1st Quarter 2013 Performance in line with 2013 expectations
Pro forma(1) figures with equity consolidation of Suez Environnement as of
January 1st, 2012
Revenues: EUR 24.6 billion (+0.0% gross, +2.3% organic)
EBITDA: EUR 5.0 billion (-5.1% gross, -1.2% organic)
Net debt: EUR 34.1 billion (-EUR 2.5 billion compared to 12/31/12)
Revenues at March 31, 2013 were EUR 24,564 million with a stable gross variation and +2.3% organic growth. This expansion stemmed from the Group’s continued development in fast growing markets, colder weather conditions compared to 2012 supporting sales of natural gas in France, and progression of LNG sales with strong arbitrage activity in Asia and Europe.
EBITDA for the period reached EUR 4,989 million with gross decrease of -5.1% and organic decrease of -1.2% compared with March 31, 2012. Excluding the scope effect related to the asset optimization program (-EUR 173 million), the quarter’s organic performance reflects:
- growth in Energy International business line results supported by the commissioning of new assets and operational performance improvements, mainly in North America, Latin America and Asia;
- decrease in Energy Europe business line results due to the outage of the Belgian nuclear plants Doel 3 and Tihange 2, the decrease of electricity prices against the background of a more stringent regulatory and competitive environment, and despite favorable weather conditions and the positive impact of the decision of the “Conseil d’Etat” on 2012 gas tariffs booked in 2013;
- lower Global Gas & LNG business line operating results, mainly resulting from the temporary decrease of exploration-production activity, impacted in particular by production shutdowns in Norway during first-quarter 2013;
- growth in Infrastructures business line operating performance primarily thanks to the favorable impact of weather conditions;
- a slight increase in Energy Services business line results in a still challenging environment.
Overall and at average weather conditions, operating performances are in line with the yearly outlook announced by the Group.
On IFRS figures, evolutions are of the same range :
IFRS consolidated figures1 with Suez Environnement fully consolidated
Revenues: EUR 28.1 billion (-0.4% gross, +1.7% organic)
EBITDA: EUR 5.6 billion (-4.5% gross, -1.0% organic)
Net debt: EUR 41.6 billion (-EUR 2.3 billion compared to 12/31/12)
For 2013, the Group maintains its financial objectives(2), with the following assumptions:
- positive impact from the January 30, 2013 “Conseil d’Etat” decision on natural gas tariffs in France;
- restarting of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 Belgian power plants during 2nd quarter 2013;
- update on commodity prices as of end of January 2013.
Based on these assumptions, the Group anticipates:
- Net Recurring Income Group share(3) between EUR 3.1 and 3.5 billion, assuming average weather conditions and stable regulation. This target is based on an estimated EBITDA between EUR 13 and 14 billion, after pro forma equity consolidation of Suez Environnement
- Gross capex between EUR 7 and 8 billion
- Net debt/EBITDA ratio below or equal to 2.5x and an “A” category rating
In this context, the board is considering an interim dividend of EUR 0.83 per share for the 2013 period that would be paid on November, 20, 2013.
1st quarter significant events
The Group continued to implement its strategy and to develop its distinctive profile:
Accelerated expansion in fast growing countries
- In Saudi Arabia, commissioning of Riyadh PP11, a gas-fired independent power project with a capacity of 1,729 MW
- In Oman, commissioning of two gas-fired plants, Barka 3 and Sohar 2 with an installed capacity of 744 MW each
- In Morocco, construction of Tarfaya wind farm, the largest in Africa, with a capacity of 300 MW
- In Panama, launch of the commercial operation of Dos Mares hydro plant with a capacity of 118 MW
- In China, discussions with a Chinese partner to convert six depleted deposits into gas storages
Transformation of the Group business model in mature markets
- Continued implementation of the ambitious action plan, Perform 2015
- Continued review of thermal plants in Europe with planned reorganization and optimization of French CCGT activity
Strengthening contributions from recurring income generating activities
- Joint operation with Cyberview of district cooling networks in Cyberjaya, Malaysia’s premier cyber city
- Development of LNG sales with 15 cargoes shipped to Asia in first-quarter 2013 compared to 12 cargoes in first-quarter 2012
- In France, new tariffs for natural gas transmission and for LNG terminals providing a 4-year visibility
At March 31, 2013, net debt was EUR 34.1 billion and integrated in particular over the period :
- EUR 2.7 billion of cash flow from operations (equivalent at EUR 2.1 billion of free cash flow) and
- EUR 1.6 billion of gross capex
The net debt/EBITDA ratio was 2.4x in line with the target of ≤2.5x.
At March 31,2013, the Group continued to post a high level of liquidity at EUR 18.8 billion, made up of EUR 10.3 billion in cash and EUR 8.5 billion in undrawn credit lines. The average cost of gross debt is now 3.8%.
REVENUES BY BUSINESS LINE
* Total revenues, including intra-Group services, amounted EUR 2,225 million for Global Gas & LNG and EUR 2,167 million for Infrastructures.
Revenues are stable on a gross basis and increased by +2.3% organically with a -EUR 468 million scope effect following implementation of the asset optimization program and -EUR 89 million in exchange rate fluctuations, mainly on the Brazilian Real.
ENERGY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LINE
Energy International business line revenues, at EUR 3,953 million show a gross decrease of -5.2%, and organic growth of +4.2%. These evolutions reflect on the one hand the impact of the asset optimization program (-EUR 306 million) and on the other hand a continued increase driven by the commissioning of new plants in Thailand and Latin America as well as price increases primarily in Brazil, Thailand and in Australia. Gas sales and electricity sales reached respectively 22.6 TWh and 53.8 TWh.
Revenues for the Latin America region totaled EUR 935 million, down -2.1% on an organic basis compared to first-quarter 2012. This decrease is explained mainly by lower revenues in Chile, following a decline in LNG sales due to progressive expiration of initial gas supply agreements, and the end of exceptional conditions in certain power sales agreements. In Brazil, an acceleration of sales resulted from the progressive commissioning of the Estreito hydro power plant (1,090 MW), combined with an increase in average sales prices, primarily due to inflation. Peru presents a positive outlook thanks to the commissioning of Chilca Uno power plant and to the signature of new contracts.
Electricity sales were stable at 13.3 TWh, while gas sales inched down -1.1 TWh, particularly in Chile, coming in at 1.7 TWh.
Revenues for the North America region totaled EUR 1,027 million, for an organic reduction of -4.0%.
Electricity sales fell -0.7 TWh to 16.3 TWh, due to increased competitive pressure and following the sale of several generation assets in the US and partial divestment of the wind energy portfolio in Canada. On the other hand, improved availability of production assets and favorable price conditions are noted.
Natural gas sales fell -6.1 TWh to 11.9 TWh. This decrease in volumes is mitigated by the increase in natural gas prices in the US (Nymex) due to unseasonably cold weather.
UK AND OTHER EUROPE
Revenues for the region totaled EUR 847 million, representing an organic reduction of -6.1% compared to first-quarter 2012.
Electricity sales for the period were 8.2 TWh, down -1.4 TWh, including scope effects, mainly due to disposal of wind assets combined with lower volumes from continental Europe generating assets. Gas sales were 6.7 TWh, down -0.1 TWh, following lower volumes in the retail business.
MIDDLE EAST, TURKEY AND AFRICA
Revenues for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region totaled EUR 302 million, +11.6% on an organic basis. This increase was driven by an upturn in power sales in Turkey, with no impact on margins.
Revenues at EUR 500 million show a gross increase of +2.0%, despite the change of consolidation method of Senoko in Singapore, and strong organic growth of +54.0%.
Organic growth is primarily attributed to commissioning of power generating assets in Thailand (Gheco One in July and SPP12 (TNP2) in December), and also to an increase in prices.
Electricity sales grew +1.2 TWh to 6.3 TWh, despite the negative scope effect of -1.3 TWh of Senoko sales last year.
Revenues reached EUR 341 million with +28.4% organic growth, primarily reflecting price increases resulting from the introduction of carbon legislation in Australia on July 1st, 2012.
Electricity sales fell slightly to 5.9 TWh.
ENERGY EUROPE BUSINESS LINE
Revenues for the Energy Europe business line amounted to EUR 14,268 million, down by -2.0%. Natural gas sales were 235 TWh, including 35 TWh to key accounts. Electricity sales came to 48 TWh.
At the end of March 2013, GDF SUEZ Energie France’s revenues amounted to EUR 7,236 million, a figure EUR 588 million higher than at the end of March 2012.
Over the first quarter 2013, natural gas sales came to 123 TWh with an important positive weather impact (+13.2 TWh) whereas first-quarter 2012 was close to average weather conditions.
This difference in weather conditions offsets the more structural decline in demand and erosion in the customer portfolio. GDF SUEZ maintains a market share of approximately 85% for residential customers and about 56% for business customers.
Electricity sales are stable, growth in sales to direct customers being offset by lower sales on the market. Power generation reached 9.3 TWh increasing by +0.4 TWh with a better hydraulicity compared to 2012, and wind farm commissioning. Positive impacts were partly offset by low production from natural gas-fired power plants due to unfavorable economic conditions.
CWE BENELUX – GERMANY
Revenues for CWE Benelux – Germany were EUR 3,881 million, down -12% from 2012. Electricity volumes sold came to 25 TWh, a decrease of -11% from a fall-off of sales in Belgium and lower sales on the market. Electricity production came to 16 TWh, down almost 3.5 TWh, notably due to the outage of two nuclear plants in Belgium, and to a decline in production in the Netherlands caused by unfavorable spreads for gas-fired plants.
In Belgium and Luxembourg, electricity sales were down with volumes declining by -20% at 19 TWh mainly from lower sales on the market and the loss of business customers. In the Netherlands, electricity sales were slightly up to 2.5 TWh. In Germany, electricity sales rose by +59% to 3.4 TWh due to improved plant availability.
Sales of natural gas saw volumes increase by + 1.1 TWh (+2.6%), losses of customers on the business and major customer segments in Belgium being offset by colder weather and by increase in sales on markets.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
South Eastern Europe zone saw a -5.9% gross decrease in revenues, hampered by a negative scope effect with SPP disposal in Slovakia.
GLOBAL GAS & LNG BUSINESS LINE
Contributory revenues totaled EUR 1,594 million, for a gross increase of +20.1% compared with first-quarter 2012 and +19.8% in organic growth. Overall, contributory revenues were driven by increased LNG activity, with strong arbitrage activity in early 2013 in Asia and Europe, partially offset by a light slowdown in Exploration-Production activity, with :
- a 5.3 TWh increase in external sales of LNG, i.e. 21.7 TWh totaling 24 cargoes by the end of March 2013 compared with 16.3 TWh, totaling 18 cargoes, and the impact of increased gas prices in Europe ;
- a slight slowing in hydrocarbon production, particularly in the Gjøa and Njord fields in Norway. Total hydrocarbon production at the end of March 2013 was down by -2.9 Mboe(4), to 13.2 Mboe vs. 16.1 Mboe at the end of March 2012.
INFRASTRUCTURES BUSINESS LINE
Total revenues of the Infrastructures business line, including intra-group revenues, rose + 15.5% over the 2012 figure to EUR 2,167 million, under the combined effect of the following elements:
- lower sales of storage capacity in France ;
- colder weather conditions than in 2012 (+ 14.3 TWh) ;
- annual adjustment of the distribution rate in France (+8% increase at July 1, 2012);
- annual adjustment of the transmission rate in France (+6% increase at April 1, 2012).
In the same weather and regulatory context, contributory revenues totaled EUR 802 million, up +44.5 %. This contributory growth reflects:
- the expansion of transmission, storage and terminal activities for third-party accounts due to increased market opening, and
- the increase of natural gas purchase-sale operations to maintain storage performance.
ENERGY SERVICES BUSINESS LINE
Energy Services business line revenues were down by -0.3% to EUR 3,946 million, for an organic decrease of -0.4%, which can be explained by:
- the reduction in installations activity in France (-6.2%) and the Netherlands (-8.4%), partly offset by an increase of these same activities in Belgium (+2.5%);
- the decline in engineering activity (-5.2%) negatively impacted by the slowdown in energy investments in Europe, despite the good performance of the activity in Latin America and the development of contracts in international markets;
- the increase in activity of heating networks in France (+6.7%) particularly with the positive effect of tariff increases and the return of colder weather during the first quarter;
- growth in the international segment (+4.6%) with mixed results by geographic zone (growth in Northern Europe and major markets abroad, decline in Spain and Portugal);
- the stagnation in services activity in France (-0.3%), due in particular to the end of gas cogeneration contracts.
The March 31, 2013 results presentation used during the investor conference call will be available to download from GDF SUEZ’s website.
- April 30, 2013: Final dividend payment of EUR 0.67 per share for fiscal year 2012 subject to the vote of shareholders at the 23rd April General Meeting. The ex-dividend date is April 25, 2013.
- August 1st, 2013: Publication of first-half 2013 results
ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS ON IFRS CONSOLIDATED FIGURES
(1) Unaudited figures at March 31, 2013, reviewed at the April 23, 2013 Board of Directors. Except “IFRS consolidated figures” and “Additional analysis on IFRS consolidated figures”, figures at March 31, 2013 and March 31, 2012 are pro forma figures as if Suez Environnement would have been equity consolidated as of January 1st, 2012. IFRS figures are included page 2. They include Suez Environnement on first quarter as it will be equity consolidated in July 2013.
(2)These targets assume average weather conditions, restarting Doel 3 and Tihange 2 in Q2 2013, no substantial regulatory or macro-economic changes, pro forma equity consolidation of SUEZ Environnement effective 01/01/2013, commodity price assumptions based on market conditions at end of January 2013 for the non-hedged portion of production, and average foreign exchange rates for 2013 as follows: €/$1.27, €/BRL 2.42. These targets include the positive impact of the January 30, 2013 “Conseil d’Etat” decision on gas tariffs.
(3) Excluding restructuring costs, MtM, impairments, disposal, other non-recurring items and nuclear contribution in Belgium.
(4) Decrease of -0.7 Mboe of contributory production, i.e. 11.6 Mboe by the end of March 2013 vs. 12.3 Mboe at the end of March 2012.
The figures presented here are those customarily used and communicated to the markets by GDF SUEZ. This message includes forward-looking information and statements. Such statements include financial projections and estimates, the assumptions on which they are based, as well as statements about projects, objectives and expectations regarding future operations, profits, or services, or future performance. Although GDF SUEZ management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors and GDF SUEZ shareholders should be aware that such forward-looking information and statements are subject to many risks and uncertainties that are generally difficult to predict and beyond the control of GDF SUEZ, and may cause results and developments to differ significantly from those expressed, implied or predicted in the forward-looking statements or information. Such risks include those explained or identified in the public documents filed by GDF SUEZ with the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF), including those listed in the “Risk Factors” section of the GDF SUEZ reference document filed with the AMF on March 23, 2013 (under number D.13-0206). Investors and GDF SUEZ shareholders should note that if some or all of these risks are realized they may have a significant unfavorable impact on GDF SUEZ.
GDF SUEZ develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, combating climate change and optimizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 218,900 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €90.7 billion in 2011. The Group is listed on the Brussels and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone, Vigeo World 120, Vigeo Europe 120 and Vigeo France 20.