Keolis results 2018: record growth and continued transformation

2018 was an exceptional year of development for Keolis with many tenders won and growth in turnover and EBITDA of +10% and +15% respectively. At €5.93 Bn, turnover increased significantly notably thanks to the contract signed with Transport for Wales, and is now approaching the €6 billion milestone. This strong growth in turnover comes with an even larger increase in profitability (recurring EBITDA), which rose by 15% in 2018, from €342 M to €392 M. Operating margin is 6.6%.

Having renewed with strong growth in 2017 (+6.4%), the growth rate of the Keolis Group reached a record +10% in 2018. This dynamic is due to the significant successes achieved both in France and internationally, and the Keolis Group’s capacity to adapt to changes in the sector with innovative, shared, sustainable, connected and autonomous mobility solutions. 

2018 results: Strong growth for Keolis 

The Keolis Group’s turnover reached €5.93 Bn in 2018, a €535 M increase on 2017 (+10%). Revenues grew organically by +10.4% excluding the effects of foreign exchange and changes in scope, and by +12% at constant exchange rates. This large increase is due to the very good results recorded by all the businesses of the Keolis Group and by the launch of the record contract in Wales as well as other contracts in Europe (Netherlands, Germany, UK) and Australia. 

The Keolis Group’s profitability (recurring EBITDA) also increased significantly compared to the previous year (+15%), reaching €392 M, mainly due to organic growth. This translates into a 2018 operating margin of 6.6% (compared with 6.3% in 2017). 

The financial structure has been strengthened, with net debt at €982 M, lower than the previous year (€1,011 M). The net debt/EBITDA ratio is at 2.2x, well below the limits set in the group’s covenant.  

The recurring net profit Group share is €79 M, 5.6% less than in 2017; this is due to the effects of taxes, notably related to the CICE (tax credit for competitiveness and employment) and CVAE (contribution on added value). 

The net profit Group share is €30.9 M in 2018, below 2017 (€50.9 M), explained by various tax impacts and non-recurring items that have no impact on the Group’s cash flow. 

A very good year for sales in France 

2018 was characterised by multiple invitations to tender and punctuated with commercial successes in an increasingly competitive context. Both defensive and offensive contract awards in 2018 demonstrate the group’s capacity to maintain and acquire relationships of confidence with public transport authorities. 

In 2018, Keolis consolidated its leadership on the open French market and confirmed its ambition to be the number one partner of public authorities, assisting them in their own transformational challenges.   

Dynamic international activity 

With growth of 13%, international revenue now represents 49% of the Keolis Group’s “Public Transport” turnover. This growth is supported by new and renewed contracts and successful launches in the sector of mass transit networks, as well as the creation of innovative micro-transit offers. 

Keolis accelerates its transformation through innovation 

In sustainable mobility 

As a supporter of the energy transition, Keolis makes commitments to both public transport authorities and passengers to promote more sustainable means of transport. 
In 2018, Keolis prepared the launches of various projects with dedicated transport corridors: the 100% electric bus rapid transit (BRT) services in Amiens and Bayonne-Biarritz-Anglet, the hydrogen BRT service in Pau* and the new steel-wheeled tram in Caen, which are scheduled for the coming months. 

Thanks to these launches, in 2019, the Group will become the operator responsible for the largest number of 100% electric bus networks in France. In December 2018, Keolis Canada became the largest 100% electric school bus operator in North America. In the USA, the Group will soon be in charge of the second largest electric fleet on the East Coast. Operating buses in Greensboro, North Carolina, since January 2019, Keolis launched the state’s first all-electric bus line in February 2019. The entire fleet (43 buses) is due to be converted to electric power.  

*(In Pau, Keolis provides technical assistance)