May 10, 2023
Legrand reports solid first quarter, with sales up 9.0% and very robust growth in results and cash generation
Sales: +9.0% including +7.4% organic growth
Adjusted operating margin: 22.2% of sales
Rise in net earnings per share: +28.1%
Free cash flow: €331.5 million, 15.4% of sales
2023 full-year targets unchanged
Benoît Coquart, Legrand’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“Legrand delivered very strong results in the first quarter, with growth in both sales and earnings, and solid cash generation as well.
This good start of the year confirms the relevance of our growth model, powered by innovation, investment in faster expanding segments such as energy efficiency, connected products and datacenters (each reported robust growth on the quarter) – and bolt-on acquisitions.
It also demonstrates the Group’s resilience power in an uncertain, ever-changing environment, notably marked by weaknesses on residential markets in several geographies, with adjusted operating margin at 22.2% (22.6% before acquisitions and Russia), free cash flow at a robust €331.5 million, net profit representing 15.4% of sales, and net earnings per share up 28.1% for the quarter.”
2023 Full-year Targets Unchanged1
In 2023, the Group is pursuing its profitable and responsible development laid out in its strategic roadmap2.
Taking into account the world’s current macroeconomic outlook, with confidence in its model for creating integrated value, and excluding impacts linked to the Group’s disengagement from Russia3, Legrand has set the following full-year targets for 2023:
– sales growth at constant exchange rates of between +2% and +6%, including a scope of consolidation effect of around +3%;
– an adjusted operating margin before acquisitions (at 2022 scope of consolidation, excluding Russia and related impacts) of around 20% of sales;
– at least 100% CSR achievement rate for the second year of its 2022-2024 roadmap.
Legrand’s Financial performance at March 31, 2023
|Consolidated data(€ millions)(1)||1st quarter 2022||1st quarter 2023||Change|
|Adjusted operating profit||401.2||477.2||+18.9%|
|As % of sales||20.3%||22.2%|
|22.6% before acquisitions and Russia(2)|
|As % of sales||19.1%||21.0%|
|Net profit attributable to the Group||258.3||330.5||+28.0%|
|As % of sales||13.1%||15.4%|
|Normalized free cash flow||318.1||389.3||+22.4%|
|As % of sales||16.1%||18.1%|
|Free cash flow||44.4||331.5||+646.6%|
|As % of sales||2.3%||15.4%|
|Net financial debt at March 31||2,637.8||2,305.0||-12.6%|
- See appendices to this press release for definitions and indicator reconciliation tables.
- At 2022 scope of consolidation, excluding Russia and related impacts.
In the first quarter of 2023, Legrand’s sales rose a total of +9.0% from the same period of 2022 to reach €2,149.6 million.
Organic growth in sales was +7.4% for the quarter, including +5.6% in mature countries and +12.9% in new economies.
The impact of broader scope of consolidation was +0.9%, including +1.3% linked to acquisitions and -0.4% to the net impact of the Group’s disengagement from Russia. Based on acquisitions made and their likely dates of consolidation, their overall impact should be close to +1.5% full year, excluding the impact of disengagement from Russia.
The exchange-rate effect on sales in the first quarter of 2023 was +0.6%. Based on average exchange rates in April 2023, the full-year effect should be close to -3.0% in 2023.
Changes in Legrand’s sales by destination at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates broke down as follows by region:
|Legrand||1st quarter 2023 / 1st quarter 2022|
|North and Central America||+3.5%|
|Rest of the world||+7.9%|
These changes are analyzed below by geographical region:
– Europe (43.8% of Group revenue): growth at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates was +10.7% in the first quarter of 2023.
Despite weaknesses in residential markets, Europe’s mature countries (36.9% of Group revenue) reported sales up +8.7% organically, with double-digit gains in many countries including Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK, and solid resilience in France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
Sales in Europe’s new economies were up +24.0%, with strong rises in countries including Turkey.
– North and Central America (37.7% of Group revenue): sales increased +3.5% from the first quarter of 2022 at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates.
In the United States alone (34.3% of Group revenue), sales rose +2.8%. This reflects the combined impact of a double-digit decline in residential business offset by a marked surge in sales to datacenters and a slight rise in sales for non-residential applications, in an overall stagnant market.
Sales also rose sharply in both Canada and Mexico.
– Rest of the world (18.5% of Group revenue): sales marked an organic rise of +7.9% in the first quarter of 2023.
In Asia-Pacific (11.9% of Group revenue), the rise in sales was +9.7%. This reflects in particular a very significant increase in India and a slight rise in China.
In Africa and the Middle East (3.4% of Group revenue), sales were up +12.5%, linked to successful commercial initiatives in many countries.
In South America (3.2% of Group revenue), sales edged down -2.7% reflecting worsening economic conditions, particularly in Brazil.
Adjusted Operating Profit and Margin
Adjusted operating profit for the first quarter of 2023 stood at €477.2 million, up +18.9% from the first three months of 2022. This corresponds to an adjusted operating margin equal to 22.2% of sales for the period.
Before acquisitions (at 2022 scope of consolidation) and excluding Russia, adjusted operating margin for the first quarter of 2023 was of 22.6% of sales, up 2.3 points from the first quarter of 2022.
The impact of acquisitions and of Russia on adjusted operating margin on the first three months of 2023 were respectively -0.2 points and -0.2 points.
During the first quarter of 2023, the high profitability is driven by the gross margin reflecting firm control of expenses and sales prices in a persistently inflationary environment.
Value Creation and Solid Balance Sheet
Net profit attributable to the Group came to €330.5 million, up +28.0% from the first quarter of 2022 and equal to 15.4% of sales. This rise was due primarily to an increase in operating profit, the positive impact of financial and exchange-rate results, and corporate income tax rate of 26.0%, down slightly from the first quarter of 2022.
Net earnings per share stood at €1.24, for a rise of 28.1% from the first quarter of 2022.
Free cash flow came to 15.4% of sales over the period at a total of €331.5 million. This includes continued strengthened coverage of inventories that is expected to gradually return to normal. Normalized free cash flow was up +22.4% at 18.1% of sales.
The ratio of net debt to EBITDA4 stood at 1.2 on March 31, 2023. Legrand Group has a cash position of €2,498.6 million and the maturity of gross debt – above 90% in fixed-rate instruments – is 4.4 years.
Combined General Meeting of Shareholders on May 31, 2023
Changes to the Legrand Board of Directors5
On the proposal of the Nomination and Governance Committee and following the approval of the Board of Directors, the nominations of Valerie Chort and Clare Scherrer as Independent Directors will be put to shareholders at the annual Combined Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 31, 2023.
– Valerie Chort, a Canadian national, would bring to the Group her extensive expertise in strategy and CSR, drawing on her experience as head of Royal Bank of Canada’s CSR strategy and following an earlier role in risk management and climate issues at Deloitte.
– Clare Scherrer, Chief Financial Officer at Smiths Group PLC, is an American and British national known for her expertise in financial markets and industry through her career at Goldman Sachs as Co-Head, Global Industrials Investment Banking.
Following these appointments the Board of Directors, with 83% independent Directors, 42% women and seven nationalities represented, would continue to reflect the industry’s best practices.
Proposed changes to the composition of Board Committees are set out in chapter 22.214.171.124 of the universal registration document – Legrand_URD_2022_ENGLISH (legrandgroup.com).
As announced on February 9, 2023, Legrand’s Board of Directors will ask the General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 31, 2023 to approve the payment of a dividend of €1.90 per share in respect of 2022. This represents a rise of +15.2% from 2021 and a payout ratio of nearly 50%, in line with the Group’s medium-term targets. The ex-dividend date is June 2, 2023, with payment6 on June 6, 2023.
The Board adopted consolidated financial statements for first-quarter 2023 at its meeting on May 3, 2023. These consolidated financial statements, a presentation of 2023 first-quarter results, and the related teleconference (live and replay) are available at www.legrandgroup.com.
Key Financial Dates for Legrand
- General Meeting of Shareholders: May 31, 2023
- Ex-dividend date: June 2, 2023
- Dividend payment: June 6, 2023
- 2023 first-half results: July 31, 2023
“Quiet period7” starts July 1, 2023
- 2023 nine-month results: November 8, 2023
“Quiet period1” starts October 9, 2023
More information available here