Thales reports its 2021 half-year results

Thales reports its 2021 half-year results

  • Order intake: €8.2 billion, up 35% (+37% on an organic basis1)
  • Sales: €8.4 billion, up 8.7% (+9.8% on an organic basis)
  • EBIT2: €768 million, up 121% (+119% on an organic basis)
  • Adjusted net income, Group share2: €591 million, up 155%
  • Consolidated net income, Group share: €433 million, up 565%
  • Free operating cash flow2: €420 million
  • 2021 sales target upgraded: sales now expected between €17.5 billion and €18.0 billion3

Thales’s Board of Directors (Euronext Paris: HO) met on 22 July 2021 to review the financial statements for the first half of 20214.

“Thales’s H1 2021 results recorded a sharp rebound, once again demonstrating the resilience of our business model and the relevance of the strategic choices - both technological and industrial - implemented.
Commercial momentum was especially strong in space, defense and cybersecurity.
On a pro forma basis, EBIT was already close to its 2019 level. The robust improvement in Transport and Digital Identity and Security (DIS – formerly Gemalto) almost entirely offset the steep decline in Aerospace, which remained affected by the consequences of the health crisis on the civil aeronautics market.
Free operating cash flow was well ahead of plan.
These results illustrate the commitment and professionalism of Thales teams, whom I want to thank warmly.
Given the robustness of growth over the first months of 2021, we are raising our sales target for the year. We now expect sales of between €17.5 billion and €18 billion.
The world of tomorrow requires digital solutions contributing to a safer, more sustainable, and more inclusive world, which widens the scope of growth opportunities for Thales. All Group teams are mobilized to support our customers in this transformation.”  
Patrice Caine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Key figures

H1 2021 key figures
H1 2021 key figures

Order intake in the first half of 2021 totalled €8,244 million, up 35% from H1 2020 (+37% on an organic basis, i.e., at constant scope and exchange rates). The Group continued to benefit from strong commercial momentum during the second quarter, especially in Defense & Security and Space. At 30 June 2021, the consolidated order book stood at €34.6 billion, a new all-time record.

Sales totalled €8,423 million, up 8.7% from H1 2020, and up 9.8% at constant scope and exchange rates. The increase in sales reflects the sharp rebound in most of the businesses that were affected by the health crisis in 2020, with the exception of civil aeronautics and biometrics.

In the first half of 2021, the Group posted EBIT of €768 million (9.1% of sales), compared to €348 million (4.5% of sales) in H1 2020, a rise of 121% (119% on an organic basis).

At €591 million, the adjusted net income, Group share was up by 155%.

Consolidated net income, Group share came to €433 million, up sharply compared to H1 2020, boosted by the strong increase in adjusted net income.

Free operating cash flow7 was €420 million, versus -€471 million in H1 2020, on the back of the recovery in profitability, the internal measures implemented, and a reduced seasonality of WCR. Net debt stood at €2,496 million at 30 June 2021, a decrease of €1,432 million year-on-year.

Order intake

H1 2021 order intake
H1 2021 order intake

H1 2021 order intake amounted to €8,244 million, up 35% compared to H1 2020 (+37% at constant scope and exchange rates). The book-to-bill ratio was 0.98 versus 0.78 in H1 2020. Over 12 months, it worked out at a high 1.17.

In H1 2021, Thales booked 7 large orders with a unit value of over €100 million, for a total amount of €1,705 million (€560 million in H1 2020):

  • 4 large orders booked in Q1 2021:
    • two contracts related to the supply of Rafale aircraft to Greece and France
    • the new generation of the Franco-Italian SAMP/T NG ground-based air defense system
    • SATRIA, a telecommunications satellite aimed at reducing the digital divide in Indonesia
  • 3 large orders booked in Q2 2021:
    • the second generation of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites
    • two secure telecommunications satellites for Italy (SICRAL 3)
    • the modernisation and support of three tactical control radars in Canada

At €6,539 million, orders with a unit value of less than €100 million were up 18% compared to the first half of 2020. This increase reflects a 55% rise in orders with a unit value of between €10 million and €100 million, buoyed by strong commercial momentum in the Space and Defense businesses in mature countries.

Geographically9, order intake in emerging markets amounted to €1,508 million, up 3% at constant scope and exchange rates. At €6,736 million, order intake in mature markets rebounded strongly (+49% at constant scope and exchange rates), driven primarily by four large military contracts and two large space contracts.

Order intake in the Aerospace segment totalled €2,886 million, versus €1,625 million in H1 2020 (+80% at constant scope and exchange rates). This performance reflected mainly Thales Alenia Space's new commercial successes during the first half of the year (including the three large orders with a unit value of over €100 million mentioned above), as well as the gradual recovery of demand in the civil aeronautics market. At 30 June 2021, the segment’s order book stood at €7.4 billion, up 13% from 31 December 2020.

At €579 million, order intake in the Transport segment was up 32% from H1 2020 at constant scope and exchange rates. This growth attests to the strong momentum of the mainline rail business.

Order intake in the Defense & Security segment totalled €3,374 million compared to €2,425 million in H1 2020, up 39% at constant scope and exchange rates, including the four large orders with a unit value of over €100 million mentioned above. The segment’s order book totalled €22.7 billion, or 2.8 years of sales, further strengthening visibility for the years ahead.

At €1,370 million, order intake in the Digital Identity & Security segment was in line with sales, considering that most businesses in this segment do not book long-term orders.

Sales

H1 2021 sales
H1 2021 sales

Sales in the first half of 2021 totalled €8,423 million, compared with €7,751 million in the first half of 2020, up 8.7% despite the civil aeronautics and biometrics businesses still being affected by travel restrictions. At constant scope and exchange rates,11 the organic increase of 9.8% mainly reflects the rebound of most business lines after Q2 2020 was heavily impacted by the onset of the health crisis. In addition to the collapse in demand in civil aeronautics, this crisis resulted in temporary operational disruptions across all Group activities.

Geographically12, this sales growth was driven by mature markets (+11.6% on an organic basis). France and Rest of Europe achieved the strongest performances. The recovery was weaker in emerging markets (+4.8% on an organic basis), which were notably impacted by phasing effects on large Transport contracts.

Sales in the Aerospace segment amounted to €2,112 million, up 8.6% from H1 2020 (+10.2% at constant scope and exchange rates). This increase reflects the strong rebound in the space business resulting from the many commercial successes achieved since mid-2020, as well as the gradual recovery in demand for civil aeronautics, particularly in the aftermarket.

In the Transport segment, sales totalled €756 million, up 5.4% compared to H1 2020 (+6.0% at constant scope and exchange rates). This rise was mainly driven by the strong commercial momentum of mainline rail, which was partially offset by the phasing effects on large urban rail signalling contracts (particularly in Doha (Qatar) and London).

Sales in the Defense & Security segment came to €4,152  million, up 15.7% compared to H1 2020 (+14.9% at constant scope and exchange rates) and 7% higher than in H1 2019. This strong rebound attests to the solid momentum of the Group’s solutions: at end-June 2021, the Group had a backlog of close to €23 billion.

In the Digital Identity & Security segment, sales were down 2.2% at constant scope and exchange rates to €1,370 million. This decline reflects the continued impact of the health crisis on demand for passports since Q2 2020, as well as a high base of comparison for EMV payment cards, which had seen strong growth in H1 2020. The cybersecurity business recorded double-digit growth, backed by a unified portfolio of Thales and Gemalto solutions.

Results

H1 2021 results
H1 2021 results

In H1 2021, the Group posted EBIT13 of €768 million (9.1% of sales), compared with €348 million (4.5% of sales) in H1 2020.

The Aerospace segment posted EBIT of €69 million (3.2% of sales), versus an EBIT loss of €109 million (-5.6% of sales) in H1 2020. The return to a positive EBIT margin is the result of the recovery in sales, combined with the effects of the crisis adaptation plans.

EBIT for the Transport segment continued to rise, reaching €39 million (5.2% of sales), versus €4 million (0.6% of sales) in H1 2020. Despite the health crisis, the measures implemented as part of the segment’s transformation plan resulted in an increase in the EBIT margin in line with medium-term objectives (EBIT margin of 8% to 8.5%).

In the Defense & Security segment, EBIT stood at €497 million, versus €359 million in H1 2020 (+40.7% at constant scope and exchange rates). The EBIT margin for this segment came to 12.0%, versus 10.0% in H1 2020. The health crisis had caused operational disruptions in this segment during the second quarter of 2020.

At €152 million (11.1% of sales), EBIT for the Digital Identity & Security segment continued to improve in line with the plan, despite the ongoing adverse impact of the health crisis on the biometrics business. The segment benefited from additional cost synergies and strict cost control, as well as leverage on cybersecurity sales growth.

At €34 million in H1 2021, Naval Group's contribution to EBIT returned to its pre-health crisis level (versus a negative €15 million contribution in H1 2020).

Net financial interest was stable at -€30 million in H1 2021. The other adjusted financial income and expenses item14  was less affected by foreign exchange losses than in H1 2020 (-€7 million in H1 2021 versus -€15 million in H1 2020). The change in adjusted financial expense on pensions and other long-term employee benefits14(-€16 million versus -€20 million in H1 2020) was due to a further decrease in discount rates.

As a result, adjusted net income, Group share14 came to €591 million, versus €232 million in H1 2020, after an adjusted income tax charge14 of -€99 million, vs. -€65 million in H1 2020. At 14.7% at 30 June 2021 compared to 23.2% at 30 June 2020, the effective tax rate benefited from changes to tax rules in Italy and the United Kingdom. Restated for these items, the effective tax rate was 22.4%.

Adjusted net income, Group share, per share14 came to €2.78, up 155% compared to H1 2020 (€1.09).

Consolidated net income, Group share came to €433 million, up sharply compared to 30 June 2020 (€65 million), on the back of the strong increase in adjusted net income.

Financial position at 30 June 2021

H1 2021 - financial position
H1 2021 - financial position

Free operating cash flow15 was €420 million, versus -€471 million in H1 2020, on the back of the recovery in profitability, the internal measures implemented, and a reduced seasonality of WCR compared to previous years.

At 30 June 2021, net debt amounted to €2,496 million, down by €1,432 million year-on-year, after taking into account new lease liabilities totalling €54 million (€95 million at 30 June 2020) and after the payment of €290 million in dividends (no dividend payout in H1 2020).

At 30 June 2021, shareholders’ equity, Group share totalled €5,664 million, versus €5,115 million at 31 December 2020. Consolidated net income, Group share (€433 million) and the decrease in net pension obligations (€394 million net of tax) largely offset the dividend payout (€290 million).

Outlook

The public health and macro-economic context remains highly uncertain in the short term and could affect the pace of air traffic recovery and the investment plans of our customers.

Thales will continue to implement all the levers of its Ambition 10 strategic plan, designed to generate profitable and sustainable growth, combined with the structural adaptation plan in its civil aeronautics-exposed businesses, which will be impacted by this crisis over several years.

However, the solid H1 2021 performance has led the Group to upgrade its full-year sales target.

Consequently, assuming an economic and public health situation that does not experience any new major disruptions, and a normalization of the global semiconductor supply chain, Thales has set the following 2021 objectives:

  • As in 2019 and 2020, a book-to-bill ratio above 1;
  • Sales in the range of €17.5 billion to €18.0 billion16, taking into account the significant ongoing disruptions in civil aeronautics and the recovery of growth in other segments;
  • An EBIT margin in the range of 9.5% to 10%, up 150 to 200 basis points from 2020, thanks to the full effect of the global crisis adaptation plan, ongoing Ambition 10 competitiveness initiatives and the further ramp up of Gemalto-related cost synergies.

 

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This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Although Thales believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, actual results may differ significantly from the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties, as described in the Company's Universal Registration Document, which has been filed with the French financial markets authority (Autorité des marchés financiers – AMF).

 

1 In this press release, “organic” means at constant scope and exchange rates. See note on methodology on page 11 and calculation on page 16.

2 Non-GAAP financial indicators, see definitions in the appendices, page 11.

3 Previous target, set on 3 March 2021:  €17.1 billion to €17.9 billion.

4 At the date of this press release, the limited review of the financial statements has been completed and the statutory auditors’ report has been issued following the meeting of the Board of Directors

5 Non-GAAP financial indicators, see definitions in the appendices, page 11.

6 Net debt at 30 June 2020.

7 Non-GAAP financial indicator; see definition in the appendices, page 11.

8 Mature markets: Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand. Emerging markets: all other countries. See table on page 15.

9 See table on page 15.

10 Mature markets: Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand. Emerging markets: all other countries. See table on page 15.

11 The calculation of the organic change in sales is shown on page 16.

12 See table on page 15.

13 Non-GAAP financial indicator, see definition in the appendices, page 11, and calculation, pages 13 and 14.

14 Non-GAAP financial indicator, see definition in the appendices, page 11, and calculation, pages 13 and 14.

15 Non-GAAP financial indicator; see definition in the appendices, page 11.

16 Based on the July 2021 scope and exchange rates. Previous target, set on 3 March 2021: €17.1 billion to €17.9 billion

Thales reports its H1 2021 results - Press release - 23 July 2021 Thales reports its H1 2021 results - Press release - 23 July 2021.pdf - 1 MB
Cédric Leurquin
Cédric Leurquin Deputy Group Communications Director, Thales Group
Group & Innovation
About Thales Group

About Thales

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions. Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020 the Group generated sales of €17 billion.

https://www.thalesgroup.com/en

Thales Group