During the first half results presentation, Isabelle Kocher, Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE, stated: « The first half of 2017 was marked by a strong commercial dynamic and a very good performance of our growth engines – low carbon generation (renewable and thermal contracted), infrastructures and customer solutions –, which represent today 90% of our EBITDA. These solid and encouraging results are the fruit of the commitment of our teams all over the world. They prove the progress we have made at every level in our 3-year transformation plan. They also allow us to confirm the targets set for 2017 and the Group’s strategic choices to secure its future growth ».
Analysis of financial data
Revenues of EUR 33.1 billion
Revenues increased by 1.6% on a reported basis to EUR 33.1 billion and by 2.6% on an organic basis compared with first half 2016. Adjusted for the unfavorable evolution of temperatures in France, which have been less cold this semester compared to the same period last year, the organic growth amounts to 3.0%. Organic revenue growth was driven by an increase in commodity volumes sold in the midstream gas and LNG business in Europe, an improved performance by the thermal power generation plants in Europe and Australia, the impact of new assets commissioned and price rises in Latin America, and the impact of the 2016 price revisions in the infrastructure business in France. These positive developments were partially offset by a fall in sales of natural gas to BtoC and BtoB customers in France and by a decrease in renewable energy generation in France, mainly hydro.
EBITDA of EUR 5.0 billion
EBITDA amounted to EUR 5.0 billion, globally stable (-0.1%) on a reported basis but up 4.0% on an organic basis. On this organic basis, EBITDA is driven by the positive impacts of (i) the Lean 2018 performance program, (ii) the sustained performance of the Group’s growth engines, (iii) the commissioning of new assets in Latin America and (iv) a good performance of thermal power generation activities in Europe and Australia. These positive factors were partially offset by the impact of lower renewable energy generation in France, a less favorable temperature effect in France and the shutdown of the Tihange 1 nuclear power plant in Belgium from September 2016 to May 2017. The difference between reported and organic evolution is due on the one hand to negative scope effects, mainly linked to the disposal of merchant power generation assets in the United States in June 2016 and in February 2017, and to the disposal of the Paiton power plant in Indonesia end of 2016, coupled with the recognition in EBITDA of the nuclear contribution in Belgium. On the other hand, foreign exchange rates had a positive impact, mainly due to the appreciation of the Brazilian real and the US dollar against the euro.
EBITDA for North America segment showed a strong organic growth thanks to a good performance from the US retail business coupled with cost savings.
EBITDA for Latin America segment was up sharply due to the commissioning of new assets in Mexico and Peru, price revisions in Mexico and Argentina, and an increase of the contribution in our hydroelectric power activities in Brazil.
EBITDA for Africa / Asia segment was up, driven mainly by the Fadhili power plant contract won in Saudi Arabia, improved gas distribution margins in Thailand, and a good performance from Australian assets due to electricity price increases. These factors were partially offset by lower availability of assets in Thailand and Turkey.
EBITDA for Benelux segment was down mainly due to the non-scheduled shutdown of Tihange 1 from early September 2016 to the end of May 2017, as well as a decrease in electricity sale prices compared with first half 2016. These impacts were partially offset by a good performance in gas and electricity sales activities in Belgium, coupled with cost savings driven by the Lean 2018 program.
EBITDA for France segment declined organically due to a decrease in wind and hydro renewable energy generation and lower volumes and margins in the retail gas business. These impacts were partially offset by higher volumes sold in the retail electricity market and a good performance from the networks activities.
EBITDA for Europe excluding France and Benelux segment was up sharply on an organic basis (16%) due to an improvement in margins captured by the First Hydro power plants in the United Kingdom, favorable weather conditions in Romania and cost savings driven by the Lean 2018 program.
EBITDA for Infrastructures Europe segment increased slightly organically, thanks to the increase in revenues driven by the positive impact of the tariffs increases in transport and distribution activities in France in 2016, partially offset by lower storage capacity sales in France.
EBITDA for Global Energy Management and Global LNG segment was down, mainly due to negative price impacts and difficult gas supply conditions in the south of France during the cold snap in January 2017. This was partially offset by the positive impact of a recent price revision to a long-term LNG supply contract.
EBITDA for the Other segment was up sharply on an organic basis driven mainly by a good performance from gas fired thermal power generation in Europe and from BtoB electricity sales in France.
Current Operating Income of EUR 3.0 billion
Current operating income[i] amounted to EUR 3.0 billion, down 4.4% on a reported basis but up 2.5% on an organic basis compared with first half 2016, for the same reasons as those given above for EBITDA. Depreciation expense for the period was higher than the previous year following the three-yearly review of dismantling obligations related to Belgian nuclear power plants at the end of 2016.
Net recurring income Group share of EUR 1.5 billion
and net income Group share of EUR 1.3 billion
Net recurring income Group share amounted to EUR 1.5 billion, stable compared with first half 2016. It includes EUR 103 million of net recurring income Group share from ENGIE E&P International activities classified in “Discontinued operations”.
Net recurring income Group share relating to continued operations amounted to EUR 1.4 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2017, up 1.1% compared with first half 2016, driven by an improvement in recurring financial result.
Net income Group share amounted to EUR 1.3 billion for first half 2017.
Net income Group share relating to continued operations amounted to EUR 1.3 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2017, stable compared with first half 2016. It includes the negative impacts of fair value adjustments to hedges of commodity purchases and sales, and charges to restructuring provisions, which were partially offset by the positive impacts of (i) a reduction in the cost of debt, (ii) lower impairment losses net of deferred tax than the previous year, and (iii) gains on disposals.
Net debt at EUR 22.7 billion
Net debt stood at EUR 22.7 billion at June 30, 2017, down EUR 2.1 billion since December 31, 2016, mainly due to cash flow from operations and the impacts of the portfolio rotation program, including the closing of the sale of the thermal merchant power plants portfolio in the United States and in Poland, and the disposal of interests in Opus Energy in the United Kingdom and Petronet LNG in India. These items were partially offset by the gross investments over the period and by the dividends paid to ENGIE SA shareholders and to non-controlling interests.
Cash Flow From Operations (CFFO) amounted to EUR 3.5 billion, down EUR 1.1 billion compared with the six months ended June 30, 2016. This evolution includes robust operating cash flow, but was adversely impacted by higher restructuring costs, dispute settlements and a lower change in working capital due mainly to trends in gas inventories in France as temperatures were milder than in first-half 2016.
At June 30, 2017, the net debt (excluding internal E&P debt) to EBITDA ratio came out at 2.20, in line with the target of a ratio lower than or equal to 2.5x. The average cost of gross debt reaches 2.65%, slightly down since end of December 2016.
At end June 2017, the Group posted a high level of liquidity of EUR 19.5 billion, of which EUR 11.4 billion was held in cash.
In April 2017, S&P rating agency confirmed ENGIE´s long term credit rating of A- with negative outlook. In June 2017, Moody´s rating agency confirmed ENGIE´s long term credit rating of A2 with stable outlook.
Significant progress on transformation plan
The transformation plan keeps progressing at a very sustained rhythm.
On the portfolio rotation program (EUR 15 billion net debt impact targeted over 2016-18), ENGIE has announced to date EUR 11 billion of disposals (i.e. 73% of total program), of which EUR 8.0 billion already accounted for at June 30, 2017. On May 11, 2017 ENGIE entered into exclusive negotiations for the sale of its 70% interests in Exploration & Production International (“EPI”); it is a major milestone in the Group´s transformation plan that contributes to significantly reduce the share of activities exposed to commodity prices in its EBITDA.
On the investments program (EUR 14 billion growth capex over 2016-18, excluding E&P capex), around EUR 12 billion are already committed, of which EUR 6.4 billion were invested by end of June 2017. In particular, ENGIE carried out acquisitions in customer solutions activities: Keepmoat Regeneration (UK leading provider of buildings regeneration services for local authorities) and EV Box (largest European electric vehicle charging player) in March; 100% of La Compagnie du Vent and a 30% stake in Unisun (Chinese solar photovoltaic company) in April; Icomera (Swedish company leader in onboard communication solutions for public transport) in May. In June, the Group announced the acquisition of a 40% stake in Tabreed, leader in district cooling in the Middle East (operation not yet closed).
As regards the Lean 2018 performance plan (EUR 1.2 billion of savings by 2018), more than EUR 0.7 billion of net gains were already recorded at EBITDA level by June 30, 2017 (cumulated impact since the beginning of the program), which is in line with the target of a cumulated impact of EUR 0.85 billion at end 2017.