The Eiffage Group returned to positive performance in the first half of 2021 after its annual results were heavily impacted by the health crisis. Business in the first few months of 2021 benefited from a record order book at the end of 2020. The group has been able to organize itself to continue its activities in this context. As a result, it has returned to its pre-pandemic performance.
Eiffage generated consolidated sales of €8.7 billion in the first half of 2021. 8.7 billion in the first half of 2021, up 25.8% on an actual basis compared with the first half of the previous year. Despite the strong impact of containment during this period, business in France grew significantly by 29.9%. This half-year turnover is 1.9% higher than that recorded in the first half of 2019.
It should be remembered that all of the Group's business lines were very dynamic during the 2019 financial year. The Works business generated €7.4 billion with a growth of 27.7% compared to H1 2020. It grew by 3.8% compared to the same period two years ago. In France, Eiffage's business generated €5.1 billion in sales in the first half of 2021. That is up 4.3% compared to H1/2019.
Note: International sales are up 2.7% (€2.3 billion) when referring to H1/2019. Eiffage's business in Europe (excluding France) generated sales up 2.2% compared to the pre-pandemic year. Sales in the rest of the world increased by 5.1% for this half-year compared to H1/2019.
Eiffage Group recorded a current operating income of €679 million accompanied by an operating margin of 7.8% (3.8% in H1/2020 and 9.8% in H1/2019). The operating margin for the Works was 1.7% with a €128 million contribution to operating profit.
The net charge recorded over the six months was €14 million thanks to other operating income and expenses. Last year, the net charge reached €12m at the end of June 2021 (€19m in H1/2019). As a result, the cost of financial debt was reduced by €5m in twelve months to €119m.
As for the Group share of net income, it reached €260 million after a loss of €8 million at the end of H1/2020. This is slightly below the 290 million euros recorded two years ago.
Free cash flow is often negative in the first half of the year. But it is close to zero at -€11 million in H1 this year (-€135 million in 2019 and -€373 million in 2020). Net financial debt stood at €10.2bn at 30 June 2021 (-€0.7bn in one year).
The liquidity of Eiffage SA and its Travaux subsidiaries stood at €4.9 billion at 30 June 2021. It includes an undrawn bank credit line of approximately €2 billion and net cash of €2.9 billion. Eiffage SA's liquidity alone increased by €0.3 billion, while APRR had €2.9 billion at the end of June 2021.
With this financial situation, the Group expects a significant improvement in the Works business for the whole of 2021 compared with 2020. It anticipates a significant increase in its annual results at the end of the year.