Strongest 1Q ever

Strongest 1Q ever

FY2022 results expected to hit the upper range of the Adjusted EBITDA Guidance (€1,010M–€1,080M)

Milan, Italy   -   05/12/2022 - 1:34 PM   -  PRICE SENSITIVE

  • Sales at €3,677M, organic change at +11.4%[ Excluding the Projects segment.]
  • Adjusted EBITDA jumped to €288M, up €75M on 1Q 2021 (+35.2%), margins improved to 8.7% (at 2021 metal prices)
  • Group net profit at €126M (+65.8%[ All the percentages in this press release are calculated based on amounts denominated in € thousands])
  • Energy: excellent performance with a +12.1% organic growth Adjusted EBITDA rose to €189M (+49.8%)
  • Telecom recovered sharply. Organic growth at +7.4% Double-digit growth in North America; new partnership with Telstra in Australia
  • Projects: new contracts secured for €1,400M

The Board of Directors of Prysmian S.p.A. approved today the Group’s consolidated results for the first quarter of 2022.

“This excellent start to the year was marked by record-high sales and profitability,” commented CEO Valerio Battista. “Our well-balanced business portfolio, diversified geographical footprint and efficient supply chain management continued to be strong drivers of resilience and growth. The Energy and Telecom business segments recorded particularly solid performance. Combined with our selective growth approach, this allowed us to successfully offset costs inflation. The Projects segment, which secured over €1.4 billion-worth new contracts in 1Q alone, is expected to accelerate in the second half of the year. We are therefore confident we can achieve our 2022 full-year targets, hitting the upper range of the Adjusted EBITDA announced to the market.”

Valerio Battista added: “Looking further ahead, we expect the energy transition to drive a strong and growing momentum, after the increase it already spurred in interconnection projects awarded, from about €3 billion in 2020 to €8 billion in 2021. This trend is expected to continue over time. Our technology, assets and well-structured organisation allow us to confirm our leadership and our market share."

Financial highlights

Group Sales amounted to €3,677 million, with a +11.4% organic growth (excluding Projects segment[ +13.6% including the Projects segment.]), with growth across almost all businesses and regions. Energy & Infrastructure (+14.7% organic growth) performed particularly well in the quarter, as did Industrial & NWC (+7.9% organic growth), driven by the outstanding performance of OEM & Renewables. Telecom reported a robust performance as well, with a +7.4% organic sales growth driven by the double-digit improvement in Optical in North America. Projects recorded strong organic growth (+31.6%) due to the execution of the major orders.

Adjusted EBITDA (excluding restructuring, non-operating income/expenses and non-recurring income/expenses) set an all-time record at €288 million in 1Q 2022 (€213 million in 1Q 2021), also including the €15 million exchange rate gains. EBITDA margin also improved, with a 7.8% ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales (8.7% at 2021 metal prices) compared to 7.6% for the same period of 2021. The strong improvement of Adjusted EBITDA and profitability was also driven by our selective growth policy and efficient supply chain. A focus on customer centricity and price management allowed us to successfully offset costs inflation pressures. In particular, in the Energy segment, the strong geographical and product differentiation allowed the Energy segment to better grasp growth opportunities. Telecom’s profitability also improved. Despite an increase in Adjusted EBITDA, the Projects segment’s margins were instead affected by installation phasing in the underground high-voltage projects, some extraordinary costs that should be recovered later in the year and a negative one-off cost reported by Submarine Telecom. The Projects’ contribution is expected to grow in 2H 2022.

EBITDA grew to €285 million (€199 million in 1Q 2021) including net restructuring expenses, non-operating income/expenses and non-recurring income/expenses totalling €3 million (€14 million in 1Q 2021). Operating Income rose to €209 million, compared to €123 million in 1Q 2021.

Net Profit (attributable to owners of the Parent) soared by +65.8% to €126 million compared to €76 million for 1Q 2021.

Free Cash Flow generated in the past twelve months amounted to €86 million (excluding Acquisitions & Disposals and Antitrust disputes), impacted by raw material prices and the inventory built to prevent supply chain disruptions.

Net Financial Debt amounted to €2,380 million at the end of March 2022 (€2,325 million at 31 March 2021; €1,760 million at 31 December 2021). The main factors that led to the change in the Net Financial Debt in the past 12 months were:

  • €950 million net operating cash flow (before changes in net working capital);
  • €24 million restructuring costs;
  • €345 million increase in net working capital;
  • €295 million net investments;
  • €72 million net finance costs;
  • €135 million taxes paid;
  • €7 million dividends collected;
  • €134 million dividend payout;
  • €57 million cash inflows for Antitrust disputes;
  • €24 million net cash outflows for Acquisitions & Disposals.

 

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*excluding the Projects segment

 

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Projects

  • +31.6% organic growth in sales; margins affected by installation phasing and extraordinary costs to be recovered in the year
  • Greater contribution expected in 2H 2022
  • New orders worth over €1.4 billion

Projects’ sales amounted to €406 million (+31.6% organic change compared to 1Q 2021). Adjusted EBITDA was €32 million (€29 million for 1Q 2021), with a ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales at 7.8% compared to 9.3% for 1Q 2021. Despite Submarine Energy’s good profitability, margins were affected by the installation phasing in some underground high-voltage projects and the one-off costs reported by Submarine Telecom. Cable production for the German Corridors continued as scheduled. The Projects segment is expected to contribute more in 2H 2022

Robust tendering activity continued to secure land and submarine interconnection and offshore wind farm cabling projects, which are strategic both for Europe’s energy transition and energy autonomy. In 1Q 2022 alone, the Group secured the Neuconnect contract (about €1.2 billion) to develop the first power interconnection between the United Kingdom and Germany, and the Lightning interconnection (€220 million) in the Middle East.

The Group’s orders in the backlog amounted to about €4.2 billion at 31 March 2022, including only projects with Notice to Proceed. The Group was also awarded additional €5 billion orders not yet included in the backlog, for which the Notice to Proceed is expected between 2022 and 2024.

 

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Energy

  • Excellent performance with robust organic growth
  • Margins supported by operating efficiency, selective growth, customer service and price management

Sales of the Energy segment amounted to €2,839 million, with a +12.1% organic growth compared to 1Q 2021. Profitability also improved, with Adjusted EBITDA reaching €189 million (€126 million in 1Q 2021) and a 6.7% ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales (7.4% at 2021 metal prices), compared to 6.0% in 1Q 2021. The rising prices due to inflation were mainly offset by the supply chain’s operating efficiency, service level, the thorough price mix management, and increased volumes.

 

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Energy & Infrastructure

Energy & Infrastructure sales totalled €1,941 million in 1Q, with a +14.7% organic change compared to 1Q 2021. Adjusted EBITDA rose to €132 million (€75 million in 1Q 2021). The ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales was 6.8% in 1Q 2022 (7.6% at 2021 metal prices), compared to 5.3% in 1Q 2021.

Industrial & Network Components

Sales of Industrial & Network Components amounted to €802 million, with a +7.9% organic change compared to 1Q 2021. Adjusted EBITDA stood at €55 million (€49 million in 1Q 2021), showing margin resilience, as confirmed by the 6.8% ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales (7.4% at 2021 metal prices) compared to 7.6% in 1Q 2021. OEM and Renewables delivered an excellent performance.

Telecom

  • Robust organic growth of sales and improved margins, particularly in the USA
  • Partnership with Telstra signed for a new optical cable network of 20,000 KM in Australia
  • Optical Cables capacity expansion in North America

Telecom sales grew to €432 million in 1Q, with a +7.4% organic change compared to 1Q 2021. Adjusted EBITDA was €67 million (€58 million in 1Q 2021), with a 15.6% ratio to Sales, slightly improving compared to 15.2% for 1Q 2021.

The solid performance of sales and profitability was mostly driven by the double-digit growth in Optical in North America. The Jackson plant is currently further expanding its production capacity. The increase in volumes in South America was in line with the market uptrend.

The new partnership with Telstra is aimed at developing a new broadband network of approximately 20,000km of optical cables in Australia, using the high-performing BendBright fibre optic technology.

The Multimedia Solutions business showed a positive organic growth owing to the volume recovery in the North American market.

 

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Performance by geographical area (*)

EMEA

Sales in the EMEA area amounted to €1,565 million in 1Q 2022, with a +14.1% organic change. Adjusted EBITDA was €71 million (compared to €58 million in 1Q 2021). The ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales was 4.5% (4.8% at 2021 metal prices), compared to 4.9% in 1Q 2021. The Trade & Installers and Optical Cables businesses reported the best performance. OEM and Renewables also grew sharply.

North America

Sales in this area amounted to €1,151 million, with a +10.0% organic change compared to 1Q 2021. Adjusted EBITDA was €142 million (€87 million in 1Q 2021). The ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales was 12.3% (13.7% at 2021 metal prices), improving compared to 10.0% in 1Q 2021. Results improved sharply in almost all business areas, with an outstanding performance in T&I and Telecom.

LatAm

Sales of the LatAm area totalled €290 million, with a +5.3% organic change. Adjusted EBITDA was €24 million (€21 million in 1Q 2021). The ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales was 8.3% (9.4% at 2021 metal prices), compared to 9.6% in 1Q 2021. The Renewables business recorded a particularly robust growth, partially offsetting Telecom weakness.

Asia Pacific

Sales in Asia Pacific amounted to €265 million in 1Q 2022, with a +8.6% organic change. Adjusted EBITDA was €19 million (€18 million in 1Q 2021). The ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to Sales was 7.4% (8.1% at 2021 metal prices), compared to 8.5% in 1Q 2021. Telecom contributed positively, although results were affected overall by the pandemic-related lockdowns in China.

 

 

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(*) Data by geographical area are stated excluding the Projects segment.

Outlook

In 1Q 2022, global economy continued to grow sharply as in 2021, thanks to the easing of pandemic restrictions and to national plans in support of the development of infrastructure, energy transition and digitalisation projects. The strong recovery of economic activity was accompanied by considerable inflationary pressure, triggered mainly by the increase in energy and commodity prices and supply chains disruptions, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. To mitigate rising inflation, several central banks began to pare back some monetary stimuli and to increase interest rates.

Global economic growth expectations for 2022, while remaining positive, have been revised downwards, primarily following the conflict in Ukraine and the related international tensions. After the 6.1% rebound in 2021, the global economy is expected to grow by 3.6% in 2022, according to the most recent estimates by the International Monetary Fund. This figure has been revised downwards by 0.8% compared to the January 2022 projections. In any event, there continues to be a high level of uncertainty regarding global macroeconomic performance, with risks of further downwards revisions of growth prospects, in view of a possible deterioration of the geopolitical crisis relating to Ukraine, the extension of the Shanghai lockdown, and a resurgence of the pandemic at the global level.

The results for 1Q 2022 further confirmed the Group’s focus on proactively and seamlessly serving its customers and efficiently managing its industrial footprint. This is borne out by the results of both the Energy segment, which achieved the highest performance of all time in the first quarter, and the Telecom segment, as well as by the awarding to the Projects business of new orders worth a total of €1.4 billion, following the record amount of approximately €4.8 billion awarded in 2021.

As a result, for the full year 2022 Prysmian Group expects a moderate demand growth in the construction and industrial cables businesses after last year’s excellent performance, with results also supported by the ability to implement pricing policies to contain inflation-driven cost pressures. In the high-voltage underground and submarine cables and systems business, the Group aims to confirm its leadership on the market, which is expected to show strong growth, driven by the development of offshore wind farms and interconnections to support the energy transition, as well as the start of a trend of significant market growth in the United States, where the Group has decided to expand its production capacity of submarine cables. For this segment, the Group expects results to be up on the previous year, with a more marked acceleration in the second half of 2022. In the Telecom segment, the Group expects volumes to grow in the optical business, amid a challenging competitive environment, especially in Europe.

Prysmian Group's long-term growth drivers are confirmed, mainly linked to the energy transition, the strengthening of telecommunications networks (digitalisation) and the electrification process. The Group can also leverage its broad business and geographical diversification, solid capital structure, efficient and flexible supply chain and lean organisation, all of which is enabling it to effectively seize growth opportunities.

In light of the above considerations, the Group confirms the guidance announced in March 2022. For FY 2022, the Group expects to achieve the upper range of the Adjusted EBITDA target, between €1,010-1,080 million, greatly improving on the €976 million reported in 2021. In addition, the Group expects to generate cash flows of approximately €400 million ± 15% (FCF before acquisitions and disposals) for FY 2022.

These forecasts do not include any negative impacts resulting from a further deterioration of the geopolitical crisis relating to the military conflict in Ukraine and assume no significant changes in the development of the health situation. The forecasts also assume that global supply chains will remain under pressure in the coming months, but there will not be any further tensions and extreme dynamics in the prices of factors of production. Moreover, the forecasts assume that in the coming months market conditions will gradually normalise, particularly in the United States, where current inflation and pricing dynamics provide considerable profit opportunities. In addition, the forecasts are based on the Company's current business scope, assuming a EUR/USD exchange rate of 1.15, and do not include impacts on cash flows related to Antitrust issues.

Further Board of Directors’ resolutions  

It should be noted that the Board of Statutory Auditors of Prysmian S.p.A., appointed by the Shareholders’ Meeting of 12 April 2022, met under the chairmanship of Stefano Sarubbi and verified that the Standing Auditors (Stefano Sarubbi, Roberto Capone and Laura Gualtieri) possess the independence requirements pursuant to Article 148, paragraph 3, of TUF (Consolidated Law on Financial Intermediation) and Article 2, Recommendation 7, of the Corporate Governance Code. The Board of Directors therefore acknowledged the Board of Statutory Auditors’ report on the positive outcome of the aforesaid assessment and the possession of the independence requirements by the Statutory Auditors.

Prysmian Group’s Financial Report at 31 March 2022, approved by the Board of Directors today, will be available to the public on 13 May 2022 at the Company’s registered office in Via Chiese 6, Milan, and at Borsa Italiana S.p.A. It will also be available on the corporate website at www.prysmiangroup.com and in the authorised central storage mechanism used by the Company at www.emarketstorage.com. This document may contain forward-looking statements relating to future events and future operating, economic and financial results of Prysmian Group. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they depend on the occurrence of future events and circumstances. Therefore, actual results may differ materially from those reflected in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors. The managers responsible for preparing corporate accounting documents (Stefano Invernici and Alessandro Brunetti) hereby declare, pursuant to Article 154-bis, paragraph 2, of Italy's Consolidated Law on Financial Intermediation, that the accounting information contained in this press release corresponds to the underlying documents, accounting books and records.

EBITDA means the operating result gross of the effect of the change in the fair value of derivatives on raw material prices, other items measured at fair value, amortization, depreciation and write-downs. The function of this indicator is to present the Group's operating profitability situation before the main non-monetary items. Adjusted EBITDA means the EBITDA described above calculated before charges and income relating to corporate reorganizations, charges and income considered to be of a non-recurring nature as indicated in the consolidated income statement and other non-operating income and expenses. The function of this indicator is to present a situation of operating profitability of the Group before the main non-monetary items, without the economic effects of events considered unrelated to the current management of the Group itself.

The results at 31 March 2022 will be presented to the financial community during a conference call to be held today at 16:00 CEST, a recording of which will be subsequently made available on the Group’s website www.prysmiangroup.com. The documentation used during the presentation will be made available today in the Investor Relations section of the Prysmian website at www.prysmiangroup.com and can be viewed on the Borsa Italiana website www.borsaitaliana.it and in the central storage mechanism at www.emarketstorage.com.

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