Boulogne-Billancourt, 26 October 2018
Operating results at end-September 2018
Given the major changes in Arjowiggins' reporting structure in 2018 and in 2017, the operating data presented and analysed hereinafter have been restated without the contribution of the businesses sold (or in the process of being sold) over these two periods, in accordance with IFRS 5.
Consequently, the operating data presented and analysed below represent only the operations of Antalis (75.2%-controlled by Sequana), Arjowiggins' residual activity (Arjobex) and Sequana overheads.
Key operating indicators
||Jan – Sept 2018(3)||
Jan – Sept 2017(3)
|Antalis EBITDA margin||2.9%||3.4%||-0.5 points|
|Other activities(2) & operating costs||(4.6)||(6.7)||NA|
|Consolidated EBITDA margin||2.6%||2.9%||- 0.3 points|
|Current operating income||28.0||38.3(4)||- 26.9%|
|Current operating margin (% of sales)||1.6%||2.1%||-0.5 points|
(1) Recurring operating income before depreciation and amortisation and excluding movements in provisions.
(2) Other activities correspond to Arjowiggins' residual activity and Sequana overheads.
(3) The Arjowiggins Security, Graphic and Creative Papers divisions have been reclassified in discontinued operations in the 9M 2018 and comparative 9M 2017 financial statements in accordance with IFRS 5.
(4) Includes a €2.3 million gain arising on a change to a pension plan carried on Antalis' books.
Consolidated 9M 2018 sales were €1,759 million, down 2.1% year-on-year (and down 0.5% at constant exchange rates).
EBITDA was €46 million (down 15.6%), compared with €53 million in the first nine months of 2017. The EBITDA margin rate was down by 0.3 points to 2.6%.
Current operating income was €28 million, a decline of 26.9% on the €38 million reported for the first nine months of 2017, which included a €2.3 million gain arising on a change to a pension plan carried on Antalis' books. The current operating margin came in 0.5 points lower at 1.6% of sales.
Antalis operating performance
During the third quarter - which traditionally witnesses lower sales – volumes in the paper distribution market continued to decline markedly, notably due to selling price increases driven by spiralling paper pulp prices, which weigh on consumption.
In this context, Antalis' performance in the Papers sector was in line with the market although higher value-added printing papers posted better overall performances. The good sales momentum in the Packaging sector continued through Q3 2018 and helped to partially offset the decline in Papers volumes.
In the nine months through end-September 2018, Antalis delivered sales of €1,730 million, down 0.3% at constant exchange rates, days and perimeter (and down 2.2% on a reported basis). The unfavourable FX impact amounted to €28 million and mainly related to sterling and the Swiss franc.
EBITDA for the first nine months of the year came in at €50 million, down 13.0% at constant exchange rates, days and perimeter (and down 15.6% on a reported basis). This figure includes €2 million related to the negative forex impact and the impact of less working days. The EBITDA margin rate was down by 0.5 points to 2.9%. The negative forex and calendar impacts and the decline in Papers volumes were partially offset by an improved product mix.
In light of its operating performance trends through 30 September, Antalis confirms that, at constant perimeter and exchange rates, it should record a low single-digit decrease in sales when compared with FY 2017 and deliver an EBITDA margin of between 3.0% and 3.4% for full-year 2018.
Moreover, given the current context of declining volumes in the paper market, the distribution sector is undergoing consolidation and Antalis intends to leverage its leading position to play a role in this process.
Key events in the first nine months of the year
The process of selling the Graphic and Creative Papers businesses which was announced on 9 June 2018 is continuing apace and should be completed before the end of Q4 2018.
Moreover, as regards the litigation between Sequana and British American Tobacco (BAT), the Company is still awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeal in London which should be handed down before the end of Q4 2018.
Sequana (Euronext Paris: SEQ) is a major player in the paper industry, boasting leading positions in each of its two businesses:
Sequana reported sales of €2.8 billion in 2017 and employed some 7,800 people worldwide.