LEGRAND: 2012 annual results:

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:05am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.



Very good performances despite a difficult economic environment

* Sales: +5.1% 
* Net income excluding minorities: +5.6% 
* Free cash flow: +20% 
* Dividend: +7.5%, €1.00 per share

Ongoing self-financed strengthening of group positions

* New economies: 38% of 2012 sales vs. 35% in 2011 
* External growth: 4 acquisitions announced in 2012

LIMOGES, France--(Business Wire)--
Regulatory News: 

Legrand (Paris:LR) 

On the closing of full-year accounts for 2012, Gilles Schnepp, Legrand Chairman
and CEO commented on group results, fundamentals and targets:

"Solid 2012 financial performances

Despite the generally lackluster economic environment, Legrand`s solid 2012
performances demonstrated once again the quality of the group`s self-financed
business model and its capacity to create value over the long term:

* Sales were €4.5 billion, up 5.1% in total, with sales in new economies rising
13.5%. Growth driven by broader scope of consolidation linked to acquisitions
contributed 4.5% of the total, the exchange-rate effect was +1.9%, and
organic(1) growth in sales was -1.4%;
* Adjusted operating income came to €874 million, or 19.6% of sales (19.9%
excluding acquisitions), illustrating the quality of Legrand`s commercial
positions, its ability to keep pricing management under control, the
effectiveness of its ongoing productivity initiatives, and its capacity to
* Free cash flow stood at €627 million, or 14.0% of sales, thanks to good
operating performance and rigorous management of capital employed.

Considering the group`s 2012 achievements, and in particular its net income of
€506 million-a record high-the Board of Directors will ask the General Meeting
of shareholders to approve a dividend of €1.00 per share, up 7.5%, payable on
June 3, 2013(2).

(1) Organic: at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates 

(2) Ex-dividend date: May 29, 2013 

Ongoing self-financed strengthening of group positions

In 2012, Legrand actively pursued self-financed expansion and strengthened its
market positions through:

* numerous new-product launches in new economies, as well as in the United
States and other mature countries;
* acquisition of four companies in markets with high potential, all with leading
positions or technological expertise.

More generally, during the year Legrand strengthened its positions in new
economies, which now account for 38% of its sales compared with 35% in 2011, and
in the United States, which became the second-largest country contributing to
group sales in 2012.

At the same time, new business segments represented 25% of sales in 2012
compared with 22% in 2011.

Legrand plans to maintain this momentum in 2013 by continuing to focus on
innovation and its acquisition strategy, particularly in the fastest-growing
markets and segments. In this respect, it has just announced the acquisition of
Seico, the Saudi leader in industrial metal cable trays.

2013 targets

Macro-economic forecasts for 2013 remain varied: possible acceleration in the
pace of growth in new economies in the course of the year, continued recovery in
residential construction in the United States, and continuing uncertainty for
trends in other mature economies. Against this backdrop and in an industry with
no order book, Legrand has set its 2013 targets for organic(1) growth in sales
at between -2% and +2% and for adjusted operating margin before acquisitions at
between 19% and 20% of sales.

Moreover Legrand will pursue its value-creating acquisition policy.

Medium-term targets confirmed

In recent years, Legrand has demonstrated the soundness of it business model. In
a stabilized macroeconomic environment, the group is confident in its capacity
to create value on a sustainable basis through profitable, self-financed growth
and confirms its medium-term targets(2).

(1) Organic: at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates 

(2) Total annual average growth in sales of 10% excluding exchange-rate effects
or major economic downturn, and average adjusted operating margin of 20%
including small and medium-size bolt-on acquisitions. 


Key figures

 Consolidated data (€ millions)       2011       2012        % change    
 Sales                                4,250.1    4,466.7     +5.1%       
 Adjusted operating income(1)         856.7      874.4       +2.1%       
 As % of sales                        20.2%      19.6%(2)                
 Operating income                     812.3      848.0       +4.4%       
 As % of sales                        19.1%      19.0%                   
 Net income excluding minorities      478.6      505.6       +5.6%       
 As % of sales                        11.3%      11.3%                   
 Free cash flow(3)                    522.7      627.0       +20.0%      
 As % of sales                        12.3%      14.0%                   
 Net financial debt at December 31    1,268.8    1,082.5     -14.7%      

(1) Operating income adjusted for amortization of revaluation of intangible
assets at the time of acquisitions and for expense/income relating to
acquisitions (€28.5 million in 2011 and 26.4 million in 2012) and, where
applicable, for impairment of goodwill (€15.9 million in 2011 and €0 million in

(2) 19.9% excluding acquisitions (at 2011 scope of consolidation). 

(3) Free cash flow is defined as the sum of net cash from operating activities
and net proceeds of sales of fixed assets less capital expenditure and
capitalized development costs. 

Results to December 31, 2012

Consolidated sales

Reported figures show a 5.1% year-on-year rise in sales to €4,466.7 million. 

Sales at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates declined 1.4%,
reflecting the less buoyant global economy in 2012. 

Changes in the scope of consolidation made a 4.5% growth contribution, while
exchange rates had a positive impact of 1.9%. 

Changes in sales by destination at constant scope of consolidation and exchange
rates broke down as follows by geographical region:

                         2012 / 2011    4th quarter 2012 / 4th quarter 2011  
 France                  -3.3%          -4.3%                                
 Italy                   -12.5%         -12.2%                               
 Rest of Europe          -2.2%          -2.2%                                
 United States/Canada    +5.3%          +10.3%                               
 Rest of the World       +2.5%          +2.2%                                
 Total                   -1.4%          -0.6%                                

- France: sales were down 3.3%, impacted by the less buoyant economy. Against
this backdrop, some market segments in which Legrand holds strong positions
reported growth, including wiring devices, emergency lighting, and
Voice-Data-Image systems. 

- Italy: Sales to distributors (sell-in) were down -12.5%, but downstream
sell-out of Legrand products by distributors (sell-out) remained higher than
sell-in by more than 3 points and thus stood at around -9%. 

Amid testing economic conditions that saw a deterioration in residential and
commercial markets, the group continued to benefit from its robust leadership
positions, especially in wiring devices and home systems. 

- Rest of Europe: Overall sales for the region were down 2.2%. Strong
performances in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands
partially offset continuing difficulties, especially in Southern Europe (Spain,
Portugal and Greece). 

More generally, new economies account for half of business in this region. 

- United States/Canada: Buoyed by strong showings in wiring devices, cable
management and home systems, sales rose 5.3%. The residential market, which had
declined for five years in a row and remains well below historic levels(1),
confirmed its recovery during the year and should continue to underpin group
business in the United States. Non-residential activity remained flat. By the
end of 2012, the United States became the second-largest contributor to group

- Rest of the World: Sales for the region as a whole show a rise of +2.5%, with
healthy growth in new economies in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. This
more than offset lower sales in mature countries (Australia and South Korea). 

Strengthened presence in new economies: Total sales in new economies grew nearly
13.5% for the year, or 3.6% at constant scope of consolidation and exchange
rates, with strong showings in Russia, India and China as well as Mexico, Chile
and Saudi Arabia. This healthy rise strengthens Legrand`s presence in these
fast-growing markets where it holds many leading positions, and thus
structurally improves its growth profile: new economies accounted for 38% of
group sales in 2012, up from 35% in 2011 and 17% a decade ago. 

Construction markets in mature countries: Construction volume in the mature
countries where Legrand operates is on average close to 30% lower than in
2007(2). The decrease is steeper in Southern Europe (Spain, Greece and Portugal)
where this substantial decline represents potential for a medium-term rally
although conditions for a recovery are not present in these markets. 

Continued expansion in new business segments: Digital infrastructures, energy
performance, home systems and wire-mesh cable management continued to expand,
underpinned by lasting changes in technology and society. In 2012, sales in
these new business segments accounted for 25% of total group sales, up from 22%
in 2011 and 10% a decade ago. 

Innovation and new product launches

In 2012 Legrand actively pursued its innovation effort-one of its growth
engines-spending close to 5% of sales on R&D and dedicating more than half of
its investments to new products, which accounted for 37% of sales. The group
thus launched many new products on every continent. These included the premium
Adorne wiring-device line in North America, the New Modus range of residential
wiring devices in Latin America, and the New Sfera video door-entry systems and
CCTV electronic security systems on international markets. 

The group has also continued to expand its existing offer by adding new
functions, in particular to wiring device ranges such as Céliane and Arteor, and
energy distribution offers such as Puissance3. In 2013 it will pursue its drive
for value-creating innovation. 

(1) 2012 volume in US residential construction spending was 40% below the
average recorded over the period 2002-2012, source: Global Insight 

(2) Residential and non residential construction spending, source: Global

Continued external growth

Legrand has pursued its strategy of targeted, self-financed acquisitions of
small and mid-size companies offering high growth potential and strong market
positions. Since January 2012, the group has announced five companies with total
annual acquired sales of over €180 million:

* Numeric UPS, India`s market leader in low- and medium-power UPS(1), 
* Aegide, market leader in Voice-Data-Image cabinets for data centers in the
Netherlands and a front-running European contender in this market, 
* Daneva, Brazil`s leader in connection accessories, 
* NuVo Technologies, a specialist in multi-room audio systems in the United
* Seico, the Saudi leader in industrial metal cable trays.

These companies have strengthened Legrand`s positions further on fast-growing
markets, notably in new economies (72% of acquired sales) and new business
segments (72% of acquired sales). 

Based on previously announced acquisitions and their consolidation dates,
changes in the scope of consolidation should boost growth in consolidated sales
by around 2% in 2013. 

In all, since the end of 2004 Legrand has acquired 32 businesses with leading
positions or proven technological expertise. Taken together, they represent
annual sales of €1.1 billion at the time of purchase. 

Vigorous cash generation and enhancement of the balance-sheet structure

Thanks to good operational performance, in line with targets, and to rigorous
management of capital employed, free cash flow rose 20% in 2012, amounting to
€627 million, or 14% of sales. This strong generation of free cash flow confirms
the relevance of Legrand`s business model, which allows it to create value
through profitable, self-financed growth, even in a lackluster economic

In 2012 Legrand continued to strengthen its already sound balance-sheet
structure, whose rating by Standard & Poor`s was raised to A- with a stable
outlook in February 2012. 

During the year, the group also continued to diversify its sources of financing,
in particular with a new €400 million bond issue maturing in April 2022 and thus
extended the average maturity of its gross debt to around 8 years. 


The Board adopted audited consolidated financial statements for 2012 at its
meeting on February 13, 2013. These statements, a presentation of 2012 annual
results and the related teleconference (live and replay) are available at

Key financial dates

* 2013 first-quarter results: May 7, 2013
* General meeting of shareholders: May 24, 2013
* Ex-dividend date: May 29, 2013
* Dividend payment: June 3, 2013
* 2013 first-half results: August 1, 2013


Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building
infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial,
industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide.
Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value and
acquisitions are prime vectors for growth. Legrand reported sales of close to
€4.5 billion in 2012. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext and is a component
stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI and DJSI (ISIN
code FR0010307819). www.legrand.com

(1) Uninterruptible Power Supply

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