SNCF Group 2021 Half-Year Results
Faced with an unprecedented crisis, SNCF Group has harnessed its resilience and adaptability to cushion the impact by adjusting its transport offering, updating its sales strategy, and deploying sweeping cost-cutting measures since March 2020.
Group strategy calls for leveraging a diversified business portfolio that includes rail operations, Geodis (global freight transport and logistics) and Keolis (a global provider of mobility solutions as mass transit systems).
Current strategy focuses on winning back passengers while building on robust trends in logistics and freight transport.
SNCF Group’s resilient business model and capacity to adapt to change underpin its response to the pandemic
- Logistics and freight transport showed robust growth,with Geodis +21% and rail freight +13% from H1 2020.
- Long distance passenger rail services were adjusted to meet shifts in demand and held occupancy rates above 60%. Demand rose sharply as soon as lockdown measures were eased in May, thanks to adjustments in Group sales strategy.
- Operations under public contract are moving in the right direction, with sales at Transilien +21%, TER +16% and Keolis +9% compared with H1 2020.
- A bold cost-cutting plan continued, improving SNCF Group’s cash position by nearly €830m.
This strategy has limited the economic impact of the pandemic, which continued to affect results in the first half of 2021
- Group revenue totalled €16.1bn, up +13.5% from H1 2020, but down 10% from H1 2019. Passenger business was directly hit by travel restrictions, specifically France’s third lockdown, which took a heavy toll on business travel in particular.
Strong demand for logistics and freight transport partially offset this trend.
- EBITDA rallied to reach €1.3bn but continued to lag the H1 2019 figure by -€1.6bn. The EBITDA/revenue ratio was 8.3% or seven points better than in H1 2020, but remained well below the 16.2% reported in H1 2019.
- Free cashflow was a negative €745m, and SNCF Group reported a net loss of €780m.
SNCF Group has retained both its financing capacity and investor confidence thanks to the French State’s recovery plan for the rail industry, and to SNCF’s own strategic choices, hard work and achievements.
Financial commitments announced in France’s 2018 rail reform package have been confirmed, including free cash flow in the black as of 2022.
SNCF Group is now focused on winning back passengers, in particular travellers who had switched from rail to cars, and building on robust trends in logistics and freight transport. To achieve these aims, it will continue to improve its operational and financial performance, while promoting its eco-friendly mobility solutions.
Although current trends are positive, SNCF remains cautious on the outlook for the rest of the year due to persistent uncertainty linked to the pandemic.
billion Euros revenue in the first semester 2021
billion Euros EBITDA
free cashflow with a reported a net loss of €780m
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