Fincantieri: approved the results at 30 September 2020


12/11/2020 - 21:10

Rome, November 12, 2020 - The Board of Directors of FINCANTIERI S.p.A. ("Fincantieri" or the "Company"), chaired by Giampiero Massolo, has examined and approved the interim financial information at September 30, 2020.
Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri's Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Results at September 30 mirror the adversities, faced by the world economy and by Fincantieri as well, of one of the most challenging periods in history. The mere numerical comparison with the same period last year should not be considered relevant, with 2020 being a truly unprecedented year. Moving past the results, I want to highlight our ability to look forward, securing stability and work for the next years for our shareholders and stakeholders. The cruise industry is gradually recovering, as it should be, and that validates our strategy that has allowed us to preserve our backlog, keeping production visibility up to 2027/2028. As for the naval business, in addition to the recent prestigious order for the US Navy, we are currently negotiating with different countries to export FREMM frigates. Besides, we are also reaching pivotal milestones in innovative business areas with remarkable prospects, namely in infrastructures and within the context of cutting-edge products and services.

Bono concluded “In the meantime, we implemented strict measures to safeguard our workers, the real asset of our Group, applying several protocols that contained infections within our sites. Furthermore, I must acknowledge the commitment embraced by the entire staff, working enthusiastically to cope with this challenging situation meanwhile ensuring a thriving future for the Group.”

Revenues in the first nine months of 2020 were at euro 3,534 million, down by 16.2% compared to the same period last year. The performance was considerably affected by COVID-19 outbreak, mainly during the first semester. To respond to the health emergency, the Group has deemed necessary to suspend all activities in the Group's Italian plants and shipyards to protect its resources, ahead of the Government’s emergency regulations, and to gradually resume them only after all the strict safety protocols had been implemented.

Fincantieri revised then its production program following deliveries rescheduling. Such dynamics, mainly related to the Shipbuilding segment, resulted both in a loss of 3.1 million production hours, in comparison to the amount originally planned – of which 2.7 million attributable to the first semester only – and in lower revenues for euro 945 million (euro 790 million concerning the first half of the year). The production value downturn was also partly attributable to the negative impact (euro 42 million) of the conversion to Euro of foreign subsidiaries revenues, originally recorded in Norwegian Krone. It is note worth to mention that 85% of total revenues comes from foreign clients (81% at September 30, 2019).

Group EBITDA at September 30, 2020 stood at euro 200 million (euro 306 million at September 30, 2019), with an EBITDA margin of 5.7%, up from 5.0% first semester margin (7.3% at September 30, 2019). The shortfall in EBITDA of about euro 71 million (of which 6 million concerning Q3) is attributable to the aforementioned facts. Such a shortage in EBITDA is attributable to the Shipbuilding segment for euro 51 million (euro 48 million attributable to the first semester only) and to the Equipment, Systems and Services segment  for euro 20 million (euro 17 million for the first semester only). The latter was also negatively impacted by the different combination of products and services delivered during the period. Offshore and Specialized Vessels’ EBITDA was largely at breakeven as a result of the reorganization plan launched in 2019.

The slowdown of production for the period resulted in lower revenues for euro 820 million, of which euro 644 million for the Cruise segment and euro 176 million for the Naval segment. The above came as a consequence of the Italian operations downtime, the production plan reconfiguration and the gradual ramp up, affected by the implementation of the new safety protocols (-3.1 million production hours – compared to the total hours originally planned – in particular 2.7 million attributable exclusively to the first semester).

Production value in the cruise shipbuilding, down by 15.7%11 compared to the same period last year, accounted for 57% of the Group’s revenues (58% at September 30, 2019) while the naval vessels business area, which recorded a 22.7% fall in revenues, accounted for 21% of the Group’s revenues (23% at September 30, 2019).

EBITDA of the segment at September 30, 2020 amounted to euro 191 million (euro 327 million at September 30, 2019), with an EBITDA margin of 6.2%, up from the first semester 5.7% (8.7% at September 30, 2019). The slowdown of the Italian cruise and naval shipbuilding projects affected the segment profitability, leading to a lower EBITDA contribution of about euro 51 million (euro 48 million concerning the only first semester). It is also worth to mention that Vard Cruise is substantially at break-even as a result of the reorganization plan launched in 2019 that also included a review of the estimated costs at completion in backlog Offshore and Specialized Vessels revenues at September 30, 2020 stood at euro 271 million, in line with the same period of 2019 despite the negative impact of changes in the Euro/Norwegian Krone exchange rate (euro 19 million), due to the conversion of Norwegian subsidiaries financial statements. The strategic decisions taken to countervail the impacts of production slowdown, due to the pandemic outbreak, allowed the segment to preserve its production plan.

EBITDA of the segment at September 30, 2020 was at break-even (negative for euro 48 million at September 30, 2019) as a result of the reorganization plan, launched by the Group’s management in 2019, including as well a review of the estimated costs at completion of the projects in backlog. Revenues of the Equipment, Systems and Services segment, at euro 591 million, are consistent with the growth trend marking an increase of 1.6% when compared to the first nine months of last year, notwithstanding the operations shutdown in Italy leading to a revenues postponement of approximately euro 201 million. The performance is the result of the Group’s diversification strategy in infrastructures, IT (electronics and cybersecurity), cruise ship complete accommodation, and systems, components and after-sales services.

EBITDA of the segment at September 30, 2020 amounted to euro 37 million (euro 55 million at September 30, 2019), with an EBITDA margin of 6.3% (9.5% at September 30, 2019). Profitability reduction reflects the postponement of production programs, resulting in a lower EBITDA contribution of euro 20 million (euro 17 million attributable to 2020 first half), in addition to the different combination of products and services delivered during the period – compared to the ones offered in the first nine months last year. 

Net fixed capital was at euro 1,878 million (euro 1,905 million at December 31, 2019), down by euro 27 million. Net working capital was positive at euro 366 million (negative at euro 125 million at December 31,2019). The main variations include i) the increase in Inventories and advances (euro 77 million), mainly due to the production slowdown, ii) the increase in Trade receivables (euro 376 million), due to the invoicing of the last installment of a cruise ship to be delivered in quarter four and of few installments due for the Qatari program and iii) the decrease in Trade payables (euro 260 million), mainly due to the lower production volumes of the period. 
Construction loans, dedicated credit instruments used for the exclusive financing of the project they are referred to, amounted to euro 1,008 million, with an increase of euro 197 million compared to December 31, 2019. Of these, euro 800 million were related to the Parent Company and euro 208 million to the subsidiary VARD.

Net financial position reported a net debt balance of euro 1,425 million (euro 736 million in net debt at December 31, 2019). The change is consistent with the working capital cycle typical of the cruise shipbuilding business, intensified by the rescheduling of two deliveries in quarter four, and by the partial cash-in of expected trade receivables. The deferrals granted to the clients fall within the Group’s strategy to preserve the sizable backlog, as well as to further strengthen the relationship with ship owners, now committed to improve the efficiency of their fleets also through new ships, fully compliant with the demanding environmental, health and safety standards in force. The increase in funding requirements was only partially offset by the lower production volumes led by the Italian operations downtime.

The planned deliveries mirror the agreements finalized to date with our clients, and take into account an expected full resumption of production activities and a consistent availability of our supplier network.

The Group's activities to date are running regularly although they continue to suffer from the implementation of the new safety protocols that have allowed a timely identification of COVID-19 cases, which affected approximately 3% of the people employed in the Group's Italian sites, thus limiting its spread. By agreement with local authorities, the Company is currently performing selective screening tests (antigen/molecular tests)  for COVID-19 in several of its Italian production sites. The tests are aimed at detecting asymptomatic COVID19 cases among direct and indirect personnel. Group’s operations, conducted in a context of high uncertainty, may however be impacted by the developments of COVID-19 outbreak, whose relapses are, as of today, not foreseeable.

In the Cruise business area, it should be noted that, after having delivered the 100th cruise ship, “Enchanted Princess”, on September 30, and the cruise ship “Silver Moon” at the end of October, the Company will be engaged in the delivery of the 6th cruise ship, “Costa Firenze”, meeting its commitments for 2020. In the Naval business area, the programs for the Qatari Ministry of Defense and for the renewal of the Italian Navy fleet are ongoing, aiming to recover the slowdowns caused by the lockdown and by the phased resumption of the production activities. Operations at foreign shipyards have not been interrupted, consistently with local governments’ guidelines on COVID-19, although there have been moderate delays affecting the ongoing projects.

The Group has a sound funding capacity through liquidity and credit lines, enough to support Fincantieri from the current situation and its foreseeable developments in the medium term, also thanks to the new loan, granted by a pool of national and international banks, whose value amounts to euro 1.15 billion. The loan, with a maturity of four years, two of which of pre-amortization, is guaranteed by SACE pursuant to the Law Decree no. 23 of April 8, 2020 (“Liquidity Decree”).

The cruise industry has long shown its remarkable resilience. After more than 7 months, on October 30, 2020, in the United States, the CDC12 lifted the “No Sail Order”, releasing simultaneously a “Framework for Conditional Sailing”13 according to which the resumption of passenger operations is subject to the implementation of tight new health and safety protocols. As for the Italian market, no suspension is currently required by the regulation, but rather the adoption of specific new guidelines. CLIA14 members have nevertheless agreed to extend the voluntary suspension of all cruise activities until December 31, 2020. This additional time will be used to implement the new safety protocols to safeguard the health of passengers and crew members, as well as to plan a safe, gradual ramp up of cruise operations.

As anticipated with 2020 first half results, on the medium-long run, the Group will be involved in developing the considerable workload acquired while converting the remarkable soft backlog into confirmed orders. Backlog preservation, pursued through a consolidated relationship with its clients, and the Group’s ability to meet the challenges of global markets through its diversification strategy, both suggest that the Group willresume the growth, profitability and margins embedded in the current backlog. With reference to the diversification strategy, it should be noted that the Group has strengthened its position in the infrastructures sector through new acquisitions and new important partnerships, such as the recent multi-year agreement signed among Fincantieri NexTech, Autostrade Tech, a company of Autostrade per l’Italia Group (Aspi), and IBM. This agreement entails the implementation, sale, and joint maintenance of an innovative system for the monitoring and safeness on highway infrastructures, which will come into operation on Aspi infrastructure network by the end of this month.

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