Legrand 2021 First-Quarter Results

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May 12, 2021

“In the first quarter of 2021, our revenues showed a steep rise in all regions. At constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates, sales were up +13.1% from the first quarter of 2020, which represents a +4.9% increase over two years2 and reflects Legrand’s stronger positions in our markets.

This growth momentum was driven by buoyant demand in residential and datacenter markets, as well as by the moves made in 2020. These included in particular the decision to maintain services to our customers throughout the year’s lockdowns; sales and marketing initiatives; our vigorous and ongoing program of new-product development and launches; and stepped-up investment in digital technologies.

Our first-quarter results reflect a good start to the current year, with adjusted operating margin (before acquisitions1) equal to 21.9% of sales, net profit attributable to the Group up +36.4%, and normalized free cash flow at 16.5% of sales.

Drawing on fundamentals that were strengthened during the crisis (leadership positions, excellent customer relations, innovation, financial and ESG performance), Legrand is well positioned to take full advantage of the next economic cycle, particularly in the growing segments of the buildings of tomorrow.”

Full-year 2021 Targets Raised

Given its first-quarter achievements, and despite a persistently uncertain environment due to the pandemic situation and increasing pressure on supply chains, Legrand is raising its targets for 2021 and is now aiming for:

– organic growth in full-year sales of between +4% and +7%;

– a scope of consolidation effect of at least +3%;

– an adjusted operating margin before acquisitions (at 2020 scope of consolidation) of between 19.6% and 20.4% of sales.

The basis for comparison for both sales and margin will be very favorable in the second quarter of 2021, and challenging in the second half of the year, particularly in the third quarter.

Legrand also aims to achieve at least 100% of its CSR roadmap for 2021, testifying to the ongoing deployment of a bold and exemplary ESG approach, with a particular focus on the fight against global warming and the promotion of diversity.

These annual targets are fully in line with the Group’s mid-term targets released in February 20213.

Financial performance at March 31, 2021

Key figures

Consolidated data

(€ millions)(1)

1st quarter 2020

1st quarter 2021

Change

Sales

1,515.7

1,674.1

+10.5%

Adjusted operating profit

282.6

361.1

+27.8%

As % of sales

18.6%

21.6%

 
   

21.9% before acquisitions(2)

 

Operating profit

260.0

339.9

+30.7%

As % of sales

17.2%

20.3%

 

Net profit attributable to the Group

167.1

228.0

+36.4%

As % of sales

11.0%

13.6%

 

Normalized free cash flow

230.4

276.3

+19.9%

As % of sales

15.2%

16.5%

 

Free cash flow

133.8

245.9

+83.8%

As % of sales

8.8%

14.7%

 

Net financial debt at March 31

2,872.1

2,400.2

-16.4%

  1. See appendices to this press release for definitions and indicator reconciliation tables.
  2. At 2020 scope of consolidation.

Consolidated sales

In the first quarter of 2021, sales rose +10.5% from the first quarter of 2020 to total €1,674.1 million.

Organic growth was +13.1% over the period, including +8.8% in mature countries and +26.9% in new economies.

The impact of the broader scope of consolidation was +3.4%. Based on acquisitions completed in 2020 and their likely dates of consolidation, this effect is expected to reach +2.5% in 2021.

The exchange-rate effect on sales in the first quarter of 2021 was -5.5%. Based on average exchange rates in April 2021, the full-year exchange-rate effect on sales for 2021 should be about -3%.

Changes in sales by destination at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates broke down as follows by region:

 

1st quarter 2021 / 1st quarter 2020

Europe

+14.0%

North and Central America

+4.9%

Rest of the world

+29.8%

Total

+13.1%

These changes are analyzed below by geographical region:

– Europe (43.2% of Group revenue): sales in Europe grew +14.0% at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates in the first quarter of 2021.

In Europe’s mature countries (37.2% of Group revenue), sales rose a steep +14.3% over the period. This was linked to very strong performances in the region’s main countries, as in France and Italy, and fueled in particular by many commercial successes.

Sales in Europe’s new economies were up +12.4% in the first quarter of 2021, reflecting continued solid momentum in Eastern Europe and Turkey.

– North and Central America (36.7% of Group revenue): sales increased +4.9% in the first quarter of 2021 at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates.

In the United States alone (33.6% of Group revenue), the organic rise in sales was +4.4% over the first three months of the year. Growth was driven by continued buoyant business in datacenters and by solid achievements in residential offerings. Sales in non-residential applications continued to decline, though less than in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Sales increased in Mexico and fell slightly in Canada.

– Rest of the world (20.1% of Group revenue): first-quarter sales were up +29.8% at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates.

In Asia-Pacific (12.5% of Group revenue), first-quarter sales rose a steep +37.1%. They more than doubled in China, with double-digit growth over two years, and also showed very strong growth in India, in deteriorating conditions linked to the pandemic.

In South America (3.7% of Group revenue), sales grew +20.4%. This included a very significant rebound in sales in Brazil, along with sustained increases in many other countries in the region.

In Africa and the Middle East (3.9% of Group revenue), sales rose +19.1%. This included very significant growth in Africa and an increase in the Middle East.

Adjusted operating profit and margin

In the first quarter of 2021, adjusted operating profit was €361.1 million, up +27.8%, setting adjusted operating margin at 21.6% of sales over the period.

Before acquisitions (at 2020 scope of consolidation), adjusted operating margin reached 21.9% in the first quarter of 2021, a +3.3-point rise from the first quarter of 2020.

This increase in profitability was mainly driven by:

– operating leverage linked to strong sales growth and the still-limited rise in costs;

– increased sales prices that offset, in value, a rise in raw materials and components costs that accelerated over the quarter.

Net profit attributable to the Group

Net profit attributable to the Group increased +36.4% from the first quarter of 2020 and stood at €228.0 million. This performance reflects mainly:

– strong growth in operating profit (+€80 million);

– favorable trends (+€5 million) in financial results; and

– the increase (-€24 million) in the Group’s corporate income tax linked to the rise in profit before tax (the corporate tax rate was stable at 28.5% in the first quarter of 2021).

Cash generation and balance sheet structure

At €315.0 million, cash flow from operations came to 18.8% of first-quarter sales, a rise of +4.1 points.

Normalized free cash flow stood at 16.5% of sales, up +19.9% and +1.3 points higher than in the first quarter of 2020.

At 8.3% of sales4, the working capital requirement remained under control.

Free cash flow stood at 14.7% of sales, with a steep increase over the quarter.

For the three-month period, the balance sheet remained solid with a ratio of net debt to EBITDA5 of 1.6, and cash and cash equivalents of close to €2.8 billion.

Source

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