2013 First-Half Year Results

  • Strong 9% organic growth in the second quarter compared with the first in all segments and areas, together with a marked improvement in profitability,
  • 3.4%1 organic contraction in sales at June 30, 2013 (-5.6% at March 31st ),
  • Operating conditions for submarine high voltage business trending back to normal at the end of the first half,
  • EBITDA2 for the first half of 2013 close to that for the first half of 2012 (151 million euros compared with 161 million euros) with an operating margin3 of 75 million euros,
  • Net debt of 820 million euros ; the increase compared with December 31st, 2012 (606 million euros) results from seasonal working capital effect (60%) and a deferral in payment in Transmission which should be resolved in August 2013 (40%),
  • Impairment of 80 million euros related to the evolving positioning of the Australian industrial operations,
  • Operating margin expected for the second half of 2013 in the same order of magnitude as in 2012

 

Paris, July 25, 2013 – The Nexans Board of Directors meeting on July 24, 2013, under the chairmanship of Frédéric Vincent, approved the Group’s consolidated financial statements for the first half of 2013.
 

Sales for the first half of 2013 came to 3.412 billion euros at current non-ferrous metal prices compared with 3.577 billion euros for the same period of 2012. At constant non-ferrous metal prices4 , sales amount to 2.351 billion euros compared with 2.398 billion euros in 2012 that is a 3.4% organic contraction for the Group as a whole.

The business performance is contrasted among the various areas and businesses:

  • The improved production conditions for submarine high voltage cables result in double-digit revenue growth. Conversely, the unfavorable market conditions in the Middle East and Europe, as well as the lack of any installation activity in Libya resulted in land high voltage sales contracting;
  • In the other businesses, the situation remains difficult in the European and North American building segment because of a lack of sales volume although in a context of relatively stable prices. In the infrastructure cable sector in Europe, the difficult situation is attributable to the drop in demand from the main operators and the overproduction of energy that exceptionally was a feature of this half year. On the other hand, special cables for industry reported growth driven by the strength of the transportation segments and the global Oil & Gas business.

The EBITDA margin comes to 151 million euros, or 6.4% of sales at constant non-ferrous metal prices (6.7% in the first half of 2012).
 

The operating margin comes to 75 million euros, or 3.2% of sales at constant non-ferrous metal prices, compared with 3.7% in the first half of 2012.
 

The 2013 first-half operating income comes to a loss of 78 million euros compared with 76 million euros profit in the first half of 2012. In addition to the drop in the operating margin, this change can be explained by several other factors:

  1. A non-cash charge of 92 million euros linked to asset impairments, of which 80 million euros concern the assets of the Australian entity Nexans Olex5 as part of evolution in the industrial positioning of Australia in order to address the substantial deterioration in the market, which has accelerated sharply in the Mining business at the same time as a strong competitive pressure coming mainly from increased imports;
  2. The core exposure effect linked to the drop in copper prices which translated into a non-cash charge of 27 million euros;
  3. The restructuring cost of 32 million euros, of which 13 million euros relating to a restructuring plan developed in 2012 for Nexans Olex.

The net financial charge comes to 46 million euros compared with 58 million euros6 in the first half of 2012. This decrease is primarily due to a drop in the cost of the net debt, an improvement in the result on foreign exchange and to financial reserves that impacted the first half of 2012.

The net income tax is 21 million euros compared with 5 million euros for the same period in 2012.

On these bases, the net income (Group share) for the first half of 2013 is a loss of 145 million euros. It was a profit of 13 million euros at June 30, 2012.

The consolidated net debt comes to 820 million euros at June 30, 2013, compared with 606 million euros at December 31st, 2012. This increase is attributable to the seasonal rise in working capital on the one hand and a deferred payment for a submarine high voltage project (which should result at the end of August 2013 in a significant drop in the working capital) on the other hand.

Furthermore, the measures included in the strategic plan aimed at doubling the operating margin by 2015 continued to be implemented throughout the first half of 2013.
At an organizational level, the Group provides specific supervision of 18 important streams. Additionally, Nexans Management has been strengthened with the appointment of Arnaud-Poupart-Lafarge as Chief Operating Officer reporting to the Chairman and CEO.
In this period of Nexans’ transformation, this strengthening reflects the focus on simplified decision-making processes through a new organizational structure designed to speed up the rollout of the Group’s strategic initiatives.

The cost saving studies underway could lead by mid-October to consultations with the employee representative bodies and, within this context, the main outline of a proposal could be communicated at the latest at the occasion of  the publication of the 2013 third-quarter sales.

Commenting on the 2013 first-half results, Frédéric Vincent, Chairman and CEO, said, Business in the first half of 2013 was relatively weak as we had anticipated at the start of the year. Nonetheless, there was a sharp upturn in the second quarter compared with the first. However, the market environment remains difficult, especially in Europe and the Middle East. The action plan implemented and aimed at achieving a structural recovery in the profitability of submarine high voltage business is beginning to pay off with production returning to a normal level in this first half year. Our order backlog is still solid and provides us with more than two years’ visibility for this activity.
We are stepping up the Group’s transformation in particular with a strengthened executive management team and a structure specifically tasked with tracking the rollout of strategic initiatives.
The operating margin in the second half of 2013 should be higher than that of the first half of the year and be at a level in the same order of magnitude as that for 2012, subject to a stabilized environment in Europe. Additionally, the cost saving plans under consideration could result in reserves that could produce a net loss in the second half.
Net debt at year-end, on the basis of copper prices as currently observed, should be similar to that at December 31st, 2012.”

 

1 First-half 2012 sales on the basis of comparable data correspond to constant non-ferrous metal sales, restated after adjustments for comparable scope and exchange rates. The exchange effect on sales at constant non-ferrous metal prices amounts to a -21 million euros and the scope effect comes to 55 million euros.

2 EBITDA is defined as Operating marging before depreciation (non-GAAP measure).

3 A management indicator used by the Group to measure its operational performance. The operating margin rate is expressed as a percentage of sales at constant non-ferrous metal prices. Following the adoption of the revised IAS 19 accounting standard, the 2012 first-half consolidated accounts have been restated.

4 To neutralize the effect of variations in the purchase price of non-ferrous metals and thus measure the underlying sales trend, Nexans also calculates its sales using a constant price for copper and aluminum.

5 Refer to item 1.2 in the half-yearly business report and to note 2.b in the appendix to the summary financial statements at June 30, 2013, for details concerning the depreciation of Nexans Olex assets.

6 The 2012 half-yearly consolidated financial statements have been recalculated following the adoption of the amended IAS 19 standard.

 

Key figures for the first half of 2013

(H1 2012 restated following the adoption of the revised IAS 19 accounting standard)

(in millions of euros) At constant non-ferrous metal prices
  H1 2012 H1 2013
Sales 2,398 2,351
Operating margin 87  75 
Operating margin rate (% of sales)  3.6% 3.2% 
Net income (loss) (Group share) 13   (145) 
Diluted earnings (loss) per share (in euros) 0.46   (4.92)

 

Detailed analysis of activity by business segment

Sales by business segment

  H1 2012 H1 2013  

Organic growth
H1 2013

Organic growth
Q1 2013

Organic growth
Q2 2013

(in millions of euros) At constant non-ferrous metal prices At constant non-ferrous metal prices  
Distributors and Installers 652 596   -7.3% -10.1% -4.3%
Industry 585 622   +2.7% -2.5% +7.6%
Transmission, Distribution & Operators 1,006 993   -3.9% -4.5% -3.3%
Of which transmission       +2.1% +8.3% -3.5%
Other 156 140   -7.5% -4.9% -9.9%
Group total 2,398 2,351   -3.4% -5.6% -1.3%

 

Operating margin by business segment

(H1 2012 restated following the adoption of the revised IAS 19 accounting standard)

(in millions of euros) H1 2012 H1 2013
Distributors and Installers 43 24
Industry 21 21
Transmission, Distribution & Operators 23 34
Other 2 -4
Group total 89 75

 

Distributors and Installers

The Distributors and Installers segment sales came to 596 million euros at constant non-ferrous metal prices, that is -7.3% on the first half of 2012.

In Europe, the sharp contraction in demand observed since the second half of last year led to a 9.5% contraction in sales compared with the first half of 2012, but the level of business is stable compared with the second half of last year.
In North America, business had contracted by the end of the first half. However, it was markedly stronger in the second quarter than in the first for building cables and LAN cables, reflecting for the latter the effect of the initial sales/marketing synergies derived from the partnership signed with Leviton at the end of February.

In South America, sales were up sharply compared with the previous year, driven by Brazil and Peru both of which experienced a strong start to the year.

In Asia-Pacific, the situation continues to reflect sharp differences between Australia where the commercial and industrial construction sector business worsened in the first half of 2013, and South Korea where sales have remained steady despite an increasingly strained market environment following the financial difficulties experienced by local construction companies.

Lastly, despite weaker domestic demand in Morocco, sales in the Middle East, Russia and Africa area remained virtually unchanged thanks to the good performance of Turkey due to the country’s property boom, the repositioning in higher value added segments such as halogen-free cables, and the increased range of products for local networks.

The operating margin came to 24 million euros compared with 43 million euros in 2012, or 4.1% of sales. This change is mainly due to an unfavorable sales mix in North America triggered by the drop in LAN cable sales and the volume effect in Europe. The price environment remained stable overall in the first half of 2013.

 

Industry

Sales for specialty cables came to 622 million euros at constant non-ferrous metal prices compared with 585 million euros for the same period in 2012, which is an organic growth of 2.7%.

The resources sector saw a slight slowdown early in the year after a very dynamic 2012. This result reflects both the strong Oil & Gas business and slower mining activity resulting from the curtailment of investments by the main EPCs (Engineering Procurement and Construction Companies). Conversely, the renewable energy industry posted an excellent performance driven by wind power business.

Business continued at a very high level for automotive harnesses.

The transportation sector is still riding the crest of a wave resulting in excellent performances: in South Korea, shipbuilding and Oil & Gas platforms and in France where aeronautical business reported strong growth.

The other industrial application segments continue to suffer from sluggish market conditions. This is particularly the case in Europe where the bulk of handling, pump and other specialty cables business is located.

The operating margin for this segment came to 21 million euros, which is unchanged on a year earlier, or 3.4% of sales. The contribution of AmerCable continues to have an accretive effect.

 

Transmission, Distribution and Operators

2013 first-half sales for the Transmission, Distribution and Operators segment comes to
993 million euros at constant non-ferrous metal prices, an organic contraction of 3.9%.

Land high voltage

The market context remains difficult for land high voltage business, with sales down on the first half of 2012. Nonetheless, double-digit growth in sales was recorded from one quarter to the next buoyed by the start-up of production for the supply contract in Libya.

In China, the integration of Yanggu is continuing according to schedule. The competitive domestic market has led the Group to develop a business approach toward the EPC companies on the export front, as evidenced by the recent contract signed with Sino-Hydro for a project in Ecuador.

In the United States, the construction of the extra high voltage plant in Charleston, South Carolina, is progressing according to schedule with delivery planned for the third quarter of 2014. Tender activity has started in order to ensure the level of activity complies with the plan.

Submarine transmission

Submarine transmission sales continue to be very healthy since the return to normal operation, resulting in a 12% boost to sales compared with the same period in 2012.
The medium-term outlook for umbilical cable business remains very positive with the booking of new projects worth a total of 50 million euros that are deliverable in 2014 and 2015.

Distribution

Low and medium voltage power distribution cable sales contracted 9.8%; a trend that was felt in all areas.

In Europe, economic uncertainty has led to declining investments:

  • In Italy, energy infrastructure expenditure has fallen by 30%
  • In France, after a period of strong activity in the past 18 months, business seems to have fallen back to a more recurrent level resulting in a drop in sales in the second quarter
  • The German economy, which was one of the expected growth drivers in Europe in 2013, did not really take off in the first half.

In Asia-Pacific, the good performance of South Korea did not offset Australia where the decline in electricity demand over the past two years has forced operators to curtail their investments. On the other hand, the level of activity in New Zealand is significantly higher because of the reconstruction of Christchurch, which had suffered extensive damage in the 2011 earthquake. In China, Nexans Yanggu New Rihui sales reached a very satisfactory level, in line with expectations.

The South America and Middle East, Russia and Africa areas both contracted compared with the first half a year earlier. However, the sequential double-digit growth in sales (second quarter 2013 compared with the first quarter 2013) reflects the resumption of projects in certain countries. In particular, in Brazil where the sequential increase in sales came to 70%.

The Accessories business again demonstrated its dynamism with another semester of growth.

Operators

Sales to operators remained unchanged compared with 2012 despite marked differences between copper cable business – which contracted sharply in South America – and fiber optic business driven by the growing demand for FTTH (Fiber To The Home) in Europe.

The operating margin of the Transmission, Distribution and Operators segment came to 34 million euros, or 3.4% of sales, compared with 23 million euros in 2012.

 

Other activities

The “Other Activities” segment reported sales of 140 million euros for the first half of 2013 at constant non-ferrous metal prices compared with 156 million euros for the same period in 2012. This segment mainly comprises electrical wire sales for which the Group is continuing to focus its strategy on internal requirements.
The operating margin is a negative 4 million euros, after incorporating the central costs not allocated to the business sectors.


 

Financial calendar

  • October 15, 2013: 2013 third-quarter sales figures
  • November 26, 2013: Individual shareholder information meeting in Bordeaux (France)(*)

    (*) Approximate date to be confirmed

 

The presentation of the half-yearly results, the financial statements for the period ended June 30, 2013, approved by the Board of Directors at their July 24, 2013 meeting and the half-yearly business report are available on the Nexans website www.nexans.com.
The statutory auditors issued their summary audit report on July 24, 2013.
Readers are also invited to log onto the Group Internet site where they can in particular consult the presentation of the annual results to analysts and the 2012 Registration Document that includes the risk factors for the Group, and especially confirmation of the risks linked to the authorities’ antitrust investigations in Europe, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia and South Korea (in addition to the on-going procedures regarding local business) for anticompetitive behavior in the submarine and underground power cable sectors. An unfavorable outcome of these investigations and follow-on consequences could have a significant material adverse effect on the results and Nexans’ financial situation, even above the potential fine that may be imposed by the European Commission. Following the Statement of Objections received from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition on July 5, 2011by Nexans and its subsidiary Nexans France SAS for alleged anticompetitive behavior, Nexans France SAS recorded a 200 million euro provision in its statutory financial statements for a potential fine that could be imposed on it, which provision was included in the Group’s consolidated financial statements since June 30, 2011. As the outcome of the proceedings will likely be known within 12 months, the 200 million euro provision has been reclassified within current items in the 2013 interim consolidated financial statements.

Information of a prospective nature in this press release is dependent on the risks and uncertainties, known or unknown at this date, that may impact on the Company’s future performance, and which may differ considerably.

In addition to the risk factors, the main uncertainties weighing on the second half of 2013 concern in particular:

  • The cost savings plans under study which could lead to consultations with the employee representative bodies in the second half and which could have a negative impact on the balance sheet and the net profit, and significant negative consequences for operations
  • The operating performance of the High Voltage business, in particular compliance with delivery times and successful results of the tests requested by customers, together with the positive outcomes from managing turnkey project claim management
  • In Libya, the resumption of High Voltage projects that had been suspended
  • Customers’ maintaining their Oil & Gas projects in North America and an upturn in the LAN market in the United States
  •  A sufficient level of demand maintained in Europe
  • Volumes level in Australia where demand slowed in the first half and where Nexans has implemented actions aimed at improving its competitiveness
  • Preservation of assets values in unstable economies, such as Argentina and Egypt
  • Increased credit risk, which in some cases cannot be insured, or fully insured, in Southern Europe, especially Greece, and in some customer segments in China
  • The assumption of a possible impact in 2013 of the antitrust investigations begun in 2009, consistent with the accounting options retained by the Group.

 

Appendices

  1. Consolidated income statement
  2. Consolidated statement of comprehensive income
  3. Consolidated statement of financial position
  4. Consolidated statement of cash flows
  5. Information by reportable segment
  6. Information by major geographic area
  7. Information by major customer

Related Document

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About Nexans

With energy at the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide expert in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling solutions. The Group is a global player in the energy transmission and distribution, industry and building markets. Nexans addresses a wide series of market segments: from energy and telecom networks to energy resources (wind turbines, photovoltaic, oil and gas, and mining) to transportation (shipbuilding, aerospace, automotive and automation, and railways). Nexans is a responsible industrial company that regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee development and commitment, customer orientation and the introduction of safe industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future. With an industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 25,000 people and had sales in 2012 of nearly 7.2 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A.