— Strong results in 2019 confirm the robustness of the FFP model as we enter an uncertain environment in 2020.

Strong results in 2019 confirm the robustness of the FFP model as we enter an uncertain environment in 2020..

  26 March 2020
FFP communication
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The Board of Directors, chaired by Robert Peugeot, met on 25 March 2020 and approved the 2019 financial statements.

NAV per share: €179.5, up 19.4%

At 31 December 2019, net asset value per share was €179.5 as opposed to €150.3 at 31 December 2018, representing a year-on-year increase of 19.4%. The value of FFP’s shares in Peugeot SA rose by 14.2% in 2019 and most of its listed equity stakes appreciated significantly, particularly as a result of the companies’ strong operational performance. Unlisted assets also contributed to returns in 2019.

in € millions

2019

2018

Gross Asset Value

  • - of which Peugeot SA

5,265

1,796

4,317

1,572

Net Asset Value

  • NAV per share

4,472

€179.5

3,746

€150.3

Dividends received by FFP and its wholly owned subsidiaries

116

83

Consolidated net profit attributable to equity holders of the parent

131

115

Growth in consolidated net profit

Consolidated net profit attributable to equity holders of the parent amounted to €131 million in 2019, as opposed to €115 million reported in 2018.

That growth was mainly due to a 40% rise in dividends received from investments in non-consolidated companies compared with 2018, primarily resulting from a dividend increase at Peugeot SA, a special dividend paid by JAB Holding and SIGNA Prime Selection’s maiden dividend. 

2019 highlights

Peugeot SA

Peugeot SA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles BV agreed to merge on 18 December 2019.

Their combination will create one of the world’s largest players in the automotive industry, with the critical mass required to invest in the technologies and services of the future and with leading positions in Europe, North America and South America.

The transaction is expected to deliver significant synergies, estimated at €3.7 billion per year, and the merged company will have a stronger financial position.

FFP and its majority shareholder Etablissements Peugeot Frères (EPF) supported the agreement. As the future group’s second-largest shareholder, EPF and FFP have undertaken to hold their shares for at least three years after the merger takes place. They will be able to acquire an additional stake of up to 2.5% in the seven years following the merger.

Holdings

In February 2019, FFP sold its stake in DKSH, a leading provider of services to businesses to help them set up and expand in South-East Asian markets, for a total of CHF212 million. FFP’s investment in DKSH dated from 2008 and the sale produced a total investment multiple of 4.3x after 11 years of supporting this family-controlled group.

In May 2019, FFP invested €25 million in Tikehau Capital Advisors’ capital increase in order to support the development of the Tikehau Capital group, which currently manages €25.8 billion of assets and is starting a new phase of expansion.

In June 2019, FFP invested €15 million in Acteon alongside Dentressangle Mid & Large Cap. Acteon is a French medtech company which specialises in designing and making high-tech dental and medical devices and also benefits from its diversified geographical exposure.

Co-investments

2019 was another busy year in terms of co-investments with both new and existing partners.

FFP invested $15 million alongside the Reverence Capital Partners fund in Transact, a US services and online payment company using the SaaS (software as a service) model in universities.

FFP also committed to investing $20 million in The Lian, a Chinese online cosmetics retailer, alongside Crescent Point.

FFP confirmed its support for Lineage, the world leader in cold chain solutions in which FFP first invested alongside Baygrove in 2017, contributing $15 million to a capital increase in April 2019.

FFP committed $100 million to JAB’s new platform, the aim of which is to continue funding its upcoming developments, mainly in the pet care sector. In the first half of 2019, JAB took control of Compassion First and NVA, two leading US players in the veterinary clinic sector. This sector’s growth is driven by rising numbers of pet owners and increasing expenditure per animal. It continues to offer opportunities for consolidation and for developing more upscale market positions.

Private equity funds

FFP continued its private equity strategy, committing a total of almost €149 million to 10 funds: Summit Partners X, BDT III, Veritas Capital VII, Valor Equity, Wise V, DBAG VIII, Quadrille Technologies IV, Warburg Pincus China, IDI EM IV and Advent Global Private Equity IX.

In 2019, capital calls amounted to €96 million. Funds carried out a number of disposals, leading to distributions of around €37 million in 2019.

Real estate

In 2019, FFP doubled its real-estate exposure by investing in SIGNA Prime Selection, co-investing in an office building in Saint Denis, developing new partnerships with real estate funds and continuing to invest in the United States with ELV.

In 2019, FFP took a direct 5% holding in SIGNA Prime Selection. This real estate company, which has built a €15 billion asset portfolio since 2010, has the strategy of holding high-quality properties for very long periods. Its assets consist mainly of upscale office and retail properties that are located in city centres in Germany, Austria and Northern Italy. In September 2019, SIGNA Prime Selection carried out a €500 million capital increase in which FFP participated in line with its existing stake, investing €25 million.

In 2019, FFP continued its partnership with ELV Associates in the United States. As part of that partnership, FFP made two new investments totalling $8.25 million and sold two buildings in 2019.

In 2019, FFP made a second co-investment with LBO France’s real-estate team (via OPCI Lapillus II) in the Tour Grand Angle building, investing €8.8 million. The Tour Grand Angle is a refurbished building in Saint Denis, in the heart of an iconic district of the Greater Paris region, which offers good lease renewal potential between now and 2024 with the arrival of new public transport links and the Olympic Games.

FFP also made commitments to two pan-European value-add real estate funds, namely TREO 2018 managed by Tikehau Capital and Icawood, which specialises in low-carbon development and wood-framed buildings, in a total amount of €45 million.

Debt

In October 2019, FFP successfully completed the placement of its inaugural €300 million bond issue, with a 7-year maturity (October 2026) and a fixed annual coupon of 1.875%. The aim of the bond issue was to extend the average maturity of FFP’s debt and diversify funding sources in order to support its growth.

At 31 December 2019, FFP’s net debt amounted to €763 million as opposed to €561 million at 31 December 2018. Unused credit facilities amounted to €594 million at the end of 2019.

Subsequent events

After FFP and its majority shareholder Etablissements Peugeot Frères announced their support for the planned merger between Peugeot SA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, announced on 18 December 2019, FFP entered into an equity swap agreement with an investment service provider: under that agreement, due to expire on 30 June 2021, FFP may acquire 2% of Peugeot SA’s capital for €228 million.

In the context of the rapid spread of Covid-19, FFP has taken steps to protect the health of its employees and ensure the continuity of its business. FFP is closely monitoring the potential impact on the activities and staff of each company in which it is an investor. The current fall in financial markets is affecting the value of FFP’s holdings and therefore its NAV. FFP’s cautious policy regarding debt means that it is not exposed to any particular risks associated with its debt levels.

Dividend

Given this environment, the Board will propose an ordinary dividend of €2.15 per share, same as 2018, in the next AGM.

Commenting on these results, Robert Peugeot, Chairman of FFP, said: “FFP achieved good results in 2019, with gross asset value exceeding €5 billion at the end of the year. The proceeds from the DKSH disposal were rapidly reinvested, particularly in SIGNA Prime Selection.

“PSA Group has published extremely solid results for 2019. This makes the group one of the world’s most profitable car manufacturers. We played an active role in the discussions that resulted, at the end of the year, in the proposal to combine PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler. We are proud to be involved in this plan to create a leading player in sustainable mobility, in which we will be the second-largest shareholder.

“In 2019, we also maintained our sector and geographical diversification strategy through co-investments in the United States and China, private equity funds and real estate projects. In particular, we doubled our exposure to real estate, which now makes up 8% of our assets.

“We also carried out our first listed bond issue. It increased our funding sources and extended the maturity of our debt. FFP takes a cautious approach to its financial position and will maintain its policy of keeping a reasonable level of debt.

“2020 has started with an unprecedented health crisis that has brought global growth to a halt. The decline in stockmarkets is affecting the value of FFP’s holdings and therefore its Net Asset Value. The diversification of our assets and our limited indebtedness are strong points in this period. I would like to send a message of support to the staff members of all our companies going through this crisis.”

Net Asset Value at 31 December 2019

Details of the valuation methods used can be found at www.groupe-ffp.fr and in the FFP registration document.