Schneider Electric expects bigger profits for 2021

The Paris-based conglomerate, which sells products ranging from electrical car chargers to industrial robotics, said it would focus on integration after a number of recent acquisitions.

In a call with Reuters, finance chief Hilary Maxson flagged cost and revenue synergies for Schneider’s UK subsidiary Aveva from its planned takeover of SoftBank-backed OSIsoft, which is set to close in the first quarter.

“We continued preparing for the disposal plan in 2020 so we expect to have some news to share over the next quarters,” Maxson added, noting the firm looked for businesses that are less core to its strategy and tend to be dilutive.

Schneider in 2018 announced plans to sell off 1.5-2 billion euros ($1.82-2.43 billion) of assets, but paused this in 2020 and pushed back the finish date by one year to 2022.

For 2021, Schneider forecast a continued recovery in Western Europe and strong growth in its other regions supported by robust demand for data centres and good traction in its residential business - which sells connected living products.

The company, whose shares were up 1.2% in early trading, posted a 4.7% organic fall in annual revenue but growth in its software and services business in the fourth quarter, boosted by several large contract renewals for Aveva.

Schneider’s 2020 results beat market expectations, with a stable adjusted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) margin of 15.6% on revenue of 25.16 billion euros.

It forecast 2021 adjusted EBITA to rise by 9% to 15% organically, on the back of revenue up 5% to 8%.

This would increase its core profit margin to between 16.1% and 16.5%.

Schneider proposed a dividend of 2.60 euros per share for 2020.




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