Message from General Management
In a year marked by an unprecedented health crisis and high volatility in the price of petroleum products, in 2020 the Rubis Group demonstrated the formidable resilience of its economic and social model thanks to its entrepreneurial culture. Despite widespread uncertainty and constrained mobility, the Group has full confidence in its business model, continuing to invest to strengthen its market positions and ensure its long-term growth.
On the health front, the Group’s responsiveness demonstrated its effectiveness, and made it possible to protect the well-being of its employees without resorting to furlough schemes or government aid, across all of its subsidiaries.
From an economic perspective, the resilience of the business was remarkable, limiting the declines in EBIT and net income, Group share to 11% and 9% respectively.
Other than this economic, operational and social performance, 2020 was marked by major new developments aimed at ensuring the Group’s long-term viability:
|•||the finalization, in the first half of 2020, of the creation of Rubis Terminal’s infrastructure division thanks to the partnership with infrastructure fund I Squared Capital, whose external growth objective quickly became a reality with the acquisition of Spanish company Tepsa in the summer of 2020, enabling the ramping up of capacities dedicated to chemical products and biofuels and the corresponding reduction in the share of petroleum products;|
|•||the Group’s total deleveraging, resulting from this partnership in Rubis Terminal, offering exceptional investment capacity in an economic environment where there are genuine acquisition opportunities;|
|•||the pursuit and implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, including the announcement of a target to reduce Rubis Énergie’s CO2 emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 20% by 2030 (versus 2019) and a target of having an average of at least 30% women on Rubis Énergie’s Management Committees by 2025;|
|•||the strengthening of Governance, with notably amendments to the by-laws relating to the setting of the dividend for the General Partners, enabling better alignment of the interests of both categories of partners.|
The next few years promise to be particularly exciting for Rubis, with many opportunities in both our existing businesses and in branches of the emerging low- or no-carbon energy sector, whose development is vital for the preservation of our planet.
We are entering this period with two major strengths: on the one hand, our legacy business lines, which are profitable and generate robust cash flows, and on the other hand, an exceptional and totally debt-free financial position.
“A new balance needs to be struck; this will involve adding new, less carbon-intense activities, without hindering the development of our existing businesses, as a means of guaranteeing our sound health during the ecological transition.
We firmly believe that the products we currently distribute, and biofuels when they become widely available, will remain essential over the long term in the regions where we operate: the Caribbean, Africa, and even Europe with the predominance of liquefied gas (LPG/LNG) in this region.
That said, it is vital that we conduct our existing businesses with an awareness of our carbon footprint in order to manage and reduce it.
We are therefore maintaining our mobilization and initiatives in order to make progress on our Climate approach, as reflected in the following measures:
|•||improvement of the governance of Climate issues, with the setting of targets;|
|•||implementation of numerous investments by our subsidiaries in new energy and circular economy projects, such as the distribution of biofuels, the improvement of the energy efficiency of our production facilities, the production of electricity using photovoltaic panels and green and blue hydrogen, etc.;|
|•||more communication on Climate issues, and more generally on CSR, to our shareholders and stakeholders, reporting on our actions in these areas.|
In the same spirit, we will seek to complement our traditional investments with low- or no-carbon activities. This is a new field of opportunities that is opening up.
Our investment projects dedicated to less carbon-intense activities will build on our Group’s existing strengths. They will have to be in the energy sector, located in countries where our operations are assets, be based on stabilized technologies and be profitable. A new balance needs to be struck; this will involve adding new, less carbon-intense activities, without hindering the development of our existing businesses, as a means of guaranteeing our sound health during the ecological transition.
While many uncertainties remain regarding the end of the pandemic, we are confident in the Group’s strategy, confident in the commitment of our employees and their remarkable professional qualities, and confident in the support and loyalty of our long-term shareholders.