LIMOGES, France — Legrand today reported 2022 First Quarter results
Benoît Coquart, Legrand’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“Legrand reported solid results in the first quarter of 2022…
Sales rose a total of +17.8%. This increase was driven mainly by organic growth of +11.2%, a strong showing that reflected successful sales and marketing initiatives as well as effective management of supply chain pressures.
In a widespread inflationary context, adjusted operating margin held firm at 20.3% of sales, while net profit rose +13%.
The environment early this year has been particularly unstable. It is characterized by factors that predate 2022 and continue to apply, including inflation in production and operating expenses, reduced availability of raw materials and components, and continued pandemic restrictions in some countries. These are now amplified by fallout from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Yet despite these rising uncertainties, first-quarter results testify once again to the effectiveness of our business model aimed at creating profitable and responsible value. It is on this basis that Legrand has confirmed the annual targets announced in February1.
The Group also recently published its fifth CSR² roadmap which sets out Legrand’s commitment to achieving ambitious and concrete ESG targets.”
2022 full-year targets confirmed¹
In 2022, Legrand is pursuing its strategy of profitable and responsible development laid out in its strategic roadmap³.
Taking into account achievements in the first quarter of 2022 and the current macroeconomic outlook, Legrand has confirmed the full-year targets it set for 2022:
— growth in sales at constant exchange rates of between +5% and +11%, with (i) organic growth of between +3% and +7% and (ii) a scope of consolidation effect of between +2% and +4%;
— an adjusted operating margin of about 20% of sales, with (i) a margin of between 19.9% and 20.7% before acquisitions (at 2021 scope of consolidation) and (ii) dilution from acquisitions of between -20 and -40 basis points.
The Group also aims to reach around 100% of CSR achievement for the first year of its 2022-2024 roadmap, testifying to its bold and exemplary approach to ESG.
1 For more information, see Legrand press release dated February 10, 2022.
2 For more information, see Legrand press release dated March 29, 2022.
3 For more information, see Legrand press release dated September 22, 2021.
In the first quarter of 2022, sales rose a total of +17.8% from the same period of 2021 to reach €1,972 million.
Organic growth in sales was +11.2% for the quarter, including +10.1% in mature countries and +14.4% in new economies. This trend reflects active management of the supply chain, which has been under strong pressure since the third quarter of 2021, along with the success of various development initiatives and the Group’s pricing power.
The impact of the broader scope of consolidation was +3.2%. Based on acquisitions completed and their likely dates of consolidation, this impact should be close to +3% for the full year.
The exchange-rate effect on sales in the first quarter of 2022 was +2.6%. Based on average exchange rates in April 2022, the full-year exchange-rate effect on sales should be close to +3.5% in 2022.
Changes in sales by destination at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates broke down as follows by region:
These changes are analyzed below by geographical region:
— Europe (42.9% of Group revenue): organic growth was +12.9% in the first quarter of 2022.
In Europe’s mature countries (36.9% of Group revenue), sales rose +10.0% organically.
Sales in Europe’s new economies rose +31.2%, with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine having only a limited impact over the quarter. Together, these two countries accounted for around 2% of Group sales in full-year 2021.
— North and Central America (37.9% of Group revenue): sales increased +11.2% from the first quarter of 2021 at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates.
In the United States alone (34.7% of Group revenue), sales rose +11.1%. This increase was more particularly driven by marked growth in sales of non-residential applications.
Sales were also on the rise in both Canada and Mexico.
— Rest of the world (19.2% of Group revenue): sales marked an organic rise of +7.5% in the first quarter of 2022.
In Asia-Pacific (12.1% of Group revenue), the rise in sales was +8.1%. This reflects in particular a very significant increase in India, growth in Australia, and a decline in China.
In Africa and the Middle East (3.6% of Group revenue), sales were up +5.2%, linked to solid achievements in many African countries and a very slight uptick in the Middle East.
In South America (3.5% of Group revenue), sales rose +7.9%. With the exception of Brazil, where business declined, all main countries in the region reported strong growth in sales.
Adjusted operating profit and margin
Adjusted operating profit for the first quarter of 2022 stood at €401 million, up +11.1% from the first three months of 2021. This corresponds to an adjusted operating margin representing 20.3% of sales for the period.
Before acquisitions (at 2021 scope of consolidation), adjusted operating margin for the first quarter of 2022 was equal to 20.6% of sales, down -1.0 point compared with the first quarter of 2021, which was a demanding basis for comparison.
Amid a widespread inflationary environment (including a rise of around +18% for raw material and components in the first quarter of the year), this resistance reflects the Group’s mastery of its expenses and sales pricing.
Net profit attributable to the Group
Net profit attributable to the Group for the period was up +13.3% from the first quarter of 2021, totalling €258 million. This €30 million increase results primarily from:
— a rise in operating profit (+€38 million);
— an unfavourable trend (-€3 million) in financial and foreign-exchange results; and
— a rise in corporate income tax (-€5 million).
Cash generation and balance sheet structure
Cash flow from operations (€363 million) stood at 18.4% of first-quarter 2022 sales, down -0.4 points from the same period of 2021.
Normalized free cash flow came to 16.1% of sales or €318 million, a rise in value of +15.1% from the first quarter of 2021.
Free cash flow was 2.3% of sales for the three-month period, including in particular continued strengthened coverage of inventories to serve Group customers best.
The ratio of net debt to EBITDA¹ was 1.6 at March 31, 2022, and Standard and Poor’s confirmed Legrand’s A- rating with stable outlook in March 2022.
ESG commitment and ambitions: fifth CSR roadmap unveiled, covering 2022-2024
On March 29, 2022, Legrand held a virtual ESG event for investors².
On this occasion, the Group unveiled more particularly its fifth CSR roadmap, aimed at amplifying its impact through a four-pillar action plan with 15 strategic priorities³ that contribute to 10 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Key topics in this new 2022-2024 roadmap are aimed at (i) reducing Legrand’s carbon footprint, (ii) promoting diversity and inclusion, (iii) developing the circular economy, and (iv) pursuing initiatives as a responsible business.
Buoyed by an integrated approach to performance, starting with executive and management compensation, and backed by exemplary governance, Legrand’s approach to ESG is in keeping with its strategic roadmap4 and medium-term financial targets.
Changes to the Board of Directors5
At the proposal of the Nomination and Governance Committee and following the approval of the Board of Directors, the nomination of Florent Menegaux as independent Director will be put to shareholders at the annual Combined Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 25, 2022. Mr. Menegaux is Chief Executive Officer of Michelin and is backed by a proven track record as head of a major listed industrial company.
The Board of Directors would thus be made up of 83% independent Directors and 42% women, as well as five different nationalities, remaining one of the Boards with the industry’s best practices.
As announced on February 10, 2022, Legrand’s Board of Directors will ask the General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 25, 2022 to approve the payment of a dividend of €1.65 per share in respect of 2021. This represents a rise of +16.2% from 2020 and a payout ratio, in line with the Group’s mid-term targets, of nearly 50%. The ex-dividend date is May 30, 2022, with payment6 on June 1, 2022.