A new era is opening for Faurecia. One of the two major French automotive suppliers, along with Valeo, a specialist in key passenger compartment parts (seats, cockpit) and engine components, will enter its first year freed from its historic shareholder: PSA. The latter, now married to Fiat Chrysler in Stellantis, is preparing to distribute, on March 8, its share of the capital (39%) to all the shareholders of the new group. The CEO of Faurecia, Patrick Koller, made, on the occasion of his investor day, Monday February 22, the update on the state of the tricolor company, on the eve of its empowerment.
First step: the publication of the results of this harsh year 2020. Because the new Faurecia starts with the liabilities of the crisis linked to Covid-19: a net loss of 379 million euros and a turnover down by 20% , to 14.7 billion euros. Except that on a closer look, 2020 has been cut in half. The catastrophic first half of 2020 followed six months of recovery, during which the company found its colors.
The phenomenon is striking when one examines the generation of cash, a favorite indicator of the financial markets. It was – 1 billion euros in the first part of the year, then + 1 billion and a few million in the second half. ” Being able to be very slightly positive in cash in 2020 shows that Faurecia is able to cope with a 20% drop in activity ”, congratulates Mr Koller.
But 2020 is over. The year 2021 is inevitably significant for the equipment manufacturer, who says goodbye to its sole owner, replaced by a host of shareholders, who will be free to leave the ship after six months. However, according to Patrick Koller, they do not seem in a hurry to leave. According to him, with 5.5% of the capital, Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family, would benefit for some time from the financial fallout from its new investment and neither the Chinese Dongfeng (2.2%) nor the French state (2.4%) should not budge. “We are optimistic that the Peugeot family [3,2 %] stay and maybe invest more ”, he emphasizes.
Mostly intact financial capacities
“What is changing is that we now have more leeway in particular to seize opportunities for external growth, continues the director general. When PSA was our reference shareholder, its strategic agenda was naturally required. “ Emancipation materialized by the departure of the three directors of PSA from the board of directors, now 80% of independent members. The company has only carried out one renewal with the entry of EDF boss Jean-Bernard Lévy on February 19.
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