SUEZ’s Board of Directors examined the consolidated financial statements at June 30, 2020 at its meeting held on July 29, 2020. They were also reviewed by the Audit Committee at its meeting of July 27, 2020. The consolidated financial statements have been reviewed by the statutory auditors.
Bertrand Camus, SUEZ CEO, commented, “First and foremost, in an unprecedented context SUEZ’s teams have worked throughout H1 to deliver safely our services and products with an unwavering commitment to continuity and quality. They can be proud of what they have achieved, making our values – passion for the environment, customer first, respect and team spirit – a reality, and I am particularly grateful for their engagement, which brings resilience and agility to our operations. Despite the pandemic, we have continued to implement our transformation with Shaping SUEZ 2030. In particular, we won new business that showcases our selective growth priorities: our contract in Tashkent will see us deploy our expertise and our smart solutions to modernise and improve water and wastewater services for 3.5 million people. In the midst of the pandemic, our teams smoothly took over the collection and recycling operations in Somerset, UK as part of a 10-year contract.
In China, we formed a new joint-venture to build and operate a new facility to recover hazardous waste, notably from automotive clients inside the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP). Our industrial water activities have resisted the downturn well, winning new clients in growth sectors such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and microelectronics. Concerning our asset rotation plan, our main wave one disposals are in negotiation stages and our wave two priorities have been identified and launched.
We have also started to redeploy capital into our activities in China, into membrane capabilities in Europe and in hazardous waste in the Middle East. Our teams reacted very well in H1 during the pandemic, also reducing our SG&A, our capex and controlling tightly our working capital requirement. We can capitalise on this experience to expand our existing efficiency programs: these are advancing well, and we confirm our initial objective to deliver €1bn gross annual savings targeted by 2023, of which at least 45 to 50% by 2021. Overall, our performance over the first half 2020 turned out better than expected for both revenue, with 4.5% organic decrease, and profitability. Our EBITDA held up well – only down 18.3% and our EBIT at €76m (including an estimated €281m one-off charges linked to the business environment) reflects a better than expected June performance.
Going forward, we cannot ignore the risks that the current context creates: our outlook assumes no return to the region-wide lockdowns we saw in Europe and Asia in H1, even if we expect for example a soft tourist season. Nonetheless, and with those caveats, we are able to give visibility to our shareholders on the remainder of the year and express confidence in the scale of the opportunities for SUEZ in the rebound.
Our services are essential to protect and restore the environment as well as to enhance economic and social resilience. SUEZ’s purpose – to shape a sustainable environment now – responds directly to these challenges. We look forward with a reinforced commitment to deliver our innovative solutions with positive impact on health and quality of life.”