2024/03/19 - Financial public releases

2023 Annual results

●    Revenue up 4.9%, enabling market share gains despite difficulties in 2023

●    2023 operating profitability1 at an all-time high of 23.2% of revenue
     ○ Up 0.4 points compared to 2022 

●    Strong momentum expected in 2024
     ○  Expected revenue growth of 4% to 6% at constant exchange rates and scope
     ○  Operating profitability1 expected to rise by 0,5 point



Thanks to the exceptional commitment of our teams around the world, we achieved annual revenue of €1,246.9 million, compared with €1,216.2 million, representing an overall change of +2.5% compared with the same period in 2022, and a +4.9% growth at constant exchange rates. The impact on revenue growth resulting from the integration of GS Partners (acquisition of our distributor in the Czech Republic closed in May) and Globion (acquisition in India closed in November) is only 0.3 points. Excluding these two acquisitions, growth at constant rates would have been +4.6%. Against a backdrop of normalizing market growth, this performance demonstrates the resilience of our business model, which was significantly challenged by two intrinsic and unfavorable one-off effects during the year. As a reminder, these were a temporary limitation of our production capacities for companion animal vaccines, and a cyber attack on June 19 which forced us to shut down plants for several weeks. In terms of geography, Europe (+5.8% at constant rates) and Asia/Pacific (+4.0% at constant rates) remain the main areas driving our organic growth momentum over the year. Growth in Europe was mainly driven by France (+6.9% at constant rates), Northern Europe and Southern Europe (respectively +4.0% and +4.9% at constant rates), as well as by Turkey, where business volume more than doubled compared with 2022. In Asia/Pacific, the main contributors were India (+6.1% at constant rates), followed by Australia and New Zealand (respectively +4.9% and +6.7% at constant rates), offsetting the drop observed in China (-10.8% at constant rates), while business in Southeast Asia remained stable. In Latin America (+4.9% at constant rates), we observed very good growth dynamics in all our subsidiaries (with double digit growth in Mexico and Brazil), with the exception of Chile which, despite a significant rebound in the second half (+20% at constant exchange rates), posted a drop for the full year due to a sharp decline in the first half (-32% at constant exchange rates), especially in antibiotics. Our revenue in the United States rose by +3.5% at constant rates, despite a year-long distributors’ destocking effect.

Current operating income before depreciation of assets arising from acquisitions amounted to €188.1 million, up compared to 2022 (€186.6 million). Boosted by an estimated ~+5% price effect coupled with a more favorable product mix, our organic growth led to an increase of gross margin in absolute value. Our operating expenses increased in line with our sales growth. This increase is visible in personnel costs, due to the impact of salary increases and the strengthening of organizations. The significant increase in R&D expenditures reflects our commitment to accelerate investments in this crucial area. Our operating margin continues to improve: at the end of December 2023 and at constant exchange rates, before R&D and amortization of assets arising from acquisitions, our current operating profit ratio to revenue is up by 0.4 points to reach a record level of 23.2%. 

Consolidated net income was €121.1 million, stable compared with the same period in 2022. Net financial expenses increased by €6.7 million due to the depreciation of certain currencies as well as, to a lesser extent, a rising cost of net financial debt. Conversely, the tax charge decreased in absolute terms, reflecting a base effect (2022 had recorded non-recurring tax provisions) as well as a favorable country-mix effect in 2023.

Net income - Group share amounted to €121.3 million in 2023, stable compared with the previous year (€121.9 million).

On the financial front, our net cash position stood at €52.4 million at the end of December 2023, compared to €79.4 million at the end of December 2022. This decrease of our net cash position over the year is mainly due to an increase in our capital expenditure, with, among others, the closing of two acquisitions (GS Partners and Globion) for around €55 million7, as well as the impact of the share buyback program for around €20 million.

In 2024, at constant exchange rates and scope, we expect a ratio of “current operating income before depreciation of assets resulting from acquisitions” (Ebit adjusted) to “revenue” around 15% with growth in revenue estimated at this stage to be between 4% and 6%. As announced in our previous communications, this level of profitability takes into account a deliberate further acceleration in our R&D investments, representing nearly +0.5 points as a percentage of revenue compared with 2023. We reaffirm our ambition to achieve an Ebit adjusted ratio of 20% by 2030: in this respect, we plan over the next few years to gradually restore our R&D investments to the Group's normative and historical level, with a ratio of R&D investments to revenue around 2.0 percentage points below 2024 level.

In addition, excluding any acquisitions, our cash position is expected to improve by €30 million, given the expected investments over the period, estimated to be around €100 million and considering the acceleration of our efforts in R&D.

Finally, at the next shareholders' general meeting, a net dividend per share of €1.32 will be recommended for distribution for the 2023 fiscal year.

7includes net cash of acquired companies