2014 Results - Another year of strong performance

Published on 11 March 2015

Cergy, 11 March 2015

Key highlights


- Revenue up 14.5% in the year
- Resilient organic growth supplemented by bolt-on acquisitions
- Margin improvement, strong cash generation and continued deleveraging
- Integration of largest ever platform acquisition in Germany
- Addition of strategic ICT capabilities through targeted bolt-ons
- Successful debt refinancing to optimize capital structure and provide strategic flexibility


Key figures for the financial year
  • Revenues: €5.22 billion (+14.5%, +0.1% LFL(1))
  • EBITA(2): €334 million (+12.1%)
  • EBITA margin: 6.4% (+22 basis points compared to 2013 pro forma(3))
  • Acquisitions: bringing €212 million of revenues for full year
  • Cash conversion(4): 102%
  • Leverage(5): reduced from 3.9x to 3.4x

(1) Adjusted for acquisitions
(2) Adjusted operating income before amortisation of goodwill, before taxes and financial income
(3) Pro forma information for the 12 months of financial year 2013 including all acquisitions made in 2013 and, notably, the business activity of SPIE GmbH (formerly Hochtief Services Solutions) as if those acquisitions had been made on 1 January 2013
(4) Cash Flow from Operations (EBITA + depreciation + changes in working capital requirements and operating provisions - investments excluding acquisitions) / EBITA
(5) Net financial debt / Pro forma EBITDA

Gauthier Louette, Chairman & CEO commented: ‘We have had another successful year- our tenth successive year of revenue and EBITA growth. We achieved all our financial targets for 2014 in terms of volume, margin and cash. I am pleased to report a resilient performance in France given the economic headwinds. The integration of SPIE GmbH has gone well and we saw good progress in all the other business units’.


Revenues (Euro million) 2014 2013 ∆ %
France 2,389.0 2,446.6 -2.4
Germany and Central Europe 787.4 294.8 +167.1
North-Western Europe 1,207.7 1,054.8 +14.5
Oil & Gas and Nuclear 836.2 764.8 +9.3
TOTAL 5,220.4 4,561.1 +14.5
EBITA (Euro million) 2014 2013 ∆ %
France 161.3 160.3 +0.6
Germany and Central Europe 27.7 14.9 +85.9
North-Western Europe 52.0 44.8 +16.1
Oil & Gas and Nuclear 75.6 66.8 +13.2
Holdings 17.4 11.2 ns
TOTAL 334.0 298.0 +12.1
EBITA margin 6.4% 6.5% -13bps
  2014 2013 PF
  6.5% 6.2% +22 bps

Revenues during the financial year amounted to €5.22 billion, in line with the objectives announced by the Group in July 2014. Revenues increased by 14.5% as a result of the consolidation on a full year of SPIE GmbH (formerly Hochtief Service Solutions), which was acquired in September 2013, together with other smaller acquisitions during the financial year. On an organic basis, business activity was stable (+0.1%).

EBITA totalled €334 million, an increase of 12.1% reflecting the impact of acquisitions and the strong performance in the Oil & Gas and Nuclear segment. Against pro forma results for 2013, EBITA margin showed an improvement of 22 basis points to 6.4%. Overall, SPIE enjoyed a level of profitability that ranks among the best in its sector in Europe.

Segmental review

The France segment showed resilience despite a challenging macro-economic context - as illustrated by the sharp reduction in local authorities work. Revenues declined by 2.4% (-2.9% on a LFL basis). However, a selective approach to order-taking, rigorous contracts execution and continuous focus on operating costs resulted in a stable EBITA, with EBITA margin improving 20 basis points to 6.8%.

In the Germany & Central Europe segment, the focus was on successfully integrating the SPIE GmbH business acquired in September 2013. Revenues were up 9.4% on 2013 pro forma figures, primarily as a result of acquisitions in Germany and Switzerland during 2014. A 1.7% reduction in organic revenues reflects the deliberate termination of certain legacy contracts combined with a focus on the organisational and operational integration. At 3.5% in 2014 down from 3.8% on a pro forma basis in 2013, the segment's EBITA margin reflects the integration of SPIE GmbH, with some very positive momentum in the second half of the year.

Revenues in the North-Western Europe segment grew by 14.5% following acquisitions made in 2013 and 2014. The segment also witnessed solid organic growth in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands. Profitability improved in the segment’s three key markets.

The Oil & Gas and Nuclear segment showed strong growth of 9.3%, reflecting excellent progress in the Group’s oil & gas maintenance and service activities and steady development in the Nuclear field.  Revenues were also boosted by an acceleration of deliveries of tubular products in our Angolan JV during the first nine-months of the year. EBITA margin in the segment improved by 30 bps to 9.0%.

Capitalising on strong underlying trends

The SPIE Group promotes technology convergence in support of the green economy, by capitalising on a number of attractive structural trends.

Energy efficiency: In France, SPIE won its first public sector energy-performance contract for renovation of heating and hot water systems at seven secondary schools in Vendée and Mayenne. This contract goes hand in hand with a commitment to reduce energy consumption by 20%. SPIE was also awarded the contract to operate heating facilities for all the building in the town of Dieulouard in eastern France. This eight-year contract, backed by a guarantee of energy savings, aims to reduce the local authority’s energy bill by more than 30%. Growing requirements for cuts in energy consumption and the optimisation of processes provide SPIE with the opportunity to assist its industrial customers across their value chain. In this context, SPIE installed a high-performance cogeneration plant in Mettlach, Germany, for the Villeroy & Boch factory, providing electricity savings of about 25% and a carbon emissions reduction of more than 5,000 tonnes a year. Another notable project is the energy supply solution implemented by SPIE at the Takeda facility in Singen (Bade-Wurtemberg), which will provide this laboratory with significant reductions in its energy costs and carbon emissions. With this solution, SPIE won the 2014 contracting award – the “Oscar of the energy efficiency industry” – presented by the German association for energy efficiency.

Shifts in mix of energy production and distribution: SPIE offers a wide range of resources, skills and services to improve the use, production and transport of energy. In the Netherlands, SPIE built an onshore substation to be linked to two offshore wind farms, which will supply power for 785,000 households. Also committed to support operators in the development of sustainable transportation, the Group installed the electric vehicle quick charging network for Tesla Motors in France, Luxembourg and Belgium. In the Oil & Gas sector, SPIE was awarded a commissioning contract for Total’s deep water offshore exploration/production project in the Moho Nord field off the coast of Congo.

Deployment of new technologies and service innovation: Well positioned in the fast-growing market sector of information, communication and automation systems for buildings, SPIE converted one of TDF’s buildings into a datacentre offering state-of-the-art energy efficiency by installing two chiller units to cool the premises without mechanical compression when the outside temperature drops below 12°C. SPIE also engineered Airbus’s assembly line for the A330 Neo engines pods.

Renewal and upgrade of infrastructure: In the nuclear sector, SPIE won two new decommissioning contracts for the Creys-Malville and Bugey power plants. It also carried out electromechanical renovation work on three locks to improve waterway traffic flow between the Netherlands and Belgium. In the United Kingdom, SPIE designed and installed a new LED lighting system for the Meir tunnel which will cut maintenance costs by 80% while improving safety for motorists.


In line with its long-term strategic objectives, SPIE reinvested part of its available cash in targeted add-on acquisitions, mainly outside France. A key focus of the year was the building of a European footprint and expertise in ICT solutions and services with the acquisition of Fleischhauer in Germany and Viscom and connectis in Switzerland. In the United Kingdom, the acquisition of Scotshield will enable the Group to offer a range of installation and maintenance services for fire and security equipment systems (fire detection, access control and CCTV).

Acquisitions closed in 2014 represent an additional €212 million of revenues on an annual basis; they make an immediate positive contribution to the Group’s consolidated net results.

Financing – Balance sheet

The Group recorded a strong cash conversion rate of 102%. The Group’s total net financial debt was reduced by €85 million, after financing acquisitions for a total of €74 million. This reduction contributed to reduced leverage from 3.9x to 3.4x (-0.5x).

In January 2015, SPIE successfully refinanced part of its debt, raising more than €800 million. As a result of the refinancing, SPIE achieved reduced cost of debt, lengthened maturities and improved its strategic flexibility.


SPIE continues to implement its business model capitalising on strong underlying secular trends to drive growth and margin improvement through careful contract selection and strict operational control.

In line with its strategic plan, SPIE aims to use part of its strong cash flow to play an active part in consolidating its sector in Europe through bolt-on acquisitions focused on strengthening its geographic footprint and/or expanding its service offering.

The IPO remains a strategic goal for the Group although no timetable has been set at this point in time.