Volumes of waste processed by Suez in the UK and Scandinavia grew 1.9% in the first quarter of 2017, due mainly to the recent commissioning of its three new energy-from-waste (EfW) plants.
But finalising construction of these plants – in Wilton, Severnside and Cornwall – had a negative impact on revenue for the region. UK revenue in Q1 2017 was €239m (£202m) compared with €263m (£222m) in Q1 2016, a drop of 9.1%. The figures were released in parent company Suez Group’s first quarter 2017 results.
Jean-Louis Chaussade, Group chief executive, said: “Our business in the first quarter is encouraging. Revenue growth posted by the recycling and recovery Europe division was particularly strong, fuelled by the rebound in raw materials prices and the increase in treated volumes.”
The report showed that revenues in the division were “up sharply” by 7.4%. The company attributed this mainly to the “marked increase in the price of secondary raw materials”.
It said performance “was notably driven by a substantial positive price effect on secondary raw materials, particularly scrap metals and paper, up 64% and 22%, respectively, compared with 2016”. If adjusted for this impact, the business said revenue would have risen 2.6%.
The Suez Group’s EBITDA at the end of March stood at €614m against €574m the previous year, up 7.1%. Overall revenue for the Group was €3,721m at 31 March 2017 compared with €3,555m in 2016, a positive gross revenue change of 4.7%.
The depreciation of sterling against the euro had a negative effect on the Group’s revenue (-€27m), but this was offset against positive foreign exchange rates experienced with the Chilean peso, Australian dollar and US dollar.
The Group’s net financial debt was €8.1bn compared with €8bn at the end of 2016.