Solvay full-year 2021 results
2021 Sales and EBITDA up double-digits boosted by strong volumes and pricing actions, sustaining our margins while overcoming inflationary costs
- Net sales for the full year 2021 were up +17% organically to €10.1 billion versus 2020, with 12% of the growth driven by volumes and 5% driven by pricing. More than half of the full year impact from price initiatives were realized in Q4. Full year net sales were up +4.4% organically compared to 2019, reflecting continued momentum in key markets including auto and electronics. In the fourth quarter, net sales increased +22.4% versus 2020 and +17.1% versus 2019.
- The acceleration of price increases largely offset a €465 million impact from variable cost inflation.
- Structural cost savings for the full year 2021 amounted to €213 million, bringing total structural savings since 2019 to €390 million, or 80% of its targeted €500 million (annual run-rate) by the end of 2024.
- Underlying EBITDA increased +27% versus full year 2020, setting a new record at €2,356 million. EBITDA was up +8% versus 2019, despite the slower recovery in the civil aero market, demonstrating good operating leverage. Underlying EBITDA margin rose to 23.3%, 160 basis points higher than 2020 despite the high inflationary environment. EBITDA in the fourth quarter grew +24% organically, or +19% excluding net €27 million of one-time gains.
- Underlying net profit amounted to €1.0 billion, up 68.3% compared to 2020.
- Strong free cash flow generation of €843 million reflecting higher profits and further working capital improvements which also enabled the funding of an increase in capital investments to €736 million for the year.
- Continued strengthening of the balance sheet with reduced net debt (€249 million) and provisions (€487 million). This brings the leverage ratio to 1.7x, the lowest since 2015.
- ROCE for 2021 reached a record level at 11.4% versus 6.9% in 2020 and 8.1% in 2019.
- Total proposed dividend of €3.85 per share, reflects a €0.10 per share increase, subject to Shareholders’ approval.
1 Free cash flow is free cash flow to Solvay shareholders from continuing operations
“2021 marks another great year of progress in our transformation journey. We emerged stronger on all fronts, from pricing power to profitability, from cash generation to returns. This year we faced new challenges and we overcame rising raw material and energy costs and supply chain disruptions. We continue to build on our strong foundations and I am confident in our ability to deliver. The dedication of our people, the progress we are making in serving our customers, and the new investments we’re making position us for superior growth in the years ahead.”
Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO
Against an unprecedented inflationary cost environment, pricing actions in 2022 are expected to accelerate, and full year EBITDA is estimated to grow organically by mid-single digits. With the current cycle of growth investments underway, Free Cash Flow is estimated to exceed €650 million.
Solvay ONE Planet progress update
Since 2019, Solvay has embarked on a sustainability journey that is captured in the Solvay One Planet roadmap, which is an integral element of its G.R.O.W. strategy and company Purpose. Structured around the three major categories of climate, resources and better life, Solvay One Planet is a roadmap towards a sustainable future that provides shared value for all. Solvay made further advances on this journey in 2021, accelerating efforts to meet stakeholders’ growing expectations, including protecting the most vulnerable during the pandemic; setting more ambitious environmental targets and building partnerships to enable the circular economy.
Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 21,000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €10.1 billion in 2021. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels (SOLB) and Paris. Learn more at www.solvay.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements describe expectations, plans, strategies, goals, future events or intentions. The achievement of forward-looking statements contained in this press release is subject to risks and uncertainties relating to a number of factors, including general economic factors, interest rate and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, changing market conditions, product competition, the nature of product development, impact of acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, products withdrawals, regulatory approval processes, all-in scenario of R&I projects and other unusual items. Consequently, actual results or future events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Should known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, or should our assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could vary materially from those anticipated. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.