France: GDF Suez LNG Sales Climb

GDF Suez LNG Sales Climb

GDF SUEZ of France recorded a + 7.0% increase in revenues, to EUR 97.0 billion (organic growth of + 5.8%). This performance resulted from an increase in sales of gas and electricity in France, which benefited from a return in 2012 to average weather conditions, the progression in exploration-production activities and LNG sales, and the Group’s continued expansion overseas, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

All Energy business lines contributed to Ebitda growth, producing total Ebitda of EUR 17 billion

Group Ebitda amounted to EUR 17,026 million, reflecting a gross increase of + 3.0% (organic growth of + 3.6%). This advance resulted from the impact of new facilities commissioned across all the Group businesses, higher contributions from exploration-production and LNG activities, more favorable weather conditions than in 2011, tariff shortfall recovery in France, and the first impact of the Perform 2015 performance improvement plan. These growth factors were mitigated however by the loss of Ebitda from companies sold in connection with the Group’s asset portfolio optimization program, the adverse impact of changes in gas-electricity margins, the unavailability of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear reactors, and more generally the impact of challenging economic and regulatory conditions in mature markets.

Ebitda of the Energy International business line reported a progression of + 2.4% to EUR 4,327 million, mainly due to positive changes in Group scope and to favorable exchange rate variations. On an organic basis, Ebitda decreased – 0.8% due to a number of exceptional favorable factors in 2011 and a tough economic environment in mature markets that reduced the positive growth effect recorded in fast growing markets.

Ebitda of the Energy Europe business line, at EUR 4,180 million, experienced organic growth of + 3.5% thanks to the return of average weather conditions, more favorable natural gas supply conditions, and recovery of tariff shortfall in France. This fine performance occurred despite several negative factors in the area, such as increased competitive and regulatory pressures, the unavailability of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 Belgian nuclear plants, and the general decline in electricity market prices in Europe. The 2012 performance was also hampered by the increase in feed-in tariffs to the electricity transmission network in Belgium, tariffs that were recently cancelled by the Brussels Court of Appeal for the 2012-2015 period.

Global Gas & LNG business line demonstrated strong organic growth with an Ebitda increase of + 27.8% to EUR 2,377 million, sustained by exploration-production activities (favorable volume and price effects) and by a significant increase in LNG sales, particularly to Asia (39 cargoes in 2012 versus 25 in 2011).

Infrastructures business line Ebitda rose + 1.9% over the 2011 level to EUR 3,049 million thanks to a return to average climate conditions (+ 33.5 TWh), but was hampered by lower sales of storage capacities in France and by increased operating expenses, factoring in the distribution tariff enforced from July 2012.

Energy Services business line Ebitda saw a slight advance in organic growth to EUR 1,018 million (+ 1.7%), demonstrating the business line’s resilience in a challenging economic climate for most of its European markets.

Finally, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT reported an organic drop in Ebitda, – 3.3% to EUR 2,426 million, due mainly to the deterioration in economic activity that significantly affected treated volumes and secondary materials prices for waste services activity in Europe. This trend was mitigated, however, by strong performance from Water Europe activities, international growth, and the contribution of the performance plan.

All business lines contributed to the Perform 2015 action plan launched during the second half of 2012, which already made a gross contribution of EUR 0.8 billion to the income statement, over and above the Efficio 2 target of EUR 0.6 billion for the period, and favorably impacting 2012 Ebitda by adding + EUR 0.2 billion.

LNG World News Staff, February 28, 2013