The Group again saw sustained growth in 2019 (+9.4%), continuing the already positive trend from 2018 (+9.9%).
In Contracting, this momentum carried over into 2019 (10.8% increase in business, including 8.8% organic) both in France (+11.1%) and outside France (10.2%). This strong performance can be attributed to the increasing impact of Grand Paris Express projects, a buoyant road construction market in France, good performance in real estate and our international subsidiaries’ positioning in growth markets. The minimal increase in motorway traffic in France limited growth in Concessions to 2.9%.
Improved operational profitability in Contracting and in Concessions, along with the significant reduction in finance costs bring the net profit Group share to €725 million (+15.3%).
Financial net debt(2) remains stable(3) over 12 months. Generation of free cash flow after significant investment in the APRR and AREA networks – management plan and stimulus plan projects – enabled us to finance the year’s external growth operations, including the acquisition of 49.99% of the Toulouse Blagnac Airport company, which is now controlled by Eiffage. In addition to this new asset, Eiffage’s portfolio was strengthened by the concessions for Lille Airport (in a consortium) and the Centre-Europe Atlantique road, which will lead to large construction projects for the Group’s subsidiaries. Lastly, Eiffage will see its holdings – direct or indirect – in APRR, AREA and ADELAC increase by 2% during 2020.
The major developments undertaken within Concessions, along with a robust order book, bode well for further increases in revenue and earnings in 2020.
Growth will nonetheless be slower in 2020, given the smaller Contracting order book increase at the end of 2019 (+2%) compared with the year before (+15%).
Mindful of making its low carbon strategy more visible, in April 2020, Eiffage will publish its first carbon-climate report (TCFD standard).
At the next Eiffage general meeting, it will be proposed to increase the dividend per share by 16.7% to €2.80.