2018 financial results starting to reflect the beneficial impact of the restructuring efforts.
Despite challenging market conditions, Sarens' operating income increased by 2.6% from €634.8 million in 2017 to €651.5 million in 2018.
The revenue growth mainly resulted from the further ramp-up of the TCO project in Kazakhstan. However, this was partly counter-balanced by weaker performance in Western Europe, Africa and Oceania, and perpetuated project delays in the worldwide oil, gas, and mining industries.
Our Own Turnover (defined as, Turnover minus Subcontracting) increased from €410.4m in 2017 to €439.2m in 2018 as the company started deploying more of its own equipment on the project in Kazakhstan.
Despite the underperformance in Oceania, the reported EBITDA amounted to €127.2 million in 2018, compared to €116.8 million in 2017, an increase of about 8.9%, on the back of close cost control.
The increase in the operating charges mainly relates to the ramp-up of the TCO Project, which will be at its peak in 2019 and 2020.
Depreciation increased from €84.9m in 2017 to €92.3m in 2018 as a result of expansion capex during the last two years.
The Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) improved from 25.6m in 2017 to €30.3m in 2018.
The Net Financial Result was significantly impacted by unfavorable short-term currency fluctuations, both realized and unrealized, of €12.6 million.
The net Extraordinary result mainly relates to additional depreciation charges resulting from the updated valuation rules (€19.2m).
Income tax expenses decreased to €2.8m, mainly as a result of the adjustments of the deferred taxes.
The net result of the company over the last three years has been significantly impacted by:
- The costs related to the restructuring of some regions (LATAM, SAFR, AU in 2016-2017).
- FX results (to a large extend non-realized translation through P&L).
- The underperformance on a few wind farm projects in Oceania.
The balance sheet was highly impacted by the front loaded capex of a few projects that have not fully contributed to the results in 2018, which explains the increase of the financial liabilities and the high leverage of the company.
The Current Liabilities are impacted by some capex suppliers payable at 1 year, and some advances on contracts that will be consumed over the duration of the underlying contracts.
Taking into account the duration of these liabilities, the current ratio is ± 1.0x.
At the start of 2019, the company has successfully amended and extended its global facilities agreement with its relationship bankers which resulted in an increase of the facility amount and improved headroom on financial covenants, which embed a strong commitment of the company to deleverage.
CASH FLOW STATEMENTS
The cash flow statement demonstrates a continuous improvement of the cash flow from the operating activities from €109.1m in 2016 to €115.2m in 2017 and €124.1m in 2017 and €115.0 million in 2018.
The company has continued to expand its fleet resulting in capital expenditures of €61.8m in 2016, €119.4m in 2017 and €150.7m in 2018.
The capex of the last two years was exceptionally high as a result of expansion capex. The capital expenditures for the coming years are expected to be significantly lower, which will put the company in a position to generate positive free cash flows in view of deleveraging the balance sheet.
Despite the important capital expenditures of the last two years, the additional cash from financing activities remained relatively modest.
The company maintained a healthy cash balance of €39.7m at the end of 2018.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER