Veolia sees ‘great future’ for its U.S. businesses regardless of election outcome

By Thomson Reuters Feb 29, 2024 | 7:30 AM

By Benjamin Mallet

PARIS (Reuters) – Veolia is optimistic on prospects for its businesses in the U.S. regardless of the outcome of the country’s November presidential elections, the waste and water management company’s boss said on Thursday.

The U.S. contributed about 11% to Veolia’s revenue in 2023 and the French company has a significant presence there in water technologies, municipal water management, regulated water, and hazardous waste.

“Veolia’s U.S. businesses, regardless of what happens in November, have a great future. Why? Because it’s not legislation that fuels demand for our services in the U.S., like in Europe and everywhere, but more so people’s needs,” CEO Estelle Brachlianoff said at a news conference after the company published annual results.

“Trump or else, people are the driving force, we have transitioned from a supply market to a demand market, and not just demand from our municipal or industrial customers, but demand from the general public,” Brachlianoff said.

Under its new “GreenUp” medium term strategic plan to 2027, the group aims for no single foreign country to account for more than 10% of its capital employed, except for the United States.

Veolia targets “solid” organic revenue growth over 2024-2027 period, at least 8 billion euros ($8.66 billion) in core earnings (EBITDA) at the end of that time and 350 million euro of savings annually.

The group’s core profit (EBITDA) reached 6.5 billion euros in 2023 on revenues up 9% to 45.4 billion euros on a like-for-like basis.

It aims for 2024 EBITDA to grow 5% to 6% year-on-year excluding asset sales, acquisitions and foreign exchange.

($1 = 0.9235 euros)

(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, writing by Piotr Lipinski. Editing by Jane Merriman)