For more than a year, the world has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Border closings, travel restrictions, confinement, bans on public opening… The health crisis abruptly disrupted economic activities and caused a demand shock.
Some of our customers have seen their businesses collapse. Many sites have closed or have not yet returned to their original activity or occupancy levels. The transport, hotel, leisure and cultural sectors have been and remain particularly affected. This meant that our Group was faced with major challenges in 2020.
A quick and efficient response to an unprecedented crisis
2020 was a difficult and intense year, but also positive in many ways. The ongoing pandemic first of all reminded us of the essential nature of our business lines. Without effective cleaning and disinfection of living and working areas, without the implementation and strict application of regulatory health protocols, our customers would not have been able to carry out any activity. Our business lines are helping to combat the spread of the epidemic and are enabling many essential sectors to function – industry, transport, health, education, distribution… We can be proud of this.
“The Group’s ability to meet the immense challenge of Covid-19 demonstrates the solidity of our model and reinforces our strategy and our ambitions.”
Reinforced ambition and strategy
Our goal is for Atalian to become a leader in Facility Management, structured and managed as a blue chip company, positioned at the forefront of its industry. 2020 saw a clear and visible contribution to this objective.
The health and economic crisis didn’t call into question the Group’s strategy and the earnings commitments made in early 2020. On the contrary, it strengthened them. The 3 pillars of our 2020-2022 strategy – namely strong and profitable growth, improved operational performance, debt reduction – and the announced objectives remain unchanged:
- The growth of our activities, the 1st pillar of our strategy, was inevitably impacted in 2020. We nevertheless managed to limit the business decline to –8.2% (–3.7% like for like) thanks to our strengthened sales organisation, the roll-out of new Covid-19 labelled offers, and the inflow of new customers. Given the severity of the current crisis, the modest decline is a testimony to the Group’s solid fundamentals. Moreover, our recurring growth potential remains absolutely intact. Our assets remain very strong and we are still perfectly positioned to make the most of the growth opportunities that will present themselves as soon as the effects of the health crisis subside.
- Our operational performance, the 2nd pillar of our 2020-2022 strategy, improved significantly in all of our regions. Thanks to the local and regional initiatives of our subsidiaries, our recurring EBITDA increased by 5.5% (+12.7% like for like) along with a margin improvement of +1%.
- Reducing the Group’s debt and improving our leverage ratio, the 3rd pillar of our strategic plan, is continuing. The objective of a Net debt to EBIDTA ratio equal to or lower than 4 by 2022 is maintained. Divestments were carried out with others to come, if appropriate, while the injection of equity capital into the Group remains a topical issue. Despite a very difficult context, the Group therefore achieved very good performances. This collective success necessarily involves all of our employees.