• Revenues up 8.2% to €2,106.6 million, organic revenues up 8.8%
• Operating margin rises 4.0% to €555.2 million
• EBIT up 6.8% to €350.2 million
• Net income Group share improves 9.9% to €221.0 million
• Strong net cash flow from operating activities, up 4.9% to €373.0 million
• Dividend increased by 5% to €0.44 per share
• 2008 organic revenue growth expected to be around 6%
Paris, 12 March 2008 - JCDecaux SA (Euronext Paris: DEC), the number one outdoor advertising company in Europe and Asia-Pacific and the number two worldwide, announced today solid results for the year ended December 31, 2007, underpinned by strong organic revenue growth.
As reported on 28 January 2008, consolidated revenues increased by 8.2% to €2,106.6 million in 2007. Excluding acquisitions and the impact of foreign exchange, organic revenue growth was 8.8%, well ahead of the growth in the global advertising market in 2007.
Group operating margin increased by 4.0% to €555.2 million from €533.6 million in 2006. The operating margin as a percentage of consolidated revenues was 26.4%, down 100 basis points compared to the prior period (2006: 27.4%), reflecting as expected a decrease in the Street Furniture operating margin, partly offset by a strong increase in operating margin from the Billboard and Transport divisions.
Street Furniture: Operating margin decreased by 0.3% to €406.7 million. As a percentage of revenues, the operating margin decreased to 39.0% compared to 41.4% in 2006. Double-digit operating margin increases were recorded in many European markets including the Netherlands, Belgium, the Baltic countries, Central & Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia-Pacific. In France, the operating margin decreased over the period, due to the recently-renewed major contracts which incurred start up costs and additional operating expenses while advertising revenues were still ramping up. Business development costs also increased compared to 2006, following the Group’s recent expansion into fast growing outdoor advertising markets, particularly the Middle East and Central Asia where a number of long-term contracts have been or are in the process of being secured.
Transport: Operating margin increased by 17.8% to €62.3 million. As a percentage of revenues, the operating margin rose to 10.9%, a healthy increase compared to 2006 (10.4%). These improvements were driven by strong revenue progression in many of our markets. Double digit operating margin increases were achieved in many of our geographies including France, Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States and China.
Billboard: Operating margin increased by 18.2% to €86.2 million and as a percentage of revenues, the operating margin rose to 17.6%, a good increase compared to 2006 (16.0%). These significant increases were driven by strong revenue growth over the period, the results of continued investment in quality locations as well as the ongoing benefits from the cost control program and inventory management. Operating leverage was particularly strong in the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and Central & Eastern Europe, where the operating margin grew in double digits in all these areas. In France, solid operating margin growth was achieved over the period.
EBIT increased by 6.8% to €350.2 million, up from €327.9 million in 2006. The Group’s EBIT margin was 16.6% of consolidated revenues, compared to 16.8% in the same period last year. The increase in operating margin was partly offset by higher depreciation and consumption of maintenance spare parts over the period. The Group’s full-year EBIT also includes a capital gain of 10.5 million euros, following the reorganisation of Europlakat International (EPI) in the third quarter of 2007.
Net income Group share
Net income Group share increased by 9.9% to €221.0 million, compared to
€201.1 million in 2006. This improvement reflects the increase in EBIT, the very strong progression of equity affiliates as well as a decrease in the effective tax rate.
At the next Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (to be held on May 14th, 2008), the Executive Board will recommend a dividend of €0.44 per share for the 2007 financial year, a rise of 5% compared to 2006. The dividend will be paid on June 9th, 2008.
Net capex (acquisition of tangible and intangible assets(4), net of disposals of assets) was €306.1 million, compared to €172.0(4) million in the prior year, reflecting the planned increase in renewal capex (including the Paris bike scheme) and the initial €38.4 million pre-payment paid under the Shanghai Metro contract, following the contract’s renewal and extension.
The Group continued to generate strong net cash flow from operating activities at €373.0 million, compared to €355.5(4) million in the prior year (+ 4.9%). Free cash flow(5) decreased to €66.9 million from €183.5 million in 2006, reflecting the significant increase in net capex over the period.
Net debt (6)
Net debt as of 31 December 2007 increased by €24.9 million to €719.9 million compared to €695.0 million as of December 31st, 2006.
Commenting on the 2007 results, Jean-François Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and Co-CEO, said: “2007 was a good year for JCDecaux, reflecting the strength of our business model which ensures we benefit from the global demand for outdoor advertising in both developed and fast growing emerging countries. 2007 was also the year of the Velib’ launch in Paris which, with 17 million users to date, marks the start of a new form of public transport and demonstrates once again JCDecaux's ability to lead the transformation of the outdoor advertising industry. In 2008, we expect organic revenue growth to be around 6%. While organic revenue growth may be impacted by a slow start in France and the UK, growth will be driven by the continued double-digit growth of our Transport division, China and the other emerging markets, as well as a solid performance in the US and the rest of Europe.”
(1) Operating Margin = Revenues less Direct Operating Expenses (excluding Maintenance spare parts) less SG&A expenses
(2) EBIT = Earnings Before Interests and Taxes = Operating Margin less Depreciation, amortization and provisions less Impairment of goodwill less Maintenance spare parts less Other operating income and expenses.
(3) 2006 EBIT has been restated due to the reclassification into the EBIT of the impairment of goodwill
(4) 2006 capex and net cash flow from operating activities have been restated following a change in methodology related to fixed assets’ payables. Acquisitions of assets now include changes in receivables and payables on assets.
(5) Free cash flow = Net cash flow from operating activities less net capital investments (tangible and intangible assets).
(6) Net debt = Debt net of cash including the non-cash impact of IAS39 (on both debt and derivatives) and excluding the non-cash impact of IAS 32 (debt on commitments to purchase minority interests)