Vinci earnings hit, cash flow high

By Mike Hayes05 February 2021

French construction giant feels effects of Covid-19, but anticipates solid growth in 2021

Xavier Huillard, Vinci CEO, talking at the company’s financial results live event

French construction and concessions group Vinci has released its annual financial results for 2020, describing a ‘significant fall in earnings’ due to the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company announced that its consolidated net income stood at €1.24 billion for 2020, down 62% on the €3.26 billion of the previous year, while its consolidated revenue amounted to €43.2 billion, down 10% from 2019’s €48 billion.

It also reported that recurring operating income in 2020 had declined to €2.5 billion, from the previous year’s €5.82 billion.

Countering these negative figures, Vinci announced a significant year-on-year reduction in debt, an increase of 4% in order intake and a 16% increase in its order book, which now stands at €42.2 billion.

Another highlight within the results was the announcement of high free cash flow, which stood at €4.0 billion, close to the record figure achieved in 2019.

In its outlook for 2021, the company said it expected levels of business and earnings to grow, with the caveat for its concessions business of there being no further restrictions on movement, due to the pandemic situation.

As a result, Vinci’s board has proposed a dividend of €2.04 per share, which is identical to that of last year.

At a live announcement of the results, Xavier Huillard, Vinci’s CEO, described the personal challenges of working remotely, but praised the excellent work of colleagues during a very difficult year.

He also announced the rollout of the company’s new environmental policies, with a three-point strategy to act for the climate, optimise natural resources and preserve natural environments.

Within the Q&A session, he said the company’s plan involved greater involvement in renewable energy, “Not just in terms of the design and construction of wind and solar plants, but also to go to market with the invention and development of renewable energy fields.

“It’s never been more important,” he said, “to show our social responsibility,” adding, “Now, more than ever before, we have to step up our environmental policy.”

Huillard also hinted at a strategy for Vinci of developing 1GW per annum of renewable energy infrastructure.

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