CERGY, France, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- As in the previous two years, SPIE achieved good results in 2008. The growth in revenues to nearly EUR3.8 billion and the increase in operating income from ordinary activities (EBIT) to EUR172.9 million attest to the solidity and effectiveness of our development model. This was achieved despite the deteriorated financial environment in the second half. The year ended also saw acquisitions remain at a high level with EUR200 million in annual production.
In 2008 there was also continuous improvement in our financial structure with negative working capital requirements for the third consecutive year generating excellent cash flow to self-finance our growth.
Since the Group's LBO in 2006 it has generated over EUR770 million in cash. The Group's net debt has decreased significantly, with the debt/EBITDA ratio falling to 3.6 this year, which brings us more in line with traditional financing models.
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2008 pro forma revenues: up 8.4% to EUR3.75 billion
Operating income from ordinary activities: up 26% to EUR172.9 million
With average organic growth of 7%, excluding SPIE Matthew Hall whose revenues in euros were affected by the declining pound, SPIE held its ground in what was nonetheless a less favourable general economic situation. Thus in the countries hit particularly hard by the crisis, such as the United Kingdom and Spain, our staff met their objectives thanks to their ability to adapt. In other countries benefiting from a combination of a strong market and the improvement of our organisation, such as France and the Netherlands, the operating margin was often over 5%. Specialised activities in the energy field held up well.
Breakdown of revenue in 2008 Revenue % change In EUR millions 2008 2008/2007 SPIE Ile-de-France Nord-Ouest 448 12.6% SPIE Est 251 5.5% SPIE Ouest-Centre 432 33.0% SPIE Sud-Ouest 360 14.9% SPIE Sud-Est 345 11.3% TOTAL multi-technical businesses (France) 1,836 Germany 36 11.9% Morocco 66 9.1% Spain 59 27.1% Portugal 49 - 0.4% Belgium 175 - 3% Netherlands 290 51% United Kingdom (SPIE Matthew Hall) 389 - 23.3% TOTAL multi-technical businesses (outside France) 1,064 SPIE Nucleaire 136 - SPIE Communications 283 - 0.7% SPIE Oil Gas Services 429 11.1% TOTAL specialised businesses 848 TOTAL SPIE pro forma 3,748 8.4%
Despite the highly deteriorated economic situation, at the end of 2008 SPIE was fully confident in its future and its ability to draw on its resources to become, eventually, the European leader in its sector of activity. It has confidence in its business model that is based on a broad division of risks and repeat contracts enabling it to generate sustainable growth. The recurring nature of SPIE's business, its local approach and its strategic commitment to meet the long-term environmental and energy-related challenges faced by its customers mean that the Group can envision its future serenely in a world undergoing profound change.
Over the next few years, companies' societal role will increase. The energy-related and environmental challenges faced by our local and regional authority and corporate customers will therefore represent new opportunities to be seized in markets destined to grow in an economy that must redefine itself by at last taking into account the scarcity of resources. By the very nature of its businesses, SPIE is in the front line for providing concrete solutions in terms of energy efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions and for promoting the development of renewable energy, said Gauthier Louette, SPIE's Chief Executive Officer.
As European leader in electrical, mechanical and HVAC engineering, energy and communications systems, SPIE provides advanced technical services and solutions to local authorities and businesses to design, build, operate and maintain their facilities.
SPIE's more than 29,000 employees work from nearly 400 locations in 30 countries and last year SPIE posted sales of EUR3.75 billion and operating income from ordinary activities of EUR172.9 million.
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