1 July 2020 by Steve Eminton

SUEZ sees improvement amid sales rumours

Water, waste and environmental business SUEZ has reported an “overall improvement” in business trends in June compared to the low point of April/May in most regions in which it operates.

The Paris-headquartered company issued a business update yesterday (30 June) which coincided with a report in financial publication, Bloomberg, that SUEZ is preparing to sell some of its waste businesses on the Continent.

Asked about the Bloomberg article, SUEZ told letsrecycle.com that it did not comment on “rumours”.  The publication claims that the utility company is working with advisers on the potential disposal of waste management businesses in Germany and the BeNeLux countries as well as Sweden. The SUEZ UK operations are not mentioned in the article.

Disposals were referred to by SUEZ in February this year. Referencing its “Shaping SUEZ 2030” programme in the financial results for 2019, chief financial officer, Julian Waldron in a presentation under the heading “Disposals”, noted that all projects had been launched, with “two main waves expected, including wave 1 this year”.

Resilience

Bertrand Camus, SUEZ CEO, praised the company’s teams for their efforts during the pandemic

This week Bertrand Camus, chief executive officer of SUEZ,  praised the company’s teams for their work and resilience during the COVD-19 pandemic – the company has also issued a video about its workforce’s role during the pandemic (pictured above on YouTube).

In the Business Update, he said that the focus remains on the company’s deployment of “our Shaping SUEZ 2030 strategy in the current context and will accelerate some aspects of our transformation.”

Mr Camus continued: “We will speed up where appropriate the restructuring of our activities, restart aspects of our businesses differently and exit more quickly from noncore activities.”

Rotation

The 2030 strategy (issued last year) has the “rotation of assets” among its ambitions which is thought to be a reference to the disposal of some assets and the purchase or other assets or carrying out investments. This will involve a 15-20% portfolio rotation, the company has said.

Under the aims of the strategy, “Recycling & Recovery” is included as one of SUEZ’ three business segments and there is also mention of the industrial sector as a particular target.

UK volumes

In the 30 June Business Update, the company said that in the UK, “volumes have started to pick-up but exit from lockdown is still partial”. Suez added: “In Continental Europe, activity is close to 2019 levels. Landfill volumes in France are down by around -2%. Germany and the Netherlands resisted quite well throughout crisis.”

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