Jul 31 2010
The chief executive of industry group, explains how the deployment of its strategy has helped revive growth.
LE FIGARO. – How was the beginning of the year for Schneider?
JEAN-PASCAL TRICOIRE. – We returned to growth of our business in the first quarter and the trend has accelerated sharply in the second with an increase of over 10%. Our total revenues grew 6.4% in the first half. The acceleration is even stronger in terms of profitability. Our operating income represents 15.2% of sales is up 3.6 percentage points a year. Our net income has more than doubled.We note therefore significantly our growth objectives and margin for 2010.
What were the factors driving this growth?
This performance is clearly the implementation of our strategy and deployment of our program One Schneider. First, we are reaping the benefits of diversifying our end markets and the strong rebound of two growth markets on which we have been able to take strong positions. It is the automation of machines and processes, very strong recovery with growth of over 20%, and the computer. The building and electrical distribution later in the cycle, are now beginning their recovery.
Secondly, our growth is driven by our strong presence in emerging economies.Thirdly, our growth in the smart grid (electricity distribution networks intelligent, Ed) is a strong accelerator solutions in renewable energy, including solar, intelligent management of energy in buildings, factories, homes, power grids, which we will soon add support infrastructure for electric cars. We propose new technologies and new services to our clients to improve their energy efficiency.
What has really changed in Schneider?
In summary, I would say we've turned a group of several brands, structured products, a Schneider Electric, which provides complete solutions to its customers pay day advance. This change is radical.The teams work together more closely and we respond to the expectations of our customers.
This recovery is also strong in all markets?
We are growing all over the world, but in emerging countries the trend is most pronounced. The growth of new economies is 12 points higher than those of countries "ripe". These countries now represent over 35% of our business.
The momentum will he continue in the second half of the year?
I am counting on a similar dynamic in the second half thanks to the continued deployment of our strategy.
So you dismiss the risk of a relapse of the economy?
I remain cautious of course, but we are calm. We learned and demonstrated during the crisis of 2009 that he had to be flexible and very demanding on the costs. Besides, we not relax our efforts to reduce costs.We are committed to reducing our costs by 1.6 billion euros in three years. Halfway through, we have already achieved more than half of the effort announced.
Will you increase your efforts to research and development?
We did not hit our investment in R & D during the crisis. They still represent about 5% of our turnover. Our business is growing, we will be able to invest even more.
Where are you from the integration of the distribution business of Areva T & D?
The transaction was formally completed last June 7. Nearly 11,000 people have joined us and the teams work together with great enthusiasm. This acquisition will bring about one billion euros in additional revenue in the second half, although with today's level of profitability below that of the group.Our challenge is to move up quickly.
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