thanks to its positioning on high value-added segments, in an upbeat market. Several development projects will help accelerate growth in light and sustainable construction, including new gypsum lines and waterproofing solutions. Although South-East Asia returned to growth overall at the end of the year compared to 2019, driven by Vietnam where the Group continued to capture market share, its 2021 performance was affected by the numerous health restrictions imposed in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

High Performance Solutions (HPS): good growth in sales versus 2019 excluding Mobility

HPS sales were up by 14.5% year-on-year and by 3.3% compared to 2019, with a stronger 4.6% increase in the second half versus second-half 2019 thanks to upbeat industrial markets in the fourth quarter, with the exception of automotive in Europe. Against this backdrop, the operating margin came in at 12.4% for the year (versus 9.4% in 2020 and 12.7% in 2019), continuing to be affected by Mobility in Europe.

 

Businesses serving the Construction Industry outperformed the market with 11.8% growth versus 2019, continuing to benefit from upbeat trends in textile solutions for external thermal insulation systems (ETICS) thanks to good momentum in sustainable construction. This growth was supported by the increase in production capacities for textile solutions. The integration of Chryso got off to a very good start: the company is consolidated as from fourth-quarter 2021 and sales trends are very positive, ahead of the expectations set at the time of the acquisition.

 

The Mobility business remained slightly below 2019 levels (down 3.1%), but returned to growth in the fourth quarter (up 1.7%) driven by a progression in sales to the Americas and China, particularly in electric vehicles, which now represent around 20% of our automotive sales. Europe remained down, as the shortage of semi-conductors weighed on automotive manufacturers' production capacities. However, thanks to its very strong positioning in electric vehicles and high value-added products, the Mobility business continued to significantly outperform the automotive market.

 

Businesses serving Industry progressed 6.4% on 2019, supported by positive trends in surface finishing solutions and innovation in decarbonization technologies for our customers, such as Saint-Gobain's expertise in specialty materials that help significantly reduce CO2 emissions from many different industrial processes and applications (e.g., ceramic refractories for glass manufacturers). Although the year-on-year rebound in activities relating to investment cycles intensified throughout the year, these activities remain slightly down on 2019.

 

 

 

 

Analysis of the 2021 consolidated financial statements 

 

The 2021 consolidated financial statements were approved and adopted by Saint-Gobain's Board of Directors at its meeting of February 24, 2022. The consolidated financial statements were audited and certified by the statutory auditors.

 

 

2019

2020

2021

 % change

in € million

2021/2019

2021/2020

Sales

42,573

38,128

44,160

3.7%

15.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

3,390

2,855

4,507

32.9%

57.9%

Operating depreciation and amortization

1,901

1,902

1,934

1.7%

1.7%

Non-operating costs

-421

-342

-239

43.2%

30.1%

EBITDA

4,870

4,415

6,202

27.4%

40.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital gains and losses on disposals, asset write-downs and impact of changes in Group structure

-416

-1,081

-332

20.2%

69.3%

Business income

2,553

1,432

3,936

54.2%

174.9%

Net financial expense

-496

-453

-408

17.7%

9.9%

Dividends received from investments

28

34

1

n.s.

n.s.

Income tax

-631

-526

-919

-45.6%

-74.7%

Share in net income of associates

0

2

4

n.s.

n.s.

Net income before non-controlling interests

1,454

489

2,614

79.8%

434.6%

Non-controlling interests

48

33

93

93.8%

181.8%

Net attributable income

1,406

456

2,521

79.3%

452.9%

Earnings per share2 (in €)

2.59

0.85

4.79

84.9%

463.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recurring net income1

1,915

1,470

2,815

47.0%

91.5%

Recurring1 earnings per share2 (in €)

3.53

2.74

5.35

51.6%

95.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

EBITDA

4,870

4,415

6,202

27.4%

40.5%

Depreciation of right-of-use assets

-682

-675

-679

0.4%

-0.6%

Net financial expense

-496

-453

-408

17.7%

9.9%

Income tax

-631

-526

-919

-45.6%

-74.7%

Capital expenditure3

-1,818

-1,236

-1,591

-12.5%

28.7%

  o/w additional capacity investments

536

371

516

-3.7%

39.1%

Changes in working capital requirement

78

1,148

-217

-378.2%

-118.9%

Free cash flow4

1,857

3,044

2,904

56.4%

-4.6%

Free cash flow conversion5

44%

81%

53%

 

 

ROCE

11.1%

10.4%

15.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lease investments

955

833

769

-19.5%

-7.7%

Investments in securities net of debt acquired6

304

1,423

1,352

344.7%

-5.0%

Divestments

1,052

2,567

322

-69.4%

-87.5%

Consolidated net debt

10,491

7,181

7,287

-30.5%

1.5%

 

1.  Recurring net income = net attributable income excluding capital gains and losses on disposals, asset write-downs and material non-recurring provisions.

2.  Calculated based on the weighted average number of shares outstanding (526,244,506 shares in 2021, versus 536,452,195 shares in 2020).

3.  Capital expenditure = investments in tangible and intangible assets.

4.  Free cash flow = EBITDA less depreciation of right-of-use assets, plus net financial expense, plus income tax, less capital expenditure excluding additional capacity investments, plus change in working capital requirement.

5.  Free cash flow conversion ratio = free cash flow divided by EBITDA, less depreciation of right-of-use assets.

6.  Investments in securities net of debt acquired: €1,352 million in 2021, of which €1,319 million in controlled companies.   

 

EBITDA climbed 40% on 2020 and 27% on 2019 to a record €6,202 million, while the EBITDA margin came in at a record annual high of 14.0% versus 11.6% in 2020. Non-operating costs included in EBITDA decreased to €239 million from €342 million in 2020, in line with the objective given at the Group's Capital Markets Day.

 

The net balance of capital gains and losses on disposals, asset write-downs and the impacts of changes in Group structure represented an expense of €332 million (versus an expense of €1,081 million in 2020), reflecting €265 million in asset write-downs relating mainly to the divestment of underperforming businesses, and €67 million in disposal losses and impacts relating to changes in Group structure. Business income was €3,936 million, up 54% on 2019.

 

Net financial expense excluding dividends from investments improved, at €408 million versus €453 million in 2020.

Thetax rate on recurring net income was 24%, slightly lower than in 2019 (25%). Income tax was €919 million, including an exceptional €106 million which relates to deferred tax in the UK (liability method) following the rise in the corporate income tax rate from 19% to 25%.

 

Recurring net income hit an all-time high of €2,815 million (excluding capital gains and losses on disposals, asset write-downs and material non-recurring provisions), up 47% from €1,915 million in 2019.

Net attributable income amounted to €2,521 million, up 79% on the 2019 figure of €1,406 million.

 

Capital expenditure represented €1,591 million, up on the abnormally low figure in 2020 but down 12.5% on 2019. In 2021, growth capex was up by 40% on 2020: the Group opened 21 new plants and production lines to bolster its leading positions on the fast-growing markets of construction chemicals and light construction. Its main growth projects concerned (i) sustainable construction and construction chemicals in Asia (Malaysia and China), Latin America (Brazil, Peru and Chile), Africa (Ivory Coast and Angola), the Middle East (Saudi Arabia), Europe (Czech Republic) and Turkey, and (ii) façade and light construction solutions in emerging countries (Mexico, India and China), in the United States and in Spain. In North America, Saint-Gobain has decided to invest more than USD 400 million over the next three years to increase its production capacities in plasterboard, roofing and insulation.

 

Free cash flow remained high, at €2,904 million, a rise of 56% on 2019. The free cash flow conversion ratio was 53% versus 44% in 2019, buoyed by strong growth in EBITDA, a continuing low working capital requirement (WCR) and the decrease in maintenance capex. Operating WCR represented 17 days' sales at December 31, 2021, representing a historic low for the second consecutive year (compared to 18 days at end-2020 and 27 days at end-2019), thanks to efforts to monitor overdue receivables and despite the first steps taken to rebuild inventories in order to best serve its customers.

 

ROCE hit an all-time high of 15.3% (versus 11.1% in 2019), resulting in strong value creation for our shareholders, in both industry and merchanting.

 

Divestments totaled €322 million, corresponding essentially to the sale of Lapeyre, the distribution business in the Netherlands and Spain, the specialized plumbing, heating and sanitaryware distribution business in the UK (Graham), and the Pipe business in China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net debt remained virtually stable at €7.3 billion at December 31, 2021 (€7.2 billion at end-2020 and €10.5 billion at end-2019). It benefited from strong free cash flow generation which allowed us to enhance our capital allocation and shareholder return policy (€1.2 billion distributed via dividend payouts and the buyback of almost 9 million Saint-Gobain shares). The Group was therefore able to invest €1.6 billion in capital expenditure and €1.4 billion in acquisitions. Net debt represents 35% of consolidated equity compared to 39% at December 31, 2020. The net debt to EBITDA ratio on a rolling 12-month basis was 1.2 (around 1.5 with the GCP acquisition on a pro forma basis) compared to 1.6 at December 31, 2020.

 

 

 

 

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) performance

 

Thanks to its positive-impact solutions, Saint-Gobain plays a key role in building a carbon-neutral economy. The Group continued to make significant progress in environmental and social matters in 2021, allowing it to reduce its footprint while maximizing its positive impact, in line with its "Grow & Impact" strategy and thanks to the strong commitment of its employees. Around 60,000 Group employees are Saint-Gobain shareholders, in 48 countries. In the 2021 survey, employees showed their strong belief in the Group's vision and strategy, with an impressive industry-leading engagement rate up 4 points in 2 years at 83%, confirming the pride, loyalty and satisfaction of our teams (82% in 2020, 79% in 2019).

 

Reduce the Group's environmental footprint:

In 2021, the Group scored 66 on the new composite sustainability index - defined in October 2021 - compared to 50 in 2017, and is therefore already one-third of the way towards meeting its 2030 goal of 100. This illustrates our combined efforts to reduce carbon emissions (scopes 1 and 2), water withdrawal and non-recovered waste, and to increase avoided virgin raw materials by incorporating recycled materials into our products.

 

Maximize the Group's positive impact:

The comprehensive range of sustainable solutions for its customers represents 72% of Saint-Gobain's sales: our solutions enable CO2 emissions to be reduced during their use, favor the circular economy, the preservation of natural resources, and the well-being of the population at large (health and safety; acoustic, thermal and visual comfort; air quality; ergonomics, etc.).

 

The solutions sold by Saint-Gobain across the globe in one year result in around 1,300 million tons of avoided CO2 emissions over their lifespan, i.e., around 40 times the Group's own total carbon footprint in 2020 (scopes 1, 2 and 3), and more than 100 times its scope 1 and 2 footprint.

 

 

 

Significant ESG progress in 2021:

 

Climate change and the circular economy: act to reduce our carbon footprint thanks to our 2030 roadmap towards carbon neutrality by 2050. There was a further reduction in scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions in 2021, down to 10.3 million tons - despite the sharp 11.7% year-on-year increase in volumes - representing a reduction of 23% since 2017, in line with the 2030 objective of a 33% reduction, as validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

· Growth decoupled from its CO2 emissions: 0.23kg of CO2 per euro of sales, representing a reduction of around 15% on 2020 and of almost 30% on 2017; 1.67kg of CO2 per euro of EBITDA, representing a reduction of approximately 30% on 2020 and of more than 50% on 2017;

· Increase in the proportion of ESG-linked compensation: from 5% to 10% for short-term compensation (CO2 emissions reduction criterion added to the safety criterion), and from 15% to 20% for long-term compensation (increase in the weighting of the CO2 emissions reduction criterion from 5% to 10%, along with criteria based on safety and diversity, each accounting for 5%);

· Two-fold increase over one year in green electricity as a proportion of the Group's total electricity consumption, at nearly 40%, in line with targets;

· Capital expenditure and R&D investments focused on the 2050 net zero carbon goal: around €100 million allocated for the reduction of direct emissions as from the first year of the €1 billion package covering 2021 to 2030;

· The Group has increased its internal carbon prices - in place since 2016- from €50 to €75 per ton for investment decisions and to €150 per ton for research and development investments in disruptive technologies;

· Increase in avoided virgin raw materials: from 9.3 million tons in 2020 to 9.9 million tons in 2021;

· Reduction of 24% in non-recovered waste since 2017.

 

Health, safety and diversity: care for employees and increase the gender balance in senior management at local and Group level. Women represent 38% of the Group Executive Committee in place since July 1, 2021, ahead of the target of 30% in all internal senior management teams by 2025.

· Diversity: women represent almost 35% of new management hires in 2021. The objective of more than 25% of women managers was reached in 2020 and the proportion continues to rise, with 26.3% of women managers in 2021 (25.3% in 2020). A new target of 30% of women managers in 2025 has been set;

· Continued commitment to safety, with the accident frequency rate (TRAR1) including subcontractors at 1.9 in 2021, an improvement of 15% versus 2019;

· New healthcare policy involving all stakeholders: protecting and promoting the health and well-being of our employees, customers, suppliers, users of our products and solutions and local communities is the ambition of Saint-Gobain's new healthcare policy.

 

Inclusive growth and business ethics: on June 17, 2021, more than 2,300 sites organized workshops and debates as part of the International Principles of Conduct and Action Day. Employees expressed their commitment to ethical values and to the Group's purpose of "Making the world a better home".

· Responsible purchasing: reduce the impact of freight by developing river transport, as for example in France in the Paris region to limit heavy goods traffic in urban areas. In Belgium as from June 2021, Saint-Gobain also joined forces with local partners to develop the recovery of used plasterboard and transportation of the materials by river to Saint-Gobain sites for recycling. Each loaded vessel can transport 400 tons of plasterboard, i.e., the equivalent of around 16 24-ton trucks, and can therefore replace a large proportion of container transport by road;

 

1.  TRAR (Total Recordable Accident Rate): accident frequency rate with and without lost time (employees, temporary staff and on-site subcontractors).

 

 

· Inclusive growth: almost €15 million for community initiatives (philanthropy and sponsorship); promote youth training in building (or construction) trades, such as in Morocco with the creation of three training centers which provide a broad spectrum of courses leading to qualifications. Saint-Gobain in Morocco aims to build a local incubator for skilled labor to implement more sustainable solutions;

· Shared business ethics: 95% of managers trained in our Code of Ethics in their first year with the Group; 2021 also saw the roll-out of a whistleblowing system accessible to employees and other stakeholders.

 

 

Our progress is recognized by independent organizations:

CDP 2021 "A List": among only 200 A-rated companies worldwide (12,000 companies rated by CDP);

Bloomberg 2022 Gender-Equality Index: among 418 companies recognized worldwide for the third year running;

2021 Global Top Employer: among only 11 companies recognized worldwide; local Top Employer award in 38 countries, covering 92% of employees.

 

  To access sustainability reports, detailed results, key figures and significant events concerning the Group, please click here:

https://www.saint-gobain.com/en/corporate-responsibility

 

 

Shareholder return policy

 

In 2021, Saint-Gobain returned a total of €1.2 billion to its shareholders. The TSR of the Saint-Gobain share climbed to 69% for the year as a whole:

 

Almost €700 million was paid by the Group to its shareholders in respect of the dividend for 2020;

 

Saint-Gobain Group spent €518 million buying back its shares in 2021 (net of offsetting employee share creation) in order to reduce the number of shares outstanding to 521 million at December 31, 2021 from 530 million at end-December 2020, ahead of its target of €2 billion in share buybacks over five years (2021-2025).

 

In 2022, the Group therefore expects to return over €1.2 billion in total to shareholders:

 

At today's meeting, Saint-Gobain's Board of Directors decided to recommend to the Shareholders' Meeting on June 2, 2022 a cash dividend up 23% to €1.63 per share (versus €1.33 in 2020). This dividend represents 30% of recurring net income and a dividend yield of 2.6% based on the closing share price at December 31, 2021 (€61.87). The ex-dividend date has been set at June 6 and the dividend will be paid on June 8, 2022;

 

The Group will allocate at least €400 million for share buybacks in 2022 (net of offsetting employee share creation) - in order to further reduce the number of its outstanding shares - in line with the objectives announced on presenting its "Grow & Impact" plan on October 6, 2021;

 

The Group will recommend to the Annual General Meeting of June 2, 2022 to increase the maximum purchase price for its own shares, from €80 to €100 per share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlook and strategic priorities

 

2022 outlook:

In 2022 the Group should continue to benefit from good momentum in its main markets - especially renovation in Europe, as well as construction in the Americas and in Asia - and reaffirm its excellent operating performance thanks to a solid and well-aligned organization. In this environment, and provided there is no new major impact related to the coronavirus pandemic and the geopolitical situation, Saint-Gobain expects the following trends for its segments:

 

Europe: supportive renovation market, requiring comprehensive solutions that increase efficiency and save time for customers, albeit with a high comparison basis in the first half;

 

Americas: upbeat market trends, particularly in residential construction in North America and in Latin America overall, despite a less dynamic environment in Brazil;

 

Asia-Pacific: market growth with continued good momentum in China and India, and a gradual recovery in South-East Asia with fewer pandemic-related restrictions;

 

High PerformanceSolutions: growth in industrial markets, with supportive long-term trends in sustainable construction and a demand for innovation and new materials for industry decarbonization and green mobility, despite uncertainties as to the recovery of the automotive market in Europe.

 

 

Strategic priorities:

In this supportive environment, our strategic priorities for 2022 are fully aligned with the medium and long-term structural growth scenario in the "Grow & Impact" plan:

 

1)  Accelerate the Group's growth and impact

Outperformance versus our markets, as demonstrated by the good volume momentum throughout 2021, thanks notably to our comprehensive range of integrated, differentiated and innovative solutions offering sustainability and performance for our customers, developed within the scope of an organization as close to the ground as possible in each country or market;

Determined deployment of our ESG initiatives in line with our 2030 roadmap towards carbon neutrality in 2050;

Ongoing optimization of the Group's profile, with the full effect of the Chryso integration and preparation for the GCP acquisition in the second half, as part of a vigorous dynamic of targeted and value-creating acquisitions and divestments.

 

2)  Continue our initiatives focused on profitability and performance: maintain a robust margin and strong free cash flow generation

Constant focus on the price-cost spread, with, as in 2021, strong pricing agility and discipline capitalizing on a significant carry-over price effect amid inflation in raw material and energy costs of the same order of magnitude as in 2021;

Disciplined continuation of our operational excellence program;

Maintaining the structural improvement in operating working capital requirement while maintaining a good level of inventories to best serve customers;

Capital expenditure of around €1.8 billion, in line with the Group's objective of between 3.5% and 4.5% of sales, with strict allocation to high-growth markets and digital transformation.

 

 

In a structurally supportive market environment, Saint-Gobain is targeting a further increase in operating income in 2022 compared to 2021 at constant exchange rates.

 

 

 

 

 

Financial calendar

 

- An information meeting for analysts and investors will be held at 8:30am (GMT+1) on February 25, 2022 and will be streamed live on Saint-Gobain's website:

https://www.saint-gobain.com/en/news/full-year-2021-results

 

- Sales for the first quarter of 2022: ThursdayApril 28, 2022, after close of trading on the Paris Bourse.

 

- First-half 2022 results: Wednesday July 27, 2022, after close of trading on the Paris Bourse.

 

 

 

Analyst/Investor relations

 

 

Press relations

Vivien Dardel

Floriana Michalowska

Christelle Gannage

Alix Sicaud

+33 1 88 54 29 77

 +33 1 88 54 19 09

 +33 1 88 54 15 49

 +33 1 88 54 38 70

Patricia Marie

Bénédicte Debusschere

Susanne Trabitzsch

+33 1 88 54 26 83

+33 1 88 54 14 75

+33 1 88 54 27 96

    

 

 

 

Glossary:

Indicators of organic growth and like-for-like changes in sales/operating income reflect the Group's underlying performance excluding the impact of:

· changes in Group structure, by calculating indicators for the year under review based on the scope of consolidation of the previous year (Group structure impact);

· changes in foreign exchange rates, by calculating indicators for the year under review and those for the previous year based on identical foreign exchange rates for the previous year (currency impact);

· changes in applicable accounting policies.

EBITDA = operating income plus operating depreciation and amortization, less non-operating costs.

Free cash flow = EBITDA less depreciation of right-of-use assets, plus net financial expense, plus income tax, less capital expenditure excluding additional capacity investments, plus change in working capital requirement.

Free cash flow conversion ratio = free cash flow divided by EBITDA, less depreciation of right-of-use assets.

ROCE (return on capital employed) = operating income for the year adjusted for changes in Group structure, divided by segment assets and liabilities at year-end (see breakdown in Note 5 to the financial statements).

ESG: Environment, Social, Governance.

 

All indicators contained in this press release (not defined in the footnote) are explained in the notes to the 2021 consolidated financial statements, available by clicking here: https://www.saint-gobain.com/en/news/full-year-2021-results

 

The glossary below shows the notes in which you can find an explanation of each indicator.

Glossary:

EBITDA  Note 5

ROCE     Note 5

Net debt      Note 10

Operating income    Note 5 

Net financial expense  Note 10 

Recurring net income  Note 5 

Business income    Note 5

Working capital requirement  Note 5

 

 

Important disclaimer - forward-looking statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to Saint-Gobain's financial condition, results, business, strategy, plans and outlook. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the use of the words "expect", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "plan" and similar expressions. Although Saint-Gobain believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions as at the time of publishing this document, investors are cautioned that these statements are not guarantees of its future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond the control of Saint-Gobain, including but not limited to the risks described in the "Risk Factors" section of Saint-Gobain's Universal Registration Document available on its website (www.saint-gobain.com). Accordingly, readers of this document are cautioned against relying on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document. Saint-Gobain disclaims any intention or obligation to complete, update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws and regulations.

This press release does not constitute any offer to purchase or exchange, nor any solicitation of an offer to sell or exchange securities of Saint-Gobain. 

 

For further information, please visit www.saint-gobain.com.

 

 

Click on, or paste the following link into your web browser, to view the associated PDF document.

 

http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/7742C_1-2022-2-24.pdf

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.

RNS may use your IP address to confirm compliance with the terms and conditions, to analyse how you engage with the information contained in this communication, and to share such analysis on an anonymised basis with others as part of our commercial services. For further information about how RNS and the London Stock Exchange use the personal data you provide us, please see our Privacy Policy.
 
END
 
 
FR EAXALAEKAEFA

a d v e r t i s e m e n t