Solvay fourth quarter and full-year 2022 results
Record 2022 Sales, EBITDA, Cash and ROCE driven by higher prices and sustained demand
- Net sales for the full year 2022 were up +25.6% organically to €13.4 billion versus 2021, with 24.4% driven by pricing and 1.2% driven by volume growth, particularly in Materials. In the fourth quarter, net sales increased +15.2% organically versus Q4 2021 with pricing up +21.1% and volumes down -5.9%, as sustained volume growth in Materials was more than offset by softer market demand in Solutions and Chemicals.
- Pricing measures of €2.6 billion more than offset the €1.6 billion impact from variable cost inflation resulting in a net pricing benefit of €1.0 billion for the year, with €268 million of net price benefit in Q4.
- Structural cost savings for the full year 2022 amounted to €79 million, bringing total structural savings since 2019 to €467 million, or 93% of the 2024 target of €500 million.
- Underlying EBITDA increased +28.7% organically versus full year 2021, setting a new record at €3,229 million. EBITDA in the fourth quarter grew +18.7% organically driven mainly by pricing, volumes and mix.
- Underlying net profit amounted to €1,743 million, up 67.6% compared to 2021.
- Record annual free cash flow generation of €1,094 million reflecting higher profits, margin expansion and working capital discipline, and this is despite a +39% increase in capital investments to €1,022 million for the year.
- Continued strengthening of the balance sheet with reduced net debt (€358 million) and provisions (€503 million) brought the leverage ratio to an historic low of 1.1x.
- ROCE for 2022 reached a record level at 16.0% versus 11.4% in 2021, 6.9% in 2020, and 8.1% in 2019.
Total proposed dividend increase of €0.20 to €4.05 per share, reflective of the record performance, subject to Shareholders’ approval during the next Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 9, 2023.
“I am particularly proud of the significant progress we are making in ESG and the new financial records we have set. I applaud Solvay teams for their drive, dedication, and high level of engagement – and we will be rewarding our people and our shareholders in line with these achievements. This performance has further strengthened our balance sheet, enabling us to navigate current headwinds. We have established a strong foundation and look forward to the next step in our journey as we plan to separate into two strong companies in December of this year.”
Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO
In the context of the current macro environment, we expect volumes to be softer in certain key markets. As a result full-year underlying EBITDA is currently estimated between -3% and -9% versus 2022. Free Cash Flow is estimated at around €750 million reflecting the current cycle of growth investments that is underway.