1.1 Business lines and strategy
Rubis, a company listed on Euronext Paris with market capitalization of nearly €4 billion at the end of 2020 (SBF 120), specializes in the distribution of energy and bitumen, from supply to the end customer, and, through its Rubis Terminal JV, in bulk liquid storage.
With revenue of €3.9 billion and distributed volumes of 5.1 million m3, the Group is recognized in the market for its expertise and the quality of its services. Thanks to its international development strategy, Rubis now occupies strong market positions in diversified products and segments in 41 countries in three regions: Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.
“With operations in 41 countries spanning three continents, Rubis distributes energy for everyday life.
Retail & marketing
Distribution of energy and bitumen
Africa, Caribbean, Europe
The customers of our gas stations, private individuals, professionals in industry, services and public works.
Support & services
Trading-supply, logistics, shipping and refining (SARA).
Africa, Caribbean, Dubai
Our distribution subsidiaries and energy distribution professionals.
(Rubis Terminal JV)
Bulk liquid product handling and storage
France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey
Supermarkets, oil companies, chemical and petrochemical groups, agricultural cooperatives and traders.
Through its business lines, by offering its customers regular and reliable access to everyday energy, thereby limiting its exposure to economic cycles and ensuring resilience and stability for its activities, Rubis meets basic needs:
For its retail & marketing and support & services activities, Rubis Énergie has 1.4 million m3 of storage capacity for fuels, liquefied gases and bitumen, owned directly or in partnership. The Rubis Terminal JV for its part has 4.6 million m3 of fully owned storage capacity, which it leases to its customers.
The Group operates within a defined Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE) framework to prevent risks and limit the environmental impact of its activity. Its business lines are subject to regulatory and safety constraints requiring constant investments, making supply scarce while increasing the cost of entering the sector. As such, in 2020 the Group invested €131 million in the safety/maintenance and adaptation of its facilities.
Rubis Énergie’s retail & marketing business accounted for 85% of the Group’s 2020 sales revenue, and mostly targets individual customers (B2C) via a network of gas stations and direct sales.
|Breakdown of sales revenue||2020|
|Retail distribution (B2C)||52%|
|• Fuel sales via a network of 1,015 gas stations, including liquefied gas cylinders and associated services (stores, food service, car washing, etc.).||96%|
|• Direct sales of liquefied gases and fuels for heating, hot water production and cooking to private individuals.||4%|
|Professional distribution (B2B)||48%|
|• Sales to the transportation, hotel, power generation, public works and other industries.|
In addition to individual customers, the Group supplies a wide range of commercial customers with fuels, lubricants, liquefied gases, bitumen and other by-products, mainly in the transportation, infrastructure, hotel, aviation, marine and public works sectors.
These products are essential for the economies of the countries where the Group operates, and Rubis generally controls the entire logistics chain. Indeed, through Rubis Énergie’s support & services business, which houses supply and transportation activities, Rubis favors dominant local positioning in which its competitive advantage is protected by control of logistics. This strategic choice guarantees its customers sustainable access to the energy they need on a daily basis.
Oil trading and downstream activities remain largely dominated by the major oil companies (Shell, BP, Exxon, and Total) and traders (Vitol, Trafigura, Glencore, Mercuria). Nevertheless, these global players tend to focus on large markets, in order to benefit from economies of scale, and to forgo smaller markets. It is precisely in these latter markets that Rubis has chosen to develop, markets in which it can occupy leading positions while competing with major oil companies, regional operators (Parkland/Sol, Vivo Energy, Repsol) and local independent players (particularly in Africa).
Rubis has been built on an acquisition model, with niche product positions (liquefied gases in Europe, bitumen in West Africa) or geographical niches (island positions in the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean) where the Group has strong positions. Rubis’ success in these markets is ensured by a number of factors, including its leading position (No. 1 or 2 in many countries) combined with its control of import logistics facilities, to guarantee advantages in terms of costs and supply quality. This robust logistics (shipping, storage, refining) also allows it to be present in trading and supply vis-à-vis third parties.
|Region||Main markets||Infrastructure||Market position(2)||Main competitors|
(36% of gross margin)(1)
|Gas stations, commercial, aviation fuel, liquefied gases, bitumen, lubricants||Control of the supply chain (purchasing, transport, retail & marketing) thanks to fully-owned vessels, import terminals, gas cylinder filling plants and a network of gas stations||No. 1 or 2
in most countries and all markets
|Total, Vivo Energy (Shell and Engen brands), NOC, Oilibya, as well as independent local players|
(33% of gross margin)(1)
|Gas stations, commercial, aviation fuel, liquefied gases, lubricants||
• Control of the supply chain (purchasing, transport, retail & marketing) thanks to fully-owned vessels, import terminals, gas cylinder filling plants and a network of gas stations
• 71% stake in the French Antilles refinery (SARA)
|No. 1 or 2
in most countries and all markets
|Parkland (Sol), GB Group, Total, Guyoil, as well as independent local players|
(31% of gross margin)(1)
|Mostly liquefied gases, a small number of gas stations||Gas cylinder filling plants, storage terminals||No. 1, 2 or 3
in most countries
|UGI, DCC, Cepsa, Galp, Repsol, SHV|
|RUBIS ÉNERGIE (RETAIL & MARKETING)||1,015|
|Volumes (‘000 m3)||1,193||1,806||1,309||389||351||5,049|
|Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)||174||White products: 982||178||87||1,421|
|45% volume; 36% gross profit|
|Volumes (‘000 m3)||436||743||492||248||350||2,269|
|Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)||41||427||85||84||637|
|• Réunion Island||1||52|
|• South Africa||2|
|39% volume; 33% gross profit|
|Volumes (‘000 m3)||138||944||741||139||1,963|
|Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)||20||531||90||3||644|
|• Antilles - French Guiana||2||86|
|• Eastern Caribbean||2||76|
|• St. Lucia||1||16|
|• St. Vincent||2||6|
|• Western Caribbean||2||32|
|• Caicos Islands||11|
|• Cayman Islands||1 - 2||11|
|16% volume; 31% gross profit|
|Volumes (‘000 m3)||619||119||76||2||816|
|Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)||113||24||3||140|
|• Channel Islands||1||27|
|of which Corsica||63|
|* Rubis estimates.|
Rubis aims to give as many people as possible access to reliable and sustainable energy while developing less carbon-intense solutions, thereby promoting sustainability.
The markets in which the Group operates are deep, and energy needs are essential and growing, particularly in the regions where Rubis has strengthened its presence in recent years (Africa and the Caribbean, representing 48% and 30% respectively of the retail & marketing division’s contribution to EBIT). In Europe, Rubis is positioned in sensitive markets, such as liquefied gases (butane and propane), synonymous with high barriers to entry, and where growth stems from efficiency, reactivity and market share gains.
For the past 30 years, Rubis has pursued an external growth strategy based on strict financial discipline, including modest acquisition multiples and financial leverage, and a clear strategic approach (niche positioning, strong market positions backed by control of resource access infrastructure, and prospects for earnings growth) to ensure value creation for all stakeholders.
With each acquisition, the implementation of a strategy, the provision of skills, capital and a new organization, not for-getting the Company’s flexibility, have made it possible to form a multi-local, decentralized and independent group with sound market positions protected by concrete assets, guaranteeing its long-term profitability.
Acquisition-led growth, the very core of the Group’s DNA, is one of the chief drivers of Rubis’ development, and would not have been possible without:
|•||its short and reactive decision-making structure, capable of responding to market developments;|
|•||the importance given to the human dimension in its structure: the Group sees People as the bedrock of its organization and one of its key success factors.|
Its motto, “the will to undertake, the corporate commitment”, expresses this essential value underpinning the motivation, loyalty and engagement of its 4,142 employees.
“The corporate commitment” applies to Rubis’ relations with all stakeholders, primarily its employees, end customers, and the countries and environment in which Rubis operates, but also its shareholders.
Driven by “the will to undertake”, Rubis is constantly on the move, developing and positioning itself as a vector of progress in all areas (governance, social, environmental). From that point of view, 2020 will go down as an exceptional year in view of the sum of actions and initiatives undertaken.
The legal form of Partnership Limited by Shares was adopted when the Company was founded, in keeping with a long-term strategic vision and the convergence of the interests of the two categories of partners. In 2020, this convergence of interests was strengthened by the introduction of a benchmark price (highwater mark) in the calculation of the Total Shareholder Return (TSR) used as a basis for the determination of the dividend per by-laws of the General Partners (see chapter 6, section 6.3.2).
In addition, the Company has set up a Group Management Committee (Rubis SCA) comprizing equal numbers of men and women. Rubis Énergie and its subsidiaries set themselves the goal of ensuring that men and women both represent more than 30% of membership of their Management Committees by 2025.
Rubis is approaching the energy transition confidently thanks to its role as a key link in the logistics chain, equally capable of storing, shipping and transporting new energy to the end consumer. Indeed, the Group’s facilities represent an opportunity for the promoters of these new products.
The products and services offered by the Group already reflect the shift towards this transition; liquefied gases, for instance, are a model for cleaner mobility enjoying fiscal incentives. In developing countries, this energy is actively recommended by public authorities and the WHO as a cooking method, rather than charcoal or kerosene, for health reasons and in order to fight against deforestation. A noteworthy development is that the liquefied gas and bitumen segments, products that emit less CO2, accounted for half of the retail & marketing and support & services business lines’ gross margins in 2020.
The climate constraint can also be a source of innovation and business opportunities. For example, Rubis was one of Europe’s pioneers in the distribution of HVO, a second-generation biofuel that reduces CO2 emissions by at least 50% compared to conventional diesel. The Group now aims to extend the development of biofuels to the 41 countries in which it operates, while continuing to be a driving force in Africa to popularize the use of liquefied gas, the transition energy par excellence.
Rubis has taken a new step in its transition strategy with the creation of a Climate Committee and the publication early in 2021 of a target to reduce Rubis Énergie’s CO2 emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 20% by 2030 (versus 2019).
|•||improve the energy efficiency of our own operations;|
|•||offer our customers new, less carbon-intense solutions;|
|•||develop renewable energy and circular economy projects;|
|•||meet the expectations of our stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders, financial community, etc.;|
|•||cement our positioning as a socially responsible company.|