Sequana

(28.24% of share capital through EXOR S.A.)

 

The highlights of the consolidated results of the Sequana Group in 2011 are as follows:

€ million  12/31/2011 Pro-forma  12/31/2010 (a) Change
Net sales 3,944 4,016 (72)
Gross operating profit 135 206 (71)
Recurring operating income 89 135 (46)
Recurring net income 30 51 (21)
Profit attributable to owners of the parent (77) 32 (109)
Equity attributable to owners of the parent 669 814 (145)
Consolidated net debt 609 674 (65)
(a) The pro-forma results take into account the disposals of the Décor and Abrasifs activities of Arjowiggins and the office supply activities of Antalis sold in 2011.

2011 operating performance is characterized by lower volumes in a declining market and higher raw material costs. Sales of the Sequana Group in 2011 amounted to €3,944 million, down by 1.8% pro forma (-1.4% at constant exchange rates), despite the sharp reduction in volumes of printing and writing papers, in distribution (-8%) and manufacturing (-7%). This slight decrease in value reflects the positive impact of price increases applied in the first half of 2010, healthy demand for banknote paper and good growth in Antalis’ non-paper businesses.

EBITDA came in at €135 million, decreasing -34.5% pro forma compared to the prior year, mainly on account of much higher raw material and energy costs over 2010 (negative impact of €62 million for Arjowiggins in 2011). The EBITDA margin was 3.4% (-1.7 points).

Recurring operating income is €89 million, including gains €25 million from changes to pension plans (mainly in the UK), down by €46 million pro forma (-33.9%); the operating margin is 2.3% (-1.0 points).

Recurring net income was €30 million, decreasing 41.2%, compared to €51 million in the prior year. The change is due to net non-recurring expenses of -€108 million (mainly due to the impairment taken on Arjowiggins for €61 million and restructuring costs for €38 million). The loss attributable to owners of the parent was -€77 million, equal to diluted earnings per share of -€1.57.

Consolidated net debt at December 31, 2011 decreased by €65 million to €609 million, compared to €674 million at December 31, 2010. The reduction was due to the favorable impact of €96 million from the sale of Arjowiggins Décor and Abrasifs activities and Antalis Office Supplies.

The Sequana board of directors will put forward a motion at the next shareholders’ meeting recommending not to pay dividends for 2011. The Group signed an agreement of February 24, 2012 with the creditor banks to set up the terms and conditions for the renewal of credit lines until June 30, 2014.

Antalis

In 2011, Antalis had to contend with sharply reduced demand for printing and writing papers in Europe. Strict management of the commercial policy and customer risk exacerbated the decline in volumes and resulted in a slight loss of market share in Europe. On the other hand, demand was healthy in non-paper businesses (Packaging and Visual Communications) and in all markets outside Europe.

Despite the sharp drop in volumes (-8%), sales were down only slightly (-1.4%) from 2010 pro forma, to €2,759 million (a reduction of -1.6% at constant exchange rates), which reflected the favorable impact of the selling price increases implemented by Antalis in 2010 and 2011.

EBITDA came in at €101 million, down 8.1% from 2010 pro forma. Antalis managed to limit the EBITDA decline thanks to the combined impacts of selling price increases implemented in 2010 and 2011, a proactive gross margin protection policy, an improved product mix due to the growing contribution of the Packaging and Visual Communications businesses, and a tight rein on overheads. Recurring operating income (including gains of €8 million arising on pension plans) amounted to €83 million (-3.4% pro forma from 2010), while the operating margin remained stable at 3.0%.

Antalis refocused on its core business with the sale of its retail and wholesale Office Supplies activities in Spain and Portugal for an enterprise value of €26 million and increasing its sales by approximately €50 million thanks to its acquisition of Ambassador in the UK and Pack 2000 in Germany, making it the UK’s second-largest distributor of packaging products and solutions

Arjowiggins

2011 saw a sharp drop in demand for graphic papers used in the printing and writing segments in Europe and the US, particularly in the second half of the year. Consequently, the selling price increases announced before the summer by all industry players and scheduled for the second half of 2011 could not be implemented. Specialty businesses performed well overall, particularly the Security business (banknotes and security solutions), spurred by robust demand.

Volumes declined by 7% over the prior year and sales were 1.6% lower than 2010 pro forma to €1,465 million (down 0.3% at constant exchange rates). EBITDA decreased €50 million, down from €112 million in 2010 pro forma. Besides the adverse impact of declining volumes, Arjowiggins also had to contend with much higher raw material prices than in 2010, particularly pulp, cotton (used to produce banknote paper), waste paper, latex and starch. Over the year as a whole, higher raw material and energy costs had a negative €62 million impact on earnings.

Recurring operating income came in at €22 million (including a gain of €17 million arising on a pension plan in the UK), down €44 million from 2010 pro forma.

Faced with a very tough market environment, Arjowiggins continued to reduce overheads and to adjust its production capacity to the changing demand. Three paper machines were shut, in France, Denmark and Argentina. In addition, Arjowiggins sold its Decor and Abrasives business to the Swedish group Munksjö in March 2011 and its Moulin du Roy mill to French group Hamelin in June 2011, for a total enterprise value of €99 million.

Commercial Register No.64236277 Legal notes | Credits