2017: Continued growth




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A buoyant economic environment

The results achieved in 2017 have confirmed the recovery of worldwide business activity. It was marked by monetary policies that remained supportive and by solid growth in the three main economic regions: the United States (+2.3%), Europe (+2.4%) and China (+6.8%). World growth (+3.2%) thus overtook the 3% growth threshold, which had not happened over the past seven years. 2017 also saw the Euro rise against most foreign currencies, the US Dollar in particular. This has had a significant impact on the financial performance of multicurrency companies that post their results in Euros, as is the case with Socomec.

Growth in line with targets

The Socomec Group (Socomec + E'nergys) posted growth of +7% with overall revenues rising from € 491 million in 2016 to € 526 million in 2017. This growth was marked in particular by the symbolic threshold of half a billion euros in sales revenues (504.8 million euros / +5%) for the manufacturing branch. As mentioned above, the changes in exchange rates had a negative impact on the Group's results: based on the 2016 exchange rate, revenues would have amounted to € 512 million, i.e. € 7 million more than the revenues actually posted in 2017.
The Group's consolidated overall earnings amounted to € 26.1 million, an increase of 6% compared to 2016. The reduction in income tax expense and deferred taxes contributed to this growth in net income. Equity, including minority interests, was € 229 million, up 7% on 2016.
Both ASIA and North America experienced remarkable growth of 6% and 15% respectively. Also of note was the impressive recovery of the Middle East region within the Europe Middle East and Africa zone, which posted +9% growth after a difficult 2016. As for the Business Applications, 2017 was also marked by the performance of the Critical Power - Products (UPS) activity, up +6.1% compared to 2016. Sales growth in the Energy Storage Business Application (+47.9%), Expert Services (+4.4%) and Energy Efficiency - Products (+13.6%) also contributed to the Group's performance. Only the Power Control & Safety Business Application (switchgear activity) was down 0.5% compared to 2017, mainly due to delays in the launch of the Inosys range and the downturn in the solar power market.

Predominantly organic growth

In early October 2017, Socomec acquired 70% of the capital of Continental Control Systems (CCS), a company specialising in the development of power meters and located in Denver, United States. This acquisition is part of a much more ambitious development plan for this part of the world which should continue in 2018. Growth in 2017 was therefore mainly achieved by increasing our R&D innovation investments and continuing to strengthen our sales forces.
The E'nergys division also did well, with the services business line continuing to develop an ecosystem of SMEs specialising in energy performance, water cycle optimisation and digital technologies, which offer complementary services to the Group's businesses. At the end of 2017, it employed more than 270 people for a total Group and Non-Group sales of € 41 million, up 20% compared to 2016. The value chain is now largely established and the synergies with the Group's industrial activities are being strengthened. The overall total EBIT of the E'nergys division at the end of 2017 was positive for the first time.