Strong operating and excellent financial performance in 2021; solid 2022 outlook
2021 key figures(1)
- Revenue of EUR 4,981.1 million for the full year 2021, up 9.4% organically (of which 2.5% in the fourth quarter) and up 8.3% on a reported basis
- Adjusted operating profit of EUR 801.8 million, up 30.4% versus EUR 615.0 million in 2020, representing an adjusted operating margin of 16.1% (16.2% on an organic basis), up 273 basis points versus 2020
- Operating profit of EUR 718.8 million, up 76.4% versus EUR 407.4 million in 2020
- Attributable net profit of EUR 420.9 million, up 235.9% versus EUR 125.3 million in 2020
- Adjusted net profit of EUR 480.8 million (EUR 1.07 per share), up 68.6% versus EUR 285.2 million in 2020
- Free cash flow of EUR 603.0 million (12.1% of group revenue), led by a disciplined capex policy (2.3% of group revenue), and a contained working capital requirement (6.3% of group revenue)
- Adjusted net debt/EBITDA ratio further reduced to 1.1x as of December 31, 2021 versus 1.8x the previous year
- Proposed dividend of EUR 0.53 per share(2), up 47.2% year on year, payable in cash
- Strong performance of the group’s portfolio of activities, with organic revenue growth across the six businesses. Organic revenue up 3.1% versus 2019
- Strong momentum for sustainability and ESG-related solutions across the entire portfolio
- Significant strengthening of the group balance sheet and deleveraging
- Acquisition of six bolt-on companies in strategic areas (infrastructure, renewables, sustainability certification, cybersecurity and consumer products in China) representing total revenue of around EUR 48.0 million. This includes the latest acquisition of prescience, a us-based leader of project management/construction management services for transportation infrastructure projects
Based on a healthy sales pipeline and the significant growth opportunities related to sustainability, and assuming there are no severe lockdowns in its main countries of operation due to Covid-19, for the full year 2022 Bureau Veritas expects to:
- Achieve mid-single-digit organic revenue growth;
- Improve the adjusted operating margin;
- Generate sustained strong cash flow, with a cash conversion above 90%.
Didier Michaud-Daniel, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“Throughout 2021, Bureau Veritas has continued to demonstrate strong agility, and a client centric approach while maintaining innovation efforts. We have delivered strong organic growth, a very healthy margin and strong cash flow which enabled us to achieve the lowest financial leverage since the group’s IPO in 2007 and earnings per share above €1, at €1.07.
We have a clear roadmap with a well-defined strategic direction for 2025 and strong growth opportunities ahead of us, notably as regards sustainability services which already represent today more than 50% of our sales. Bureau Veritas is uniquely positioned to shape trust around topics that are at the heart of our clients’ concerns and, of society at large: health, safety, quality, environmental protection and social responsibility.
Demand is clearly on the rise, as evidenced by the interests for our worldwide and multi sector expertise: at BV, we help organizations to measure and monitor their ESG commitments in a more transparent, credible, and data-driven way than self-declaration.
For 2022, we expect Bureau Veritas to deliver another year of sustainable growth. Considering the strong leadership positions of the group worldwide, and its solid fundamentals, i am very confident about BV’s future and the capacity of its 80,000 employees to embrace tremendous new challenges.”
(1) alternative performance indicators are presented, defined and reconciled with IFRS in appendices 6 and 7 of this press release.
(2) proposed dividend, subject to shareholders’ meeting approval on June 24, 2022.