Our main activities are essential to the country’s Economy and we must overcome this unprecedented challenge, through unwavering commitment at all levels of our hierarchy.
2019’s results testified to the very positive operating momentum of the Transportation and Communications activities as well as the strategic redeployment in the batteries, buses and stationary activities.
In 2019, Bolloré Group’s revenue increased by 3% at constant scope and exchange rates (+8% as reported). The growth in the Communications activity (+6%) offset the slight contraction in revenue in the Transportation and logistics business (–2%) mainly due to the widespread downturn in air and maritime volumes. Port activities continued to grow.
The Group’s adjusted operating income (EBITA) totaled 1.63 billion euros, up 0.2% after taking into account exceptional impairment (–319 million euros) mainly concerning electric cars, former generation batteries and car-sharing. Excluding these non-recurring items, EBITA grew by 20% thanks to the positive momentum of the transportation and logistics business lines (+17%) and the very good performance of the Communications activity (+11%) driven by Universal Music Group (UMG).
The transportation and logistics business lines benefited from the positive performance of the port terminals and freight forwarding activities as well as the exceptional results for Bolloré Energy, that reflect the sound performance of the distribution activities and the successful investment in the DRPC (Dépôt Rouen Petit-Couronne) site. The Communications business recorded strong growth in its results supported by a new record year for Universal Music Group, international growth for Canal+, Havas’ solid business model and the successful consolidation of Editis.
The fact that exceptional impairment on certain assets in the Electricity storage division is taken into account in the 2019 results also reflects the repositioning of Blue Solutions in the development and production of batteries for the bus and stationary markets.
Within this framework, Blue Solutions, thanks to the constant development of its LMP ® (Lithium Metal Polymer) technology, has considerable strengths to become a major player in this transformation, as seen in the partnerships signed in 2019 with benchmark international players, such as the RATP, Daimler, Gaussin, Actia and RTE.
In accordance with its undertaking following the simplified public tender offer (OPAS) in 2017, the Group filed a simplified public tender offer for Blue Solutions shares. This offer will be followed by a mandatory squeeze-out at a price of 17 euros per share.
Moreover, on March 31, 2020, Vivendi announced that it had completed the sale of 10% of the share capital of Universal Music Group to a consortium led by Tencent, three months after the agreement signed on December 31, 2019, based on an enterprise value of 30 billion euros for 100% of UMG’s share capital.
In view of the latest developments in the Covid-19 epidemic, which represents a major threat to both the health of populations and to the global economy, we have a duty to protect our employees, which we have done by deploying business continuity action plans, and also the responsibility of ensuring the sustainability of our businesses and jobs.
Our main activities are essential to the country’s economy and we must overcome this unprecedented challenge through unwavering commitment at all levels of our hierarchy. For almost two centuries, our Group has continued to expand and has come through numerous crises and several wars thanks to the courage and involvement of our employees. Thank you for your confidence, which will enable us to overcome this new challenge successfully.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer