2023 Half Year Results
Another period of strategic progress and financial resilience in difficult markets
Sales at € 2.3 billion • EBITu of € 226 million (margin 9.7%) • Free Cash Flow of € 80m • ROCE 20.5% • Net debt/EBITDAu of 0.8x
Bekaert delivered another period of robust profitability and cash flows, and has addressed pro-actively weaker conditions in many of its end markets. Despite lower volumes, the core businesses continue to benefit from the successful execution of Bekaert’s strategy, alongside swift actions in the period to maintain pricing discipline and cost efficiencies. Whilst looking beyond, the repositioning to target new opportunities from the energy transition and decarbonization trends continues, with growing demand in a range of new products.
- Consolidated sales of € 2.3 billion (-8.2%) and combined sales of € 2.9 billion (-8.6%), driven primarily by lower volumes, passed-on lower raw material costs and an unfavorable impact from exchange rate movements
- Gross profit remained stable at € 409 million (vs € 411 million in H1 2022) at a margin of 17.6% (vs 16.3% in H1 2022)
- Robust operating profitability and strong margin performance, driven by ongoing business mix improvements, despite the lower volumes
- EBITDAu of € 317 million (-6.8%), delivering a margin on sales of 13.7% (vs 13.5% in H1 2022)
- EBITu of € 226 million (-10.2%), resulting in a margin of 9.7% (vs 9.9% in H1 2022)
- Underlying EPS of € 3.07 (vs € 4.04 in H1 2022) impacted by lower EBIT and significant non-cash currency movements
- Strong cash conversion, despite lower volumes
- Free Cash Flow (FCF) of € +80 million, compared to € -80 million in H1 2022, benefiting from improved working capital management
- Net debt of € 530 million (€ 563 million H1 2022), resulting in net debt to EBITDAu of 0.8x
- Share buyback program of up to € 120 million continues
Operational and strategic highlights
- Fast-paced, tactical pricing discipline and business selection to mitigate lower volumes
- Intense focus on cost efficiencies and procurement savings with an ongoing range of initiatives, including supplier rationalization and optimized operating models
- Ongoing successful strategic execution, re-positioning the business towards higher margin, higher growth and less commoditized sectors, and focusing on growth markets, innovation, and sustainability:
- Increased customer penetration of higher margin 4D and 5D Dramix® products
- Scale production in Currento® (Hydrogen electrolyzer component)
- Significant demand growth for Armofor® in both traditional and clean energy applications
- Launch of Ampact™ (component for the next generation of electric vehicles) and first customer samples delivered
- Production ramp-up and customer approval received in Vietnam, balancing the plant footprint in Asia
- The disposal of Steel Wire Solutions businesses in Chile and Peru remains on track and is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to applicable regulatory approvals
Despite facing a challenging market environment, the Group has delivered robust results in H1 2023, particularly in terms of operating margin and cash flow performance. As we noted earlier this year, we anticipate the competitive and demanding environment to persist across most of our business sectors for the rest of 2023. Nevertheless, Bekaert remains committed to responding to these pressures and will continue to implement its strategy to strengthen its core business and capitalize on growth opportunities.
While we recognize the Group's typical seasonality in the second half and anticipate some additional volume pressures, both expectations for the full year of 2023 and our profitability ambitions of 9-11% EBITu margin in the medium term, remain unchanged.
Note on disposal adjustments
All sales and income statement items (up to Result for the Period from Continued Operations) exclude any contribution from the Steel Wire Solutions businesses in Chile and Peru subject to the proposed disposal. In-line with IFRS 5, the 2022 comparative data has been restated on the same basis enabling a like for like comparison. On the balance sheet, all H1 2023 assets and liabilities related to the business under disposal are presented as held for sale, however the 2022 balance sheet data has not been restated. The cash flow statement was not adjusted for the disposed entities.
Net debt, working capital and most ratios and alternative performance measures (APM) have been restated to provide a like for like comparison for the continued operations (see note 15). A separate earnings per share (EPS) from continued operations is provided (note 9). Ratios that relate to equity do not fully exclude the businesses under disposal.
Note 11 on Discontinued Operations provides more information on the content of the result from discontinued operations, the related cash flows and the nature of the assets and liabilities held for sale. Note 14 provides more information on the impact of the disposal adjustments versus the results of 2022 as published on 29th of July 2022 and 1st of March 2023.
The CEO and the CFO of Bekaert will present the H1 2023 results at 10:00 a.m. CET on Friday 28th July. This presentation can be accessed live upon registration via the Bekaert website (bekaert.com/en/investors) and will be available on the website after the event.