January 30, 2012 12:00 AM
Cegelec, former division of Alcatel, but Alstom, then held successively by several investment funds, well through the crisis. It is true that this discrete electrical engineering company has since the end of the month of October of a good basis, as it is now the property of the Qatar sovereign Fund, this type of shareholders being known for their long term investment. On the economic front, the Group recorded last year increased by 13.1 of its operating income, EUR 157 million. And its turnover increased by 3.1 on a comparable basis to 3 billion, while its order book grew by 13 to 3.22 billion.
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"The year 2008 very well went", explains the "Echos" its President, Claude Darmon, at the headquarters of the Group at Saint-Denis, with views of the France stage. This multi-skilled of sixty-six years, at the head of the company since 2001, is currently Director of 25,000 people, who work in industry, infrastructure and tertiary. It should pass the torch of his presidency in the next six months: "It is not wrong to renew the management and teams", he says with a smile. But the choice of his successor will be up to the sovereign funds.
For the time being, Claude Darmon shows relatively serene Outlook arising for 2009 once is not custom in the current economic universe. "Our sales should increase by 3 to 4 over the period and our orders should remain stable." "In our operational result, it should register in slight increase," he insists.
Cegelec should take advantage of its takeover by Qatari Diar, a subsidiary of the sovereign funds of the Qatar specialized in real estate, which has developed since its creation in 2005 a portfolio of over 40 projects in 20 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. "This Fund will help us to develop in the Middle East, but in France, also in the Morocco or elsewhere...". "In addition, they will bring its support for the various projects of the Qatar", said Claude Darmon.
The sovereign wealth Fund has, moreover, deep pockets, taking advantage of oil rents and could help Cegelec for acquisitions of significant size. But for smaller external growth operations, the group can count on its own forces: last year, and released a free cash flow of EUR 213 million. He also conducted the acquisition of 8 companies in France, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands, representing a year full of additional EUR 75 million turnover.
In addition, the Fund did not 100 of the capital of Cegelec, but in has left 18 to almost a third of the staff. And, next June, 2 of the shares will be proposed this time in all of the employees, by means of a common fund of business investment. Another measure which should support the society: its willingness further internationalisation. It is, for the moment, 54 of its turnover in France, 30 in Europe and 16 in the "emerging" markets, a share that it wants to increase to 25 in the next four years. More developing countries where it is already present: Algeria, Morocco, Cameroon, Angola, Brazil, Indonesia, China... Or by entering in new promising areas, such as the Viet Nam.
In addition, the Group focuses on areas that are doing well, namely energy (renovations of nuclear power plants, waste treatment, the wind...), health (hospitals, retirement... homes), maintenance. Which compensates for difficulties in steel or automotive, where it is not present, but also the construction sector. Finally, Claude Darmon has decided to sell turnkey projects, including in the field of wind energy, photovoltaic, plants to gas, Hydro... Programs of size medium that linked to boost turnover.