Higher waste volumes boost Q1 core earnings of Suez
PARIS: French waste and water group Suez reported higher firstquarter earnings due to a sharp improvement in the volumes of waste treated in Europe, and despite lower paper prices caused by a Chinese ban on imports. Suez’s firstquarter revenues rose 9.1 per cent to 4.06 billion euros ($4.80 billion).
On an organic basis, before the integration of its GE Water acquisition, revenues were up 1.7 per cent, while at constant exchange rates, they were up by 13.8 per cent.
“The macro-economic environment is improving, we are seeing higher volumes of waste treated and profitability is rising,” chief financial officer Jean-marc Boursier said on an earnings call.
Core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 3.4 per cent to 635 million euros while EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) climbed by 2.8 per cent to 289 million euros.
Suez also confirmed its 2018 earnings guidance for revenue growth of about nine per cent and EBIT growth of about 10 per cent, both at constant exchange rates.
Suez said revenue in its key European recycling division was up 0.5 per cent to 1.54 billion euros as price hikes in its services activities and a 3.6 per cent increase in volumes were offset by a 37 per cent fall in paper prices due to the Chinese import ban on waste imports.
Revenues at Suez’s new WT&S industrial water division revenue the result of its 2017 takeover of GE Water — progressed 4 per cent to 611 million euros on a pro-forma basis.
Suez chief executive Jean-louis Chaussade said efforts to extract synergies from WT&S were yielding results. He added that the unit’s order book grew 30 per cent in the first quarter.