Recyclate prices weigh on Suez's waste
management performance in Europe

Jean-Louis Chaussade, Suez CEO and future chairman
of the board of directors, Source: Suez
27.02.2019 − 

Suez's European waste management operations posted revenues of €6.206bn for 2018, representing organic growth of 2.7 per cent, Suez announced at the presentation of its annual results for 2018 in Paris on Wednesday morning. Sales rose on the back of record volumes and good performance in France, and the Nordic countries as well as in the concern's hazardous waste operations. The French environmental services giant also credited higher prices, primarily in its services activities, and "a strong commercial dynamism" for the increases.

Outside of France, activity in the Recycling & Recovery Europe division increased, driven according to Suez, by growth in the hazardous waste treatment unit. Revenue rose by 0.8 per cent in the Benelux/Germany region and by 0.6 per cent in the UK and Scandinavia on an organic basis. While activity levels were up in industrial and commercial (I&C) segment and prices were higher prices for some services activities, these positive impacts had been offset by lower recyclate prices, a smaller contribution from construction activities and the closure of the Tilbury treatment site in the United Kingdom at the end of 2017, said Suez. Within France, revenue improved by 3.8 per cent at constant scope on higher volumes and prices for municipal and industrial services.

On the earnings side, the drop in prices for recyclates, particularly for recovered paper and board had made a dent in division operating earnings (Ebit), as had an increase in diesel prices. Ebit from waste management operations in Europe was off just less than 5 per cent at constant scope and rate of exchange at €287m.

For the current financial year, Suez is expecting secondary raw materials prices to remain stable, but is being cautious in its approach. The concern booked consolidated revenues of €17.331bn, up nearly 10 per cent year over year. Operating earnings likewise rose by around 10 per cent to €1.335bn and net income group share climbed over 13 per cent to €335m.

On Tuesday night, Suez's board of directors announced that they had appointed out-going CEO Jean-Louis Chaussade to be their next chairman and to replace Gérard Mestrallet, whose term ends at the concern's annual general meeting in May. Mr Chaussade will take up the role of board chairman on 14 May. In his role as CEO, Mr Chaussade will be succeeded by Bertrand Camus.

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