Schneider Electric beats targets, launches buyback

Schneider Electric SE (SU.FR) said Thursday that its net profit rose to a new record after it beat its 2018 guidance, and that it launched a new share-buyback program.

The French energy-management company said net profit for the year was 2.33 billion euros ($2.63 billion), up 8.6% from EUR2.15 billion in 2017. Analysts had seen profit rising to EUR2.37 billion, according to a consensus estimate provided by FactSet.

Schneider’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 5.4% to EUR7.03 billion thanks to organic growth in all regions.

Revenue for the year totaled EUR25.72 billion, broadly in line with analysts’ expectations of EUR25.69 billion, according to a consensus estimate provided by FactSet.

Revenue grew organically by 6.6% in 2018, beating Schneider’s guidance, issued in October, for 6% organic sales growth this year. Schneider in October raised its guidance from a previous 5%-6% range.

Schneider posted adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization of EUR3.87 billion for the year, representing 10% organic growth. This result beats Schneider’s outlook for 2018, which it also raised in October to 8%-9% from its initial target of 7%-8%.

The company proposed a dividend of EUR2.35 a share, up from EUR2.20 for the year previous.

Schneider is initiating a new EUR1.5 billion-EUR2 billion share buyback program over the 2019-2021 period, it said, after completing a EUR1 billion share buyback program announced in 2017.

The French company said that for 2019, it is targeting organic Ebita growth of between 4% and 7%. It also said it sees its revenue growing organically by 3%-5%.

Schneider backed its mid-term goal of 3%-6% organic revenue growth on average. Over the next three years, Schneider will continue to focus on profitability and improving its Ebita margin, it said.

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

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