Press release
21.02.2008

COLAS in 2007 Strong growth in business activity (+8.9%) and net profit (+19.7%)

REVENUE: 11.7 billion euros
NET PROFIT (Group share): 474 million euros
PROPOSED DIVIDEND: 8.50 euros per share (+33%)

The Board of Directors of Colas, chaired by Mr. Hervé Le Bouc, met on February 21, 2008 to finalize the financial statements for fiscal 2007.

 

Revenue: 11.7 billion euros (+8.9%)

In 2007, consolidated revenue rose 8.9% to 11.67 billion euros, compared to 10.72 billion euros in 2006.  The breakdown of business figures shows that mainland France recorded 6.5 billion euros and international business units, including French overseas departments and territories, posted 5.2 billion euros.  Europe (including France) and North America represented 94.4% of total Group revenue.  With identical exchange rates and comparable
business structures, the increase in revenue amounted to 6.9% 

The Group thus enjoyed sharp growth, spurred by buoyant markets, work-on-hand that increased throughout the year and favorable weather conditions.  Infrastructure upgrading and maintenance needs remained high in every region in which the Group operates.   

In mainland France, where the road business represents 77% of total activity, revenue was up 10.4% (nearly 8% with comparable business structures).  The Group’s railway activity has made strong headway with the  acquisition of Spie Rail, which was only consolidated over a 7-month period.  Business in French overseas departments increased 16%.    

In the Group’s international business units  and French overseas territories, revenue rose 6.2% (4.7% with identical exchange rates and business structures).  In Europe, growth of 5.5% was recorded, thus reflecting the temporary slowdown in business in Hungary, which was offset by other subsidiaries and by external growth.  North America had an excellent year, posting a 6.9% increase in revenue with identical exchange rates and business structures.  Elsewhere around the world, the Group’s subsidiaries in Morocco benefited from a dynamic economy and in Madagascar, a number of major construction projects (roads and mining sites) were launched.  

 

Net profit (Group share) up 20% at 474 million euros

Almost every Group subsidiary performed as well as if not better than the previous year.  Profit from operations totaled 635 million euros, a 20% increase.  The Group’s share of net profit rose 20% to 474 million euros, compared to 396 million euros in 2006. Consolidated net profit was on the rise at 481 million euros compared to 402 million in 2006.  For the first time ever, the Group’s cash flow from operations has gone over the
one billion-euro mark (1,099 million), enabling the Group to finance an extensive, forward-looking investment program totaling 965 million euros (net investments).  

 

Net profit at Colas S.A.

Net profit for parent company Colas SA amounted to 278.5 million euros, compared to 232.5 million in 2006 (+19.8%).  

 

Dividend 2007

The Board of Directors has decided to put forward a proposal to the General Meeting of Shareholders on April 16, 2008 to pay out a net dividend of 8.50 euros per share for fiscal 2007, a 33% increase compared to the dividend paid out for fiscal 2006 at 6.40 euros. 

This reflects the Group’s confidence in its prospects for growth in the future.


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors will ask that the General Meeting of Shareholders on April 16, 2008 approve the cooptation of Mr. Jean-François Guillemin.  Mr. Philippe Marien will become the permanent representative of the Bouygues company.    

 

Outlook 

In 2007, Colas recorded sizeable growth in its business figures and a sharp rise in profit and investment.  Work-on-hand at the end of January 2008 amounted to nearly 7 billion euros, a 16% rise (+22% in mainland France and +10% in French overseas departments-territories and international business units). A breakdown of work-on-hand shows an even spread of business. In France and around the world, the need for urban development and transport infrastructure remains high. Even if, in the first months of 2008, greater economic and financial uncertainty and the vagaries of the climate to which Colas’ Businesses are sensitive encourage a certain degree of caution, activity should get off to a strong start in 2008.  No indicator in any of the Group’s activities at this stage suggests a forecast of reduced business, including North America.  Depending on the outcome of certain acquisition projects currently under consideration, some of them at an advanced stage, and on the confirmation of market  trends during the second half-year, Colas, pursuing its profitable growth strategy, should enjoy further progress in 2008. The Group has set its first target for revenue in 2008 at 12.5 billion euros. 

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