Mar. 17, 2021 - Imerys releases 2020 results:
● Full year revenue at €3.8 billion (-12.8% vs FY 2019)
● Recovery in most end markets gaining pace towards the end of the year: Q4 organic
growth of +1.7%
● Current EBITDA margin in Q3 and Q4 (18.0%), above last year level
● Significant savings on fixed costs and overheads: €131 million
● Net current free operating cash flow of €373 million (+7.4% vs. 2019), allowing for a net financial debt reduction of €177 million
● Net income impacted by non-recurring charges of €137 million, mostly from asset impairments
● Proposal of a cash dividend of €1.15 per share
Alessandro Dazza, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Imerys results in 2020 confirm its sound fundamentals and the resilience of its business model in the context of an unprecedented sanitary and economic crisis following the Covid-19 pandemic. We effectively delivered on our cost-savings action plan and completed the Connect & Shape transformation program, which allowed us to bring our operating margin in the second half of the year back to pre-Covid 19 crisis levels and generate a strong cash flow.
Imerys made great progress in sustainable development, overachieving on its ambitious targets. Innovation supported the business through the launch of 70 new minerals solutions for our customers. I want to thank all my teams for the fantastic work done throughout this difficult year.
Though we see the economic recovery strengthening overall, we shall remain focused on optimizing our operating performance and market reach. Meanwhile, supported by robust cash generation and a solid financial position, Imerys will continue to invest in targeted capacity expansions and bolt-on acquisitions to sustain future growth and value creation.”
Capacity expansions and bolt-on acquisitions to support future growth
The Group is pursuing its growth strategy through expansions of production capacities to meet increasing demand for its products and services:
● In the Performance Minerals segment, an investment of €35 million in Switzerland to double production capacity for high-purity synthetic graphite used in Lithium-ion batteries. This investment is the first of a series of capacity expansion projects dedicated to the fast-growing electric vehicles market worldwide.
● In the High Temperature Materials & Solutions segment, an investment of €37 million for the commissioning of a greenfield plant in India, to serve growing demand of the domestic refractory market for high performance solutions. India is the second largest steel producer in the world.
In 2020, Imerys completed several bolt-on acquisitions in fast-growing geographies and markets:
● In October, Imerys announced the acquisition of Sunward Refractories (expected revenue of USD 15 million in 2021), a Taiwanese producer of high temperature refractory solutions which complements the existing product portfolio of the Group in the region and extends its market reach in Asia.
● In December, Imerys completed the acquisition of a majority stake of 60%, with options to purchase the remainder, of the Haznedar group, a Turkish-based, high-grade refractory monolithics and bricks manufacturer, serving the iron & steel, cement and petrochemical industries. This business generated USD 64 million in revenue (of which 40% from exports) and USD 17 million in EBITDA in 2019. With this deal, Imerys, World #1 in alumino-silicate monolithic refractories present in 30 countries, complements its current products offer and extends its industrial footprint with a competitive production base in Turkey, strategically located between Europe, Middle-East and Africa. The Group strengthens its position within the attractive and growing Turkish market, where Haznedar has leadership positions, a strong brand name and superior products. This business is consolidated in the High Temperature Solutions business area, part of the High Temperature Materials & Solutions segment.
● In the first part of the year, the Group also acquired Cornerstone Industrial Minerals Corp. (April 2020), a producer of high-quality perlite in North America (annual revenue of USD 12 million), and Hysil (July 2020), an Indian producer of calcium silicate boards used for thermal insulation projects for industries such as cement, metallurgical, oil refinery petrochemical and power plants (€5 million in annual revenue).
As part of its portfolio management, Imerys divested its Kaolin operations located in Pittong, Australia (December 2020, annual revenue of AUD 12 million).
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