News Article | May 12, 2017
« Visedo and TECO partner on heavy vehicle electric motors | Main | Study finds fleet switch from PFI to GDI engines will result in net reduction in global warming » Groupe PSA, Direct Energie, Enel, Nuvve, Proxiserve and the Technical University of Denmark have launched the GridMotion project with the aim of evaluating possible savings achieved by real-life electric vehicle (EV) users through the implementation of smart charging and discharging strategies for EVs. An electric vehicle driver’s electricity bill could be reduced, with no impact on transportation use, by shifting charging times from periods when electricity prices are higher to periods when electricity prices are lower. Even further savings could be achieved by providing grid balancing services through a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) system. The 2-year GridMotion demo project will evaluate the savings EV users could achieve under real-life conditions with the implementation of smart charging and discharging. The project will be carried out with two complementary types of users: 50 Peugeot iOn, Partner Electric, Citroën C-ZERO or Berlingo owners will test “smart” unidirectional charging, in line with their mobility needs, when electricity prices are generally lower, such as night-time in France; and a fleet of 15 B2B EV Peugeot iOn or Citroën C-ZERO vehicles with Enel bidirectional charging stations testing “smart” charging and discharging (V2G services). This fleet will provide grid balancing services through short charging and discharging1 cycles, again carried out in line with mobility needs. Charging is expected to be carried out when there is surplus electricity supply on the grid, while discharging is expected to be carried out when there is surplus electricity demand on the grid. The project partners are looking for volunteers to start the experiment. Participants should be based in France and own a Peugeot or Citroën electric vehicle produced from January 2015 onwards. Plug-in vehicle (PEV) sales grew by 42% between 2015 and 2016 worldwide. This growth, fostered by technological improvements, falling prices and increasing pressure on air pollution, is expected to accelerate in the coming years. The GridMotion project is seeking to demonstrate how PEVs harness demand response and ancillary services to have a beneficial impact on grid stability and user income.
News Article | May 12, 2017
« Study finds fleet switch from PFI to GDI engines will result in net reduction in global warming | Main | Team develops electroplating method for Li-ion cathode production; high performance and new form factors, functionalities » Researchers at Brunel University London are developing a new generation of ultra-light car parts that will reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions. The three-year, £7.5-million (US$9.6-million) project is a partnership driven by Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), Jaguar Land Rover and others. Liquid metal engineering experts will work on it from Brunel’s Advanced Metals Casting Centre (AMCC) and Advanced Metals Processing Centre (AMPC) at its Uxbridge campus in West London. The aim is to perfect incredibly light, thin-walled aluminium die-cast parts for future Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, which could be used for shock absorption, chassis parts or door closures. With BCAST bridging the gap between fundamental research and industry application, they hope to help create lighter vehicles and reduce fuel costs and emissions. The research venture is partly funded by the government and by project partners, with £3.7 million (US$4.8 million) from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The project is one of seven sharing a massive £62-million (US$80-million) APC cash injection to make the UK a global leader in low-emissions technology
News Article | May 12, 2017
« Groupe PSA and partners launch GridMotion; reducing electric vehicle usage cost with smart charging | Main | Brunel team working to develop next-generation light, thin-walled aluminum die-cast parts » A new study quantifying emissions from a fleet of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines and port fuel injection (PFI) engines finds that the measured decrease in CO emissions from GDIs is much greater than the potential climate forcing associated with higher black carbon emissions from GDI engines. Thus, the researchers concluded, switching from PFI to GDI vehicles will likely lead to a reduction in net global warming. The study, by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Georgia, Aerodyne Research, California Air Resources Board (ARB), Ohio State University, UC Berkeley, and UC San Diego is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines have higher fuel economy compared to the more widely used port fuel injection (PFI) engines. Although real-world fuel economy improvements from GDI technology alone are close to 1.5%, they can reach 8% by downsizing and turbocharging the engine, which can be achieved on GDI engines without loss of power compared to PFI engines. As a result, the market share of GDI-equipped vehicles has increased dramatically over the past decade and is expected to reach 50% of new gasoline vehicles sold in 2016. Widespread adoption of new engine technologies raises concerns about changes in emissions and their effects on air quality and the climate. Recent studies have compared emissions of PFI and GDI vehicles, including particle number and mass, gaseous pollutants, and nonmethane organic gas (NMOG) composition for a limited number of compounds. However, many of these studies only tested very small fleets (including single vehicles), making it difficult to draw conclusions about the effects of widespread adoption of GDI vehicles on the aggregate emissions from the entire vehicle fleet because of the vehicle-to-vehicle variability in tailpipe emissions. There is substantial variability in vehicle-to-vehicle emissions due to differences in engine design (PFI, spray-guided GDI, wall-guided GDI, etc.), engine calibration (spark timing, valve timing, etc.), emission control technologies, and vehicle age and maintenance history. … The EPA GHG program is aimed at reducing tailpipe CO emissions. The increased fuel economy of GDI engines means lower CO emissions per mile; however, higher BC [black carbon] emissions (the most-potent absorptive agent of anthropogenic PM) could potentially offset any climate benefits of reduced CO emissions.… In this study, we present a comprehensive database of emissions from a fleet of GDI- and PFI-equipped light-duty gasoline vehicles tested on a chassis dynamometer over the cold-start unified cycle (UC). Measurements include gas- and particle-phase emissions, particle number, particle size distributions, and speciated NMOG emissions. We use the data to quantify the effects of engine technology, emission standards, and cold-start on emissions. We estimate ozone and SOA formation potential. Finally, we analyze the potential climate effects of switching a PFI to a GDI fleet. For the study, the team collected data from 82 light-duty gasoline vehicles spanning a wide range of model years (1988−2014); vehicle types (passenger cars and light-duty trucks); engine technologies (GDI and PFI); emission certification standards (Tier1 to SULEV), and manufacturers. All the vehicles were tested using commercial gasoline that met the summertime California fuel standards. Among the findings from the study: For vehicles certified to the same emissions standard, there is no statistical difference of regulated gas-phase pollutant emissions between PFIs and GDIs. However, GDIs had, on average, a factor of 2 higher particulate matter (PM) mass emissions than PFIs due to higher elemental carbon (EC) emissions. SULEV-certified GDIs have a factor of 2 lower PM mass emissions than GDIs certified as ultralow-emission vehicles (3.0 ± 1.1 versus 6.3 ± 1.1 mg/mi), suggesting improvements in engine design and calibration. Comprehensive organic speciation revealed no statistically significant differences in the composition of the volatile organic compounds emissions between PFI and GDIs, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX). Therefore, the secondary organic aerosol and ozone formation potential of the exhaust does not depend on engine technology. Cold-start contributes a larger fraction of the total unified cycle emissions for vehicles meeting more-stringent emission standards. Organic gas emissions were the most sensitive to cold-start compared to the other pollutants tested. There were no statistically significant differences in the effects of cold-start on GDIs and PFIs. For our fleet, increases in the fuel economy of 1.6% (0.5−2.4%; 95% confidence interval) are sufficient to offset warming due to increased BC emissions from GDIs. This is much lower than the measured 14.5% increase in fuel economy between PFIs and GDIs. Therefore, our data suggest that there will be a net climate benefit associated with switching from PFIs to GDIs, similar to previous results. However, the increased BC emissions from GDIs reduces their potential climate benefits by 10−20%. This reduction is likely larger in the real world because our increase in fuel economy (14.5%) between GDIs and PFIs is larger than that reported for on-road measurements.
News Article | May 25, 2017
LOMBARD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RaddonSM, a Fiserv® company and provider of innovative research, insightful analysis and strategic guidance to financial institutions, has published research that shows the majority of small businesses are planning for growth, which they anticipate funding through lines of credit and business loans. According to the Raddon Research Insights: Winning Small Business Customers study, 79 percent of small businesses plan to grow over the long term, which could create lending opportunities for financial institutions. ”When looking for a loan small businesses tend to look to their primary financial institution, so attracting small business deposit accounts can serve as the entry point for future loan business,” said Bill Handel, vice president of research, Raddon. “Financial institutions can win small business customers by demonstrating that they understand business owners’ challenges, have the expertise these customers need, and can deliver the technology and service to help small businesses grow.” Of the 79 percent of small businesses planning for growth, about a third (38 percent) said they plan to use a business line of credit for funding, whereas 22 percent said they plan to use a business loan. These percentages rise to 50 percent for a business line of credit and 26 percent for a business loan among larger small businesses with $2 million to $10 million in annual sales. When it comes to deciding whether to use a financial institution’s services, small business customers of major banks were the most likely to cite technology as a factor in the decision. Among small business customers that use a major bank as their primary financial institution (PFI), 66 percent indicate the technology resources available at the institution influenced their decision to use the bank, with 29 percent saying it strongly influenced their decision. Small businesses with a credit union as their PFI also showed a significant interest in technology, with 42 percent saying technology influenced their decision and 16 percent saying it was a strong influence. Although 91 percent of small business customers still make branch visits in a typical month, technology is starting to reduce branch traffic. Forty-two percent of small businesses indicated they now use branch lobbies and drive-ups less frequently due to the availability of online banking, mobile banking, and remote deposit. Looking forward, one in three small businesses (36 percent) think technologies such as mobile and online banking could potentially replace their need for a branch office of their PFI near their place of business. While major banks currently control the small business market with 68 percent of primary financial institution relationships, there are opportunities for community-based financial institutions to serve more small businesses, with small business owners indicating a likelihood to work with such institutions in the future. Over 50 percent of small businesses that currently do not use a community bank for their primary or secondary institution said they were extremely or very likely to consider using a community bank in the future, and 38 percent said the same for a credit union. The research in the Raddon Research Insights: Winning Small Business Customers study was gathered from semiannual surveys conducted in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each survey of approximately 1,200 small business owners was conducted via an online questionnaire administered through a national online panel of small businesses, with respondents qualified by having decision-making responsibility for financial services for their company. An Executive Summary of the research is available at https://fisv.co/raddonsmallbizinsights and the full 49-page report can be purchased at raddon.com. Raddon will host a webinar on the study on June 8, 2017 for purchasers of the report. Raddon, a Fiserv company, has been providing financial institutions with research-based solutions since 1983. Raddon works exclusively with financial institutions and has a unique understanding of the industry, resulting in the ability to apply practical know-how to the challenges and opportunities financial institutions face. Raddon combines best practices in research and analysis with consulting and technology solutions to help institutions achieve sustainable growth and improve financial performance. Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV) enables clients worldwide to create and deliver financial services experiences that are in step with the way people live and work today. For more than 30 years, Fiserv has been a trusted leader in financial services technology, helping clients achieve best-in-class results by driving quality and innovation in payments, processing services, risk and compliance, customer and channel management, and insights and optimization. Fiserv is a member of the FORTUNE® 500 and has been named among the FORTUNE Magazine World's Most Admired Companies® for four consecutive years, ranking first in its category for innovation in 2016 and 2017. For more information, visit fiserv.com.
News Article | May 4, 2017
Antoine Frérot, Veolia Environnement’s Chairman and CEO commented: “First quarter results are satisfactory and reinforce our strategic plan. Revenue growth, which had resumed in the last quarter, recorded a significant acceleration. Results growth was also in line with our forecasts, despite some exceptional, though expected items. Our cost savings program, increased in order to support our results and offset these exceptional items, was also in line with our expectations. This solid start to the year allows us to remain confident in achieving our goals for the year as a whole.” With respect to the satisfactory start to the 2017 year, the Group confirms its outlook. Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 163,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2016, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 61 million people with wastewater service, produced 54 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 30 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €24.39 billion in 2016. www.veolia.com Veolia Environnement is a corporation listed on the Euronext Paris. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside our control, including but not limited to: the risk of suffering reduced profits or losses as a result of intense competition, the risk that changes in energy prices and taxes may reduce Veolia Environnement’s profits, the risk that governmental authorities could terminate or modify some of Veolia Environnement’s contracts, the risk that acquisitions may not provide the benefits that Veolia Environnement hopes to achieve, the risks related to customary provisions of divesture transactions, the risk that Veolia Environnement’s compliance with environmental laws may become more costly in the future, the risk that currency exchange rate fluctuations may negatively affect Veolia Environnement’s financial results and the price of its shares, the risk that Veolia Environnement may incur environmental liability in connection with its past, present and future operations, as well as the other risks described in the documents Veolia Environnement has filed with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers (French securities regulator). Veolia Environnement does not undertake, nor does it have, any obligation to provide updates or to revise any forward looking statements. Investors and security holders may obtain from Veolia Environnement a free copy of documents it filed (www.veolia.com) with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers. This document contains "non‐GAAP financial measures". These "non‐GAAP financial measures" might be defined differently from similar financial measures made public by other groups and should not replace GAAP financial measures prepared pursuant to IFRS standards. QUARTERLY FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR THE PERIOD ENDED MARCH 31, 2017 Overall results were as follows: (1) Including the share of current net income of joint ventures and associates viewed as core Company activities. (2) Net free cash flow corresponds to free cash flow from continuing operations, and is calculated by: the sum of EBITDA, dividends received, changes in operating working capital and operating cash flow from financing activities, less net interest expense, net industrial investments, taxes paid, renewal expenses, restructuring charges and other non-current expenses. (3) Adjustments as of March 31, 2016 concern the application of IFRIC 12 and the transfer of activities in Lithuania to discontinued operations pursuant to IFRS 5 (see Appendix). The main foreign exchange impacts were as follows: Group consolidated revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was €6,269.8 million, compared with represented €5,995.1 million in Q1 2016, up +4.5% at constant exchange rates. Excluding Construction revenue2 and the impact of energy prices, revenue increased +5.9% at constant exchange rates. By segment, the change in revenue compared to March 31, 2016 breaks down as follows: 2 Construction activities concern the Group’s engineering and construction businesses (mainly Veolia Water Technologies and SADE), as well as construction completed as part of operating contracts. The change in revenue between the first quarter of 2016 and 2017 breaks down by main impact as follows: The foreign exchange impact on revenue amounted to €3.2 million (0.1% of revenue) and mainly reflects fluctuations in the UK pound sterling (-€60.2 million), the Australian dollar (+€19.8 million), the US dollar (+€18.5 million) and the Brazilian real (+€9.4 million). The consolidation scope impact (+€87 million) mainly concerns developments in 2016: the integration of Chemours’ Sulfur Products division assets in the United States (€52 million), Prague Left Bank in the Czech Republic (€14 million) and the Pedreira landfill site in Brazil (€10 million) as well as the sale of Bartin Recycling in the Waste business in France (-€39 million). The decrease in Construction revenue (-€74 million, compared with -€117 million in Q1 2016) was mainly due to a more measured reduction in Veolia Water Technologies and SADE activities, and the end of the negative impact of lower construction revenue related to the completed PFI incinerators in the United Kingdom. Group revenue benefited from an increase in energy and recyclate prices in the amount of +€27 million (compared with -€94 million in Q1 2016), following an increase in recyclate paper prices in Europe and energy prices in the United States, partially offset by a decrease in energy prices in Europe. Commercial momentum improved significantly (Commerce/Volumes impact) to +€152 million (compared with +€98 million in Q1 2016): Favorable price effects are tied to tariff indexation which remains favorable (except in France), but very moderate, and the significant impact of higher Waste prices in Argentina. Water revenue was stable at constant exchange rates, but increased +2.5% at constant exchange rates excluding Construction revenue and energy prices, compared with Q1 2016 represented figures. This increase can be explained as follows: Waste revenue rose +8.1% at constant exchange rates compared with represented Q1 2016 figures (+5.6% at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates), due to: Energy revenue rose 9.7% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2016 represented figures (+7.1% at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates). This increase can be explained as follows: Group consolidated EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was €862.9 million, up 0.9% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2016 represented figures. The EBITDA margin decreased from 14.3% in Q1 2016 to 13.8% in Q1 2017. Changes in EBITDA by segment were as follows: The change in EBITDA between the first quarter of 2016 and 2017 breaks down by main impact as follows: The foreign exchange impact on EBITDA was -€0.5 million and mainly reflects fluctuations in the UK pound sterling (-€7.9 million), the Brazilian real (+€2.2 million), the Australian dollar (+€1.6 million), the US dollar (+€1.5 million) and the Korean won (+€1.3 million). The consolidation scope impact (+€20.5 million) mainly concerns developments in 2016: the integration of Chemours’ Sulfur Products division assets in the United States, Prague Left Bank in the Czech Republic and the Pedreira landfill site in Brazil. Commerce and volumes impacts amounted to +€16 million, thanks to a favorable weather impact in Europe, strong Hazardous waste performance, good Water and Energy volumes in Central and Eastern Europe and solid activity in Asia. These factors were nonetheless mitigated by ongoing difficulties in the Water business in France due to the negative impact of contractual negotiations and lower volumes and the start-up costs associated with the new contract in Armenia. Prices, net of cost inflation, had a negative impact, notably in France. Cost-savings plans contributed €63 million, consistent with the annual objective of €250 million. They mainly cover operational efficiency (47%) and purchasing (30%) and were achieved across all geographic zones: France (30%), Europe excluding France (22%), Rest of the World (29%), Global Businesses (14%) and Corporate (5%). Transitory costs and one-off items mainly concern insurance costs (offset by provision reversals), higher maintenance costs in Q1 (particularly in the United Kingdom) and an unfavorable comparison effect tied to favorable contract terminations in 2016. Group consolidated Current EBIT for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was €430.5 million, up +6.1% at constant exchange rates compared with Q1 2016 represented figures. This strong growth in Current EBIT was mainly due to: The foreign exchange impact on Current EBIT was -€0.7 million and mainly reflects fluctuations in the UK pound sterling (-€4.6 million) and the Brazilian real (€1.8 million). The reconciling items between EBITDA and Current EBIT as of March 31, 2017 and 2016 are as follows: (*) Including principal payments on operating financial assets (OFA) of -€37 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 (compared to -€44.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016). Current net income attributable to owners of the Company rose by 3.7% at constant exchange rates to €154.8 million for Q1 2017, compared with represented €147.7 million for Q1 2016, driven by the growth in Current EBIT, stable net finance costs, capital gains and losses on financial divestitures that were lower in Q1 2017 than in Q1 2016 represented figures, and a high level of minority interests in 2017 (due to seasonality and good level of activity in Central & Eastern Europe). Excluding capital gains and losses on financial divestitures net of tax, current net income attributable to owners of the Company rose 7.0% at constant exchange rates to €156.5 million from represented €144.8 million for Q1 2016. Net free cash flow was -€391 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared with represented -€374 million in Q1 2016. Overall, net financial debt amounted to €8,430 million at March 31, 2017, compared with represented €8,266 million at March 31, 2016. In addition to the change in net free cash flow, net financial debt was impacted by financial investments, which amount to -€143 million in Q1 2017 (including the acquisition of Uniken in Korea for -€70 million, and Enovity in the United States for -€28 million), as well as unfavorable exchange rate fluctuations in the amount of €70 million in the first three months of the year (€42 million compared to March 31, 2016).
News Article | April 20, 2017
In one of the first studies to assess the relationship between a country's Press Freedom Index and its stock market characteristics, researchers at the University of Luxembourg have highlighted how press freedom is linked to stock market volatility, and why this is beneficial for the overall economy. In their paper "Press Freedom and Jumps in Stock Prices" published in Economic Systems, Prof. Thorsten Lehnert and PhD candidate Sara Abed Masror Khah from the Luxembourg School of Finance conclude that the free circulation of information in a country can lead to more volatile stock prices due to more frequent price jumps. At the same time however, countries with greater press freedom are known to experience more economic growth. The authors analysed the relationship between press freedom, measured by the Press Freedom Index (PFI) published annually by Reporters without Borders, and stock market characteristics, using data from a balanced panel of 50 countries. In "free" environments, news and information are broadly available and are picked up immediately by markets. This leads economic agents, such as households, companies, investors or politicians, to become better processors of information. On the other hand, in "unfree" environments, in which governments usually have tight control on the media, economic news can be withheld or their dissemination delayed leading to fewer sudden impacts on the stock market. However, press restriction is not in fact positive for the overall economy. As Prof. Lehnert explains: "Press freedom in a country contributes positively to what economists would call the 'good' volatility of stock markets. This refers for instance to conditions that make it advantageous for firms to take risks that is necessary to greater economic growth. This is why it should certainly not be understood as an argument to reduce the freedom of press. On the contrary, freedom of press creates more welfare and economic growth." Prof. Lehnert and Sara Abed Masror Khah also refer to an interesting relationship between press freedom and economic crises. Several member states of the European Union have seen their PFI ranking drop significantly since the 2008 financial crisis. Greece, for example, dropped 64 places between 2009 and 2013, when it fell on the 99th position of 180 countries assessed. Hungary, too, saw its PFI drop by 41 places, from 25 in 2009 to 64 in 2013. Luxembourg, on the other hand, a politically stable country, which was less affected by the crisis, initially ranked 20th in 2009, but steadily improved its ranking to 4th place in 2013. "Despite creating some volatility on stock markets, a free press is not only good for the overall economy but is an essential part of democratic societies and policymakers should encourage an independent and fair press", concludes Prof. Lehnert.
News Article | April 24, 2017
The following statement is divided into three sections, each dealing with the performance of specific share funds within the Company. 1. The Ordinary Shares Fund Introduction and Strategy During the period under review, the net assets of the Ordinary Shares fund increased to £107.0 million at 31 December 2016 from £75.8 million at 31 December 2015 following a successful new fund raise. The net asset value per share at 31 December 2016 was 83.6p, which, after taking into account the 7.0p per share dividend paid in April last year, is an increase of 3.5% on the 87.5p per share at 31 December 2015. The Directors believe that the Ordinary Shares fund is beginning to demonstrate the benefits of actions taken over the past five years to significantly expand the size of the fund and refocus its investments on developing businesses. At the year end the fund held 28 investments in UK based businesses across a wide spread of sectors and had over £39 million of cash available for further investment. The Directors believe that it is in the best interests of Ordinary Shareholders for the Company to continue to pursue its existing strategy which includes the following four key objectives: The Directors believe that central to the Company being able to achieve its objectives in the future is the ability of Foresight Group, the Company's manager (the "Manager"), to source and complete attractive new qualifying investment opportunities. This task has not been made easier by the changes to VCT legislation which (amongst other requirements) place greater emphasis on growth or development capital investment into younger companies. The Company is fortunate, however, in that it has pursued a policy of seeking growth capital investments for several years with the Manager having established a successful track record in this area. Foresight Group was recently awarded 'VCT House of the Year 2016' at the Unquote awards in recognition of investments made and the achievements of team members and the Manager as a whole throughout 2016. In addition to its established reputation in the area of growth and development capital investment, the Manager has been developing a number of UK regional funds supporting early stage businesses. The first two funds which are based in Nottingham and Manchester are already proving a useful source of attractive new investment leads for the Company. The Company completed two new investments amounting to £4.8 million last October and has concluded three further transactions totalling £6.8 million in 2017. Taking into account the current pipeline of new investment opportunities, it is the Manager's expectation that it will be able to increase the level of new investments over the coming year and beyond. Cash Availability and Charges By the time it closed last December, the Company's 2016 share offer raised approximately £37 million. In line with its strategy for the expansion of the overall size of the fund, the Board and the Manager are looking to build on that success and raise further funds to support the Company's investment programme. A prospectus offer to raise £20 million was launched on 2 February 2017 and was rapidly oversubscribed. The Board utilised the over-allotment facility for a further £20 million and capacity was reached, with the offer closing to further applications on 20 March 2017. At the year end, the Ordinary Shares fund had cash and liquid resources of £39.4 million with the 2017 share offer adding significantly to this sum. The Directors believe that it is right to hold substantial funds available for future investment but in order to mitigate the full cost impact of this, the Manager recently agreed to lower the annual management charge to 1% in respect of any cash above £20 million held within the fund. This reduced rate will be reviewed by the Board on an annual basis. The annual management fee of the Ordinary Shares fund is 2.0% of net assets including cash balances up to £20 million. The average ongoing charges of the Ordinary Shares fund for the period to 31 December 2016, at 2.1% of net assets, compares favourably with its VCT peer group and is subject to a cap at 2.4% of net assets, which is amongst the lowest for any generalist VCT with total assets in excess of £20 million. The Board remains committed to keeping the Company's operating costs as low as possible and the funds raised under the Offer will serve to increase the Company's net assets overall while allowing the Company's fixed administrative costs to be spread across a wider asset base, thus reducing costs per share. Performance Incentive As stated at the time of the merger with Foresight 2 VCT, the Directors consider that a performance incentive scheme should help to incentivise the Manager to deliver above average value for Shareholders. In addition, the Directors believe it to be advantageous to align the interests of the Manager with those of Shareholders. New arrangements were approved by Shareholders on 8 March 2017 and have been entered into whereby individual members of the Manager's private equity team and the Manager will invest alongside the Ordinary Shares fund, and may become entitled to performance incentive payments, subject to the achievement of 'per investment' and 'fund as a whole' performance hurdles. Details of these arrangements can be found on page 60 of the Annual Report and Accounts. Dividends The Board is pleased that the Company has been able to maintain its annual dividend payments at or above its target of 5.0p per Ordinary Share for the past six years and expects to maintain this in the future. The Company's dividend policy is, and will remain wherever practical, to maintain a steady flow of tax-free dividends, generated from income or capital profits realised on the sale of investments. In accordance with this policy an interim dividend of 5.0p was paid on 3 April 2017 based on an ex-dividend date of 16 March 2017 and a record date of 17 March 2017. The Board and the Manager consider that the ability to offer to buyback shares at a discount in the region of 10% is a benefit to Shareholders as a whole and an appropriate way to help manage the share price discount to NAV at which the Ordinary Shares trade. Outlook The Directors are optimistic that investments currently within the Company's Ordinary Shares fund have the potential to show further growth over the coming year and that new investment opportunities being sourced by the Manager will add to this potential. The fund is well positioned to provide Shareholders with regular dividends and sustained capital value in the future. During the period under review, the net assets of the Planned Exit Shares fund decreased to £2,949,000 at 31 December 2016 from £4,248,000 at 31 December 2015. The net asset value per share at 31 December 2016 was 25.9p which, after taking into account the 14.0p per share dividend paid on 14 October 2016 is an increase of 8.4% on the 36.8p per share at 31 December 2015. Total return since launch, however, remains significantly behind expectations. The Board was particularly pleased with the realisation of Trilogy Communications, which was sold in August 2016, as it represented a significant turnaround in Trilogy's fortunes and demonstrates the benefit of active asset management for private equity style investments. Details of the sale can be found in the Manager's Report. Cash Availability At the year end, the Planned Exit Shares fund had cash and liquid resources of £135,000. Running Costs The annual management fee of the Planned Exit Shares fund is 1.0% of net assets. The average ongoing charges ratio of the Planned Exit Shares fund for the period ended 31 December 2016 was 1.9% of net assets. Dividends It continues to be the Company's policy to provide a flow of dividends which will be tax-free to qualifying shareholders, generated from income and from capital profits realised on the sale of investments. Distributions, however, will inevitably be dependent on cash being generated from portfolio investments and successful realisations. In accordance with this policy an interim dividend of 18.0p per Planned Exit Share was paid on 13 April 2017 based on an ex-dividend date of 30 March 2017 and a record date of 31 March 2017. Buybacks The Board and the Manager consider share buybacks to be an effective way to manage the share price discount to NAV at which the Planned Exit Shares trade. The original objective of the Planned Exit Shares fund was to return investors 110p per share through a combination of dividends and share buybacks by the sixth anniversary of the closure of the original offer, which was June 2016. Following the sale of AlwaysOn in January 2017, there is now one final investment held within the Planned Exit Shares portfolio and it continues to be the Board's policy to manage this investment in order to maximise the return for Shareholders. The total return for Shareholders if the fund realised the remaining investment at current valuation would be 82.9p (comprising 57.0p in dividends paid to date and 25.9p representing the remaining NAV at 31 December 2016). To deliver the target return of 110p per share, a significant increase on the current valuation of the remaining investment would need to be achieved on disposal. The Directors consider that it is highly unlikely that the present total return will improve materially. During the period under review, the net assets of the Infrastructure Shares fund decreased to £26.6 million at 31 December 2016 from £30.0 million at 31 December 2015. The net asset value per share at 31 December 2016 was 81.7p which, after taking into account the 2.5p per share dividend paid on 11 March 2016 and the 12.0p per share dividend paid on 23 September 2016, represented an increase of 4.1% over the year on the 92.4p per share at 31 December 2015. Following the merger with Foresight 2 VCT plc in December 2015, the Company had a controlling holding in four of the five currently qualifying Infrastructure Shares fund investments. Left unaddressed these holdings would have become non-qualifying under VCT rules relating to control. A one year grace period was allowed to remedy this situation. Partial or complete disposals of these four investments to reduce ownership of each of holding to below 50% were completed during the year. Details of these disposals can be found in the Manager's Report. Cash Availability At the year end the Infrastructure Shares fund had cash and liquid resources of £2.8 million as a result of the partial disposals made in December 2016. The annual management fee of the Infrastructure Shares fund is 1% of net assets. The ongoing charges ratio of the fund for the period ended 31 December 2016 was 1.7% of net assets. Dividends The Company's original objective was to provide an annual flow of dividends of 5.0p per share, tax-free to qualifying shareholders, generated from income and from capital profits realised on the sale of investments. Distributions are inevitably dependent on cash being generated from portfolio investments and successful realisations. Whilst the underlying capital value of each investment remains largely unaltered, they are not able to generate sufficient cashflows to satisfy an annual 5.0p per share dividend at current yields. The Board and the Manager consider share buybacks to be an effective way to help manage the share price discount to NAV at which the Infrastructure Shares trade. Outlook The Board is conscious of the intention stated in the original Infrastructure Shares fund prospectus to offer Shareholders the opportunity to exit their investment after the end of the initial five year holding period and is writing to Infrastructure Shareholders regarding this intent. Brexit There are two principal areas where the implementation of Brexit could impact the Company: Annual General Meeting The Company's Annual General Meeting will take place on 23 May 2017 at 10.00am. I look forward to welcoming you to the Meeting, which will be held at the offices of Foresight Group in London. Details can be found on page 70 of the Annual Report and Accounts. Outlook The Ordinary Shares fund is now of a size that the Directors believe should more easily achieve the objectives of regular dividend payments and continuing new investment. The Directors believe sound future investment is fundamental to underpin long term performance. We are encouraged by the performance of the portfolio over the last year and pleased with the progress made by several recent investments. In addition, the pipeline of potential investments contains a number of interesting opportunities. The Board is looking to realise and distribute the final investment in the Planned Exit Shares fund as soon as practical and has already embarked upon an exit strategy for the Infrastructure Shares fund portfolio. Fund raising for the Ordinary Shares Fund On 18 January 2016, the Board launched a full prospectus to raise up to £30 million by the issue of new Ordinary Shares. The issue was well received by both new and existing investors, and the offer was increased, raising a total of £37 million by the closing date of 23 December 2016. While the VCT market adjusted to the changes in regulation announced in 2015, as noted in previous reports, investment activity was relatively quiet in the first half of the year. Foresight Group, however, has continued to see a flow of investment opportunities from small high quality companies and subsequently, in late 2016 and early 2017, we have seen a particularly strong pick-up in the pipeline. With the UK and US economies continuing their recovery, we believe that investing in growing, well managed private companies should, based on past experience, generate attractive returns over the longer term. To address the large number of high quality private equity investment opportunities, we have continued to expand our private equity team, which is now based in London, Manchester and Nottingham. The team now totals 17 investment professionals with combined industry experience of more than 220 years. Foresight Group has invested in more than 20 small companies since 2012 with more than 20 follow-on investments made to fund further growth. All members of the team spend significant time connecting with SME networks around the country, targeting advisers and marketing directly to businesses to identify high quality opportunities across a diverse range of market segments. Foresight Group's focus remains on identifying strong management teams with growing businesses across a range of sectors. The enlarged team enables efficient deal execution while maintaining and developing the flow of new opportunities via both intermediary referrals and direct targeting. To take advantage of current investment opportunities, on 2 February 2017, the Board launched a further full prospectus to raise up to £20 million with a facility to increase by a further £20 million. The offer was closed to further applications on 20 March 2017, raising the full £40 million. In October 2016, the Company invested £782,500 in content intelligence platform Idio, a high growth, recurring revenue-led, enterprise Software as a Service ("SaaS") business. Also in October 2016 the Company completed a £4 million growth capital investment in Simulity Labs, a specialist technology business based in Bangor, North Wales, powering the future of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IOT) through its embedded communications software for SIM, eSIM and next generation connected products. The Ordinary Shares fund continues to focus on new opportunities, although uncertainty following the changes to VCT rules and HMRC delays on providing advance assurances resulted in a delay in the completion of new deals. Following the year end, however, a further three new investments totalling £6.8 million were completed in Poundshop.com, the UK's largest online pound shop, Ollie Quinn Limited, a designer and retailer of subscription glasses and sunglasses and Fresh Relevance, an ecommerce platform for online retailers. We are currently in exclusivity and in due diligence on one new investment for the Ordinary Shares fund, with offers on funding under negotiation for several other investments. Follow-on funding The final £94,503 tranche of an investment round to finance the development of Biofortuna's new molecular diagnostics products was drawn down in July 2016. Realisations totalling £673,176 were completed during the year. These included the Company's interest in O-Gen Acme Trek, which was sold in March 2016 to Blackmead Infrastructure Limited, a subsidiary of Foresight's Inheritance Tax Solution, at book value for an initial cash consideration of £45,442 and a deferred consideration element due when certain conditions are met. The majority of this deferred consideration was received in January 2017. In August 2016, the Company successfully completed the sale of Trilogy Communications Limited to California based Clear-Com LLC. The Ordinary Shares fund received £575,667 in cash following completion (as compared with a carrying value of £337,264 at 31 March 2016), with further deferred consideration payable subject to warranty claims and tax claims. During the year, 56,538 ordinary shares in AIM listed ZOO Digital were sold, realising £5,036. A short term loan of £45,000 was repaid to the fund by Specac International. Loan repayments of £2,030 were received from the administrators of The Skills Group Limited, formerly AtFutsal Group Limited. The final tranche of deferred consideration was received from iCore Limited, totalling £51,247. Provisions to a level below cost (including take-on cost) in the year Further investee company details are provided in the Portfolio Highlights section. Portfolio Review: Planned Exit Shares Fund In line with the fund's objective at this time, no new or follow-on investments were made during the year. In August 2016 the Company successfully completed the sale of Trilogy Communications Limited to California based Clear-Com LLC. The Planned Exit Shares fund received £1,374,912 in cash following completion (compared with a carrying value of £799,029 at 31 March 2016), with further deferred consideration payable subject to warranty claims and tax claims. This result represents a remarkable turnaround in Trilogy's fortunes and demonstrates the benefit of active asset management by the Foresight Group investment management team. The final tranche of deferred consideration was received from Channel Safety Systems Limited, totalling £13,367. Following the year end the Company sold its investment in alwaysOn Group Limited, realising a further £2,032,608 for the Planned Exit Shares fund. Material Provisions to a level below cost (including take-on cost) in the year Slower than expected progress in the turnaround of Industrial Engineering Plastics has led to a further reduction in the holding value of the investment. This is the final investment held in the fund and we continue to work on securing a realisation which will maximise value for investors. As a consequence of the merger of the Company and Foresight 2 VCT in December 2015, at the beginning of 2016 the Infrastructure Shares Fund held controlling positions in four of its five qualifying investments. To avoid these investments becoming non-qualifying under VCT regulations, complete and partial disposals were successfully concluded within the twelve month grace period. On 1 July 2016, the fund successfully completed the sale of FS Pentre Limited, the holding company of the Pentre solar farm project, for £4.0 million, which represented a premium of £0.4 million above book value. Pentre was sold to a Foresight Group managed investment vehicle for this attractive premium reflecting an independent third party valuation. In December 2016, partial disposals of the three remaining qualifying holdings were made to a fund managed by Foresight Group at an independently verified valuation. This reduced the fund's shareholding to below the qualification threshold in the Drumglass High School PFI project in Northern Ireland, and two ground mounted solar projects, FS Tope and FS Hayford Farm. Following the fifth anniversary of the last allotment of shares in the fund in July 2017 it is proposed to offer Shareholders the opportunity to realise their holdings. The Board and Manager have given consideration to current investment opportunities and whether any sale proceeds should be reinvested. It was concluded that any sales proceeds should (subject to VCT implications for both the Company and Shareholders) be distributed to Shareholders. The rationale being that the asset type which can be held within the fund is of a nature suited to longer term investment. The Board and Manager believe that Shareholders individually are in the best position to decide on what form of future investment is most suited to their needs. ABL Investments Limited ("ABL"), based in Wellingborough, Northants and with a manufacturing subsidiary in Serbia, manufactures and distributes office power supplies and distributes monitor arms, cable tidies and CPU holders to office equipment manufacturers and distributors across the UK. The company has continued to achieve strong growth and good profitability. Production facilities have largely been brought in house, enabling the Serbian operation to expand its production offering. ABL continues to improve its sales reach by expanding its dealer network and its range of products. The reduced valuation reflects the updated valuation methodology, which is now based on a multiple of the company's earnings. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Aerospace Tooling Corporation ("ATL") provides repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing services for components in high-specification aerospace and turbine engines, serving the aerospace, military, marine and industrial markets. In September 2014 the company effected a recapitalisation and dividend distribution which returned the entire initial £1.5 million cost of this investment to the Ordinary Shares fund while retaining the original equity shareholding. Subsequently, ATL faced reduced orders from its two largest customers in 2015 and incurred significant EBITDA losses for its financial year to June 2016. This poor trading was reflected in the reduction in value during the year. In January 2016, a new experienced CEO was appointed, who has made solid progress, returning the company to positive EBITDA during the second half of calendar 2016. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. alwaysOn Group provides data backup services, connectivity and Microsoft's Skype for Business collaboration software to SMEs and larger enterprises. For the financial year to 30 June 2016, a small EBITDA loss was incurred on reduced sales of £5.5 million. Given the company's cash constraints, a decision was made to seek an exit rather than fund further losses. Despite challenging trading conditions the sale was completed in January 2017, with proceeds of £2.033 million going to the Planned Exit Fund. Held in the Ordinary Shares and Planned Exit Shares funds. Aquasium Technology designs, manufactures and markets bespoke electron beam welding and vacuum furnace equipment and related services. The company has continued to perform well in its core markets, and there is good visibility over the pipeline for the current financial year. The company has continued the development of its disruptive reduced pressure vacuum electron beam welding technology, Ebflow. The sales cycle for this disruptive technology is protracted in nature, requiring further investment in marketing and business development activities. The investment in Aquasium has to date returned £3.8 million, representing a multiple of over 2.0x cost. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Autologic Diagnostics Group produces software-based automotive diagnostic tools. In May 2015, a new business model was launched to generate recurring revenues and improve the quality of the company's earnings from a new product, Assist Plus, and associated Assist Plus service. This change in strategy towards a pure recurring revenue model resulted in certain exceptional costs being incurred, impacting EBITDA during 2015 and 2016. It is likely that profits will remain depressed until revenues from the new software focused model can be delivered, which is anticipated to occur later this year. Accordingly, the valuation of the company has been reduced significantly. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Biofortuna is a molecular diagnostics business based in the North West which develops and sells its own proprietary freeze dried DNA tests as well as developing and manufacturing products on behalf of customers. A funding round was completed in August 2013, in which the Ordinary Shares fund invested £99,066 and a further £50,929 invested in April 2014. To finance the development of new products, a £1.6 million round was concluded in January 2015, of which £890,000 was committed by the Foresight VCTs. The Ordinary Shares fund invested £128,002 in the first tranche. The final tranche for this round, totaling £94,503, was drawn down in July 2016. For the year to 31 March 2016, trading was ahead of budget, with the profitable Contract Manufacturing division helping offset investment in the proprietary products being developed by the Molecular Diagnostics division. To finance continuing growth and product development, a further funding round is expected during 2017. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Blackstar Amplification Holdings is the number two guitar amplifier brand by units sold in the UK and USA. The company currently has a presence in over 35 countries and its products are stocked in over 2,500 stores globally. During the year, the company has been strengthening its international distributor network, and continued to invest heavily into new product development, which, while impacting short term profitability, should result in improved trading performance towards the end of this fiscal year. The company's valuation has been reduced to reflect this short term impact. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. O-Gen UK is a leading developer of Advanced Conversion Technology waste to energy projects. In March 2015, O-Gen UK and Una Group combined their two teams into a new company, CoGen Limited to develop their pipeline of projects. In April 2016, the company bought 42.5% of the sub-debt and 21.25% of the equity in an existing plant in Avonmouth, redeveloping the site using technology provided by Nexterra, a medium size technology provider in which the company holds 50% of the shares, while retaining the 2 ROC accreditation. The Birmingham Bio Power plant, a 9MW waste wood gasification plant in which the company holds shares, reached take over in July 2016 and is now in the optimisation and testing period. Construction is substantially complete on the £53 million Welland project and cold commissioning is taking place. The building and civils works are also essentially complete at the £98 million Ince Park project enabling installation work to begin. CoGen is actively working on its pipeline of other projects and funding relationships, with active support from Foresight Group and the Bioenergy Infrastructure Group ("BIG") of which Foresight is a sponsor. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Derby-based Datapath Group is a world leading innovator in the field of computer graphics and video-wall display technology utilised in a number of international markets. In November 2015, prior to the merger with Foresight 2 VCT, Datapath paid dividends of £6.3 million, split equally between Foresight 2 VCT, Foresight 3 VCT and Foresight 4 VCT, such that each fund has now received back 3x the original investment. The company is performing well across all product ranges, geographies and end markets, driven by the recently implemented product range refresh, and strengthening of the sales function following the recruitment of a new head of sales. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. FFX Group Limited is a Folkestone-based multi-channel distributor of power tools, hand tools, fixings and other building products. Since launching its e-commerce channel in 2011, FFX has grown rapidly supplying a wide range of tools to builders and tradesmen nationally. The company continues to benefit from the successful relocation to a larger warehouse in early 2016. Following the post-Brexit fall in sterling FFX anticipates passing price increases onto customers in line with the market. FFX's own brand range of fixings was launched in early 2017 and the team is optimistic about its potential. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Flowrite Refrigeration Holdings provides refrigeration and air conditioning maintenance and related services nationally, principally to leisure and commercial businesses such as hotels, clubs, pubs and restaurants. In July 2015, the company completed another recapitalisation taking total cash returned on this investment to 85% of cost. Following the appointment of a new senior team, the company has reduced costs and is delivering operational improvements. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Hospital Services Limited ("HSL"), based in Belfast and Dublin, distributes, installs and maintains high quality healthcare equipment as well as supplying related consumables. HSL has delivered organic growth through service revenues and accessory sales as well as capital sales. In July 2016, the company acquired Eurosurgical, a specialist in surgical equipment, instruments and devices. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. ICA Group is a document management solutions provider in the South East of England, reselling and maintaining office printing equipment to customers in the commercial and public sectors. Trading in the year to 31 January 2016 was in line with expectations and reflected continuing investment in developing the sales team. A new chairman, well-known to Foresight Group and with a strong sales and marketing background, joined the board in November 2016. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Industrial Efficiency II provides energy efficiency fuel switching services, enabling customers to make significant cost savings and reduce emissions and the company receives a percentage of these savings. Following the successful completion of all sites, energy savings are broadly in-line with expectations at the time of investment, and the company is now generating revenues in line with forecasts. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Industrial Engineering Plastics ("IEP") is a long established plastics distributor and fabricator supplying a wide range of industries nationally, principally supplying ventilation and pipe fittings, plastic welding rods, hygienic wall cladding, plastic tanks and sheets. Following increased competition in its plastics distribution and industrial fabrication markets, performance deteriorated during 2014 and a new Chairman and experienced turnaround CEO were appointed. Performance subsequently improved due to an increased focus on higher margin fabrication work. IEP continues to operate in a market where distribution sales remain under pressure due to significant competition, limited differentiation and low margin products. Reflecting this, the valuation has been reduced by £831,658, while Foresight Group continues to work with management to explore options for the business. Following the sale of alwaysOn in January 2017, the company is the final investment held in the Planned Exit Shares fund. Held in the Planned Exit Shares fund. Itad Limited is a long established consulting firm which monitors and evaluates the impact of international development and aid programmes, largely in developing countries. Customers include the UK Government's Department for International Development, other European governments, philanthropic foundations, charities and international NGOs. The company continues to make strong progress, is trading ahead of budget, and has good visibility over future revenues due to the long term nature of some projects. The company has benefited from exchange rate changes following the Brexit vote and the team has carefully managed overhead increases. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Ixaris Systems has developed EntroPay, a web-based global prepaid payment service using the VISA network. Ixaris also offers its Systems product to enable enterprises to develop their own customised global payment applications. The company has seen strong progress in both business areas, with the Systems division growing rapidly in the year and the Entropay business continuing to generate high levels of EBITDA. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Positive Response Communications monitors the safety of people and property through its 24 hour monitoring centre. Customers include several major restaurant and retail chains. Following disappointing performance, a new CEO with a background in the security industry was appointed in January 2017, alongside a new FD. A review of the cost base of the business has been undertaken, with actions taken to bring the company back to positive EBITDA. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Procam Television Holdings, headquartered in London with operations in Manchester and Scotland, is one of the UK's leading broadcast hire companies, supplying equipment and crews to broadcasters and production companies including BskyB, the BBC and ITV. Procam has acquired True Lens Services (2014), HotCam New York (2015) and the trading assets of the film division of Take 2 Films (2016). Revenues and profits have grown strongly following the introduction of new camera formats, acquisitions in both the UK and USA and increased sales and marketing efforts. The London headquarters have been successfully moved to a larger facility to support the ongoing growth of the business. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Protean Software develops and sells business management and field service management software, together with related support and maintenance services across sectors including elevator installation, facilities management and heating, ventilation and air conditioning ("HVAC"). Protean continues to trade well, and will be launching its SaaS product during 2017. As the business sells more licences on a subscription basis, revenues, cash and operating profit will decrease in the near term but this should materially benefit medium-long term performance and shareholder value. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. In November 2016, the Company completed a £4 million growth capital investment in Simulity Labs, a specialist technology business, powering the future of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IOT) through its embedded communications software for SIM, eSIM and next generation connected products. The company has seen rapid growth, with revenues increasing eight fold in the past four years. The Company's investment will support Simulity's expansion into new markets which are complementary to its existing mobile network operator customers. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Specac International, based in Kent, is a long established, leading scientific instrumentation accessories business, manufacturing sample analysis and preparation equipment used in testing, research and quality control laboratories. The company's products are primarily focused on supporting IR Spectroscopy, an important analytical technique widely used in research and commercial/ industrial laboratories. Trading in the year to 31 March 2016 exceeded expectations with profit growth ahead of forecast, reflecting the increased focus on sales and costs, with this positive momentum continuing in the current year. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Trading at TFC Europe, a leading distributor of technical fasteners in the UK and Germany, suffered in the year to 31 March 2016 due to a general downturn in the UK manufacturing sector, most particularly the oil and gas industry. In the current financial year, however, the company is trading ahead of budget and prior year. A new, experienced Chairman joined in January 2016 and key initiatives have included strengthening the sales team, development of new product ranges and supplier price renegotiations. Improvements to a number of the company's facilities are planned for Q1 2017 including larger, better located premises and the opening of a new branch in the South East to service existing customers and target new clients. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. The Bunker Secure Hosting, which operates two ultra-secure data centres, continues to deliver solid performance and the pipeline remains healthy for both new and existing clients. The Bunker commenced its core network upgrade project in the period which involved a major capex programme to be able to support customers with more resilient control systems within the data centres. The projects are now largely complete with minimal issues encountered. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. The Business Advisory Limited provides advice and support services to UK-based small businesses seeking to gain access to Government incentives, such as R&D tax credits. The company enjoys a high level of recurring income and good visibility on future revenues. The company has made good progress in improving its internal processes and the indicators are positive for the current year. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Thermotech Solutions is a facilities management provider that designs, installs and services air conditioning and fire sprinkler systems for retail, commercial and residential properties. Since investment, good progress has been made in diversifying and rebalancing the spread of revenues, with greater emphasis placed on service and maintenance. In July 2016, Thermotech acquired Oakwood, a well-respected local competitor which continues to perform well. The combined group benefits from greater scale, a national footprint and a reduction in customer concentration. Held in the Ordinary Shares fund. Introduction This Strategic Report, on pages 20 to 26 of the Annual Report and Accounts, has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Section 414 of the Companies Act 2006 and best practice. Its purpose is to inform the members of the Company and help them to assess how the Directors have performed their duty to promote the success of the Company, in accordance with Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006. Foresight VCT plc Ordinary Shares Fund Foresight VCT plc originally raised £10.9 million through an Ordinary Share issue in the 1997/98 tax year. At 31 December 2016, this fund had investments and assets totalling £107.2 million, of which a significant portion was held in cash and was available to make new investments. The number of Ordinary Shares in issue at 31 December 2016 was 127,985,288. Foresight VCT plc Planned Exit Shares fund In the 2009/10 tax year, £12 million was raised through a linked offer for the Planned Exit Shares fund, the proceeds of which were divided equally between Foresight VCT plc and Foresight 2 VCT plc. These Funds comprised separate share classes within Foresight VCT plc and Foresight 2 VCT plc with their own investments and income streams, and were combined following the merger in December 2015. The number of Planned Exit shares in the Company in issue at 31 December 2016 was 11,404,314. Foresight VCT plc Infrastructure Shares fund In the 2011/2012 tax year, £33 million was raised through a linked offer for the Infrastructure Shares fund, the proceeds of which were divided equally between Foresight VCT plc and Foresight 2 VCT plc. These Funds comprised separate share classes within Foresight VCT plc and Foresight 2 VCT plc with their own investments and income streams, and were combined following the merger in December 2015. The number of Infrastructure Shares in the Company in issue at 31 December 2016 was 32,495,246. Summary of the Investment Policy The Company will target investments in UK unquoted companies which it believes will achieve the objective of producing attractive returns for Shareholders. The investment objective of the Ordinary Shares fund is to provide private investors with attractive returns from a portfolio of investments in fast-growing unquoted companies in the United Kingdom. The investment objective of the Planned Exit Shares fund is to combine greater security of capital than is normal within a VCT with the enhancement of investor returns through the VCT tax benefits - income tax relief of 30% of the amount invested, and tax-free distribution of income and capital gains. The key objective of the Planned Exit Shares fund is to distribute 110p per share through a combination of tax-free income, buy-backs and tender offers before the sixth anniversary of the closing date of the original offer. The investment objective of the Infrastructure Shares fund is to invest in companies which own and operate essential assets and services which enjoy long-term contracts with strong counterparties or through government concessions. To ensure VCT qualification, the Manager will focus on companies where the provision of services is the primary activity and which generate long-term contractual revenues, thereby facilitating the payment of regular and predictable dividends to investors. Performance and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) The Board expects the Manager to deliver a performance which meets the objectives of the three classes of shares. The KPIs covering these objectives are growth in net asset value per share and dividend payments, which, when combined, give net asset value total return. An additional key performance indicator reviewed by the Board includes the total expenses as a proportion of shareholders' funds. A record of some of these indicators is contained on the following page. The ongoing charges ratio for the period for the Company as a whole was 2.0% of net assets. Share buy-backs have been completed at discounts ranging from 10.1% to 11.5% for Ordinary Shares, 7.7% to 9.1% for Planned Exit Shares and 0.7% for Infrastructure Shares. A review of the Company's performance during the financial period, the position of the Company at the period end and the outlook for the coming year is contained within the Manager's Report. The Board assesses the performance of the Manager in meeting the Company's objective against the primary KPIs highlighted above. Clearly, in the Ordinary Share fund, investments in unquoted companies at an early stage of their development may disappoint. Investing the funds raised in companies with high growth characteristics, however, with the potential to become strong performers within their respective fields creates an opportunity for enhanced returns to Shareholders. Strategies for achieving objectives Investment Policy The Company will target UK unquoted companies which it believes will achieve the objective of producing attractive returns for Shareholders. Investment securities The Company invests in a range of securities including, but not limited to, ordinary and preference shares, loan stock, convertible securities, fixed-interest securities and cash. Unquoted investments are usually structured as a combination of ordinary shares and loan stocks, while AiM investments are primarily held in ordinary shares. Pending investment in unquoted and AiM listed securities, cash is primarily held in interest bearing accounts as well as in a range of permitted liquidity investments. UK companies Investments are primarily made in companies which are substantially based in the UK, although many will trade overseas. The companies in which investments are made must satisfy a number of tests set out in Part 6 of the Income Tax Act 2007 to be classed as VCT qualifying holdings. Asset mix The Company aims to be significantly invested in growth businesses, subject always to the quality of investment opportunities and the timing of realisations. Any uninvested funds are held in cash and a range of permitted liquidity investments. It is intended that the significant majority (no less than 70%) of any funds raised by the Company will ultimately be invested in VCT qualifying investments. Risk diversification and maximum exposures Risk is spread by investing in a number of different businesses within different industry sectors at different stages of development, using a mixture of securities. The maximum amount invested in any one company including any guarantees to banks or third parties providing loans or other investment to such a company, is limited to 15% of the Company's investments by VCT value at the time of investment. Investment style Investments are selected in the expectation that value will be enhanced by the application of private equity disciplines, including an active management style for unquoted companies through the placement of an investor director on investee company boards. Borrowing powers The Company has a borrowing limit of an amount not exceeding an amount equal to the adjusted capital and reserves (being the aggregate of the amount paid up on the issued share capital of the Company and the amount standing to the credit of its reserves). Whilst the Company does not currently borrow, its policy allows it to do so. Co-investment The Company invests alongside other funds managed or advised by the Manager and Foresight Group. Where more than one fund is able to participate in an investment opportunity, allocations will generally be made in proportion to the net cash raised for each such fund, other than where a fund has a pre-existing investment where the incumbent fund will have priority. Implementation of this policy will be subject to the availability of monies to make the investment and other portfolio considerations, such as the portfolio diversity and the need to maintain VCT status. VCT regulation The investment policy is designed to ensure that the Company continues to qualify and is approved as a VCT by HM Revenue & Customs. Amongst other conditions, the Company may not invest more than 15% of its total investments at the time of making any investment in a single company and must have at least 70% by value of its investments throughout the period in shares or securities in qualifying holdings, of which 70% by value in aggregate must be in ordinary shares which carry no preferential rights (although only 10% of any individual investment needs to be in the ordinary shares of that Company). The Board has engaged Foresight Group CI Limited as manager. Foresight Fund Managers Limited also provides or procures the provision of company secretarial, administration and custodian services to the Company. The Manager prefers to take a lead role in the companies in which it invests. Larger investments may be syndicated with other investing institutions, or strategic partners with similar investment criteria. In considering a prospective investment in a company, particular regard will be paid to: Planned Exit Shares fund · Security of income and capital; · Asset backing; · The company's ability to provide an attractive yield for the fund; · The prospects of achieving an exit within five years; · The strength of the management team. Infrastructure Shares fund · Long-term contracts with Governmental or strong counter-parties; · Protection from competition; · Inflation-linked revenues over 10-50 year contract durations. Environmental, Human Rights, Employee, Social and Community Issues The Board recognises the requirement under Section 414 of the Act to provide information about environmental matters (including the impact of the Company's business on the environment), employee, human rights, social and community issues; including information about any policies it has in relation to these matters and effectiveness of these policies. As the Company has no employees or policies in these matters this requirement does not apply. Gender diversity The Board currently comprises four male Directors. The Board is, however, conscious of the need for diversity and will consider both male and female candidates when appointing new Directors. The Manager has an equal opportunities policy and currently employs 86 men and 59 women. Dividend policy A proportion of realised gains will normally be retained for reinvestment and to meet future costs. Subject to this, the Company will endeavour to maintain a flow of dividend payments of the order of 5p per share across all share classes, although a greater or lesser sum may be paid in any year. It is the intention to maximise the Company's tax-free income for investors from a combination of dividends and interest received on investments and the distribution of capital gains arising from trade sales or flotations. It is the Company's policy, subject to adequate cash availability, to consider repurchasing shares when they become available in order to help provide liquidity to the market in the Company's shares. Principal risks, risk management and regulatory environment The Board carries out regular reviews of the risk environment in which the Company operates. The principal risks and uncertainties identified by the Board which might affect the Company's business model and future performance, and the steps taken with a view to their mitigation, are as follows: Economic risk: events such as economic recession or general fluctuation in stock markets and interest rates may affect the valuation of investee companies and their ability to access adequate financial resources, as well as affecting the Company's own share price and discount to net asset value. Mitigation: The Company invests in a diversified portfolio of investments spanning various industry sectors and maintains sufficient cash reserves to be able to provide additional funding to investee companies where appropriate and to repurchase its own shares. VCT qualifying status risk: the Company is required at all times to observe the conditions laid down in the Income Tax Act 2007 for the maintenance of approved VCT status. The loss of such approval could lead to the Company losing its exemption from corporation tax on capital gains, to investors being liable to pay income tax on dividends received from the Company and, in certain circumstances, to investors being required to repay the initial income tax relief on their investment. Mitigation: Legal advice is taken for each deal to ensure all investments are qualifying. Advance assurance, where appropriate, is sought from HMRC ahead of completion. The Manager keeps the Company's VCT qualifying status under continual review, seeking to take appropriate action to maintain it where required, and its reports are reviewed by the Board on a quarterly basis. The Board has also retained Shakespeare Martineau LLP to undertake an independent VCT status monitoring role. Investment and liquidity risk: many of the Company's investments are in small and medium-sized unquoted companies which are VCT qualifying holdings, and which by their nature entail a higher level of risk and lower liquidity than investments in larger quoted companies. Mitigation: the Manager aims to limit the risk attaching to the portfolio as a whole by careful selection, close monitoring and timely realisation of investments, by carrying out rigorous due diligence procedures and maintaining a spread of holdings in terms of industry sector. The Board reviews the investment portfolio with the Manager on a regular basis. Legislative and regulatory risk: in order to maintain its approval as a VCT, the Company is required to comply with current VCT legislation in the UK, which reflects the European Commission's State aid rules. Changes to the UK legislation or the State aid rules in the future could have an adverse effect on the Company's ability to achieve satisfactory investment returns whilst retaining its VCT approval. Mitigation: The Board and the Manager monitor political developments and where appropriate seek to make representations either directly or through relevant trade bodies. Internal control risk: the Company's assets could be at risk in the absence of an appropriate internal control regime. This could lead to theft, fraud, and/or an inability to provide accurate reporting and monitoring. Mitigation: the Board carries out regular reviews of the system of internal controls, both financial and non-financial, operated by the Company and the Manager. These include controls designed to ensure that the Company's assets are safeguarded and that proper accounting records are maintained. Financial risk: inappropriate accounting policies might lead to misreporting or breaches of regulations. Mitigation: the Manager is continually reviewing accounting policies and regulations, and its reports are reviewed by the Board on a quarterly basis and at least annually by the auditor. Market risk: All investments are impacted by market risk. Investments quoted on the London Stock Exchange or AIM will potentially be subject to more immediate market fluctuations and volatility upwards and downwards. External factors such as terrorist activity can negatively impact stock markets worldwide. In times of adverse sentiment there can be very little, if any, market demand for shares in smaller companies quoted on AIM. Mitigation: The Board keeps the portfolio under regular review. Credit risk: the Company holds a number of financial instruments and cash deposits and is dependent on the counterparties discharging their commitment. Mitigation: the directors and Manager review the creditworthiness of the counterparties to these instruments and cash deposits and seek to ensure there is no undue concentration of credit risk with any one party. Viability Statement In accordance with principle 21 of the AIC Code of Corporate Governance published by the AIC in February 2015, the Directors have assessed the prospects of the Company over the three year period to 31 December 2019. This three year period is used by the Board during the strategic planning process and is considered reasonable for a business of its nature and size. In making this statement, the Board carried out an assessment of the principal risks facing the Company, including those that might threaten its business model, future performance, solvency, or liquidity. The Board also considered the ability of the Company to raise finance and deploy capital. This assessment took account of the availability and likely effectiveness of the mitigating actions that could be taken to avoid or reduce the impact of the underlying risks, including the Manager adapting its investment process to take account of the more restrictive VCT investment rules. This review has considered the principal risks which were identified by the Board. The Board concentrated its efforts on the major factors that affect the economic, regulatory and political environment. The Directors have also considered the Company's income and expenditure projections and underlying assumptions for the next three years and found these to be realistic and sensible. Based on the Company's processes for monitoring cash flow, share price discount, ongoing review of the investment objective and policy, asset allocation, sector weightings and portfolio risk profile, the Board has concluded that there is a reasonable expectation that the Company will be able to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the three years to 31 December 2019. Shareholders approved a co-investment scheme and performance incentive arrangements at a General Meeting held on 8 March 2017, effective from 31 March 2017. Details can be found in note 15 of the Annual Report and Accounts. There were no such arrangements in place during 2016. Investments held by the Company have been valued in accordance with the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation ("IPEVCV") guidelines (December 2015) developed by the British Venture Capital Association and other organisations. Through these guidelines, investments are valued as defined at 'fair value'. Ordinarily, unquoted investments will be valued at cost for a limited period following the date of acquisition, being the most suitable approximation of fair value unless there is an impairment or significant accretion in value during the period. Quoted investments and investments traded on AiM and ISDX Growth Market (formerly PLUS) are valued at the bid price as at 31 December 2016. The portfolio valuations are prepared by Foresight Group, reviewed and approved by the Board quarterly and subject to annual review by the auditors. To obtain VCT tax reliefs on subscriptions up to £200,000 per annum, a VCT investor must be a 'qualifying' individual over the age of 18 with UK taxable income. The tax reliefs for subscriptions since 6 April 2006 are: · Income tax relief of 30% on subscription for new shares, which is forfeit by Shareholders if the shares are not held for more than five years; · VCT dividends (including capital distributions of realised gains on investments) are not subject to income tax in the hands of qualifying holders; · Capital gains on disposal of VCT shares are tax-free, whenever the disposal occurs. Foresight VCT plc has been granted approval as a Venture Capital Trust (VCT) under S274-S280A of the Income Tax Act 2007 for the year ended 31 December 2015. The next complete review will be carried out for the year ended 31 December 2016. It is intended that the business of the Company be carried on so as to maintain its VCT status. The Directors and the Manager have managed, and continue to manage, the business in order to comply with the legislation applicable to VCTs. The Board has appointed Shakespeare Martineau LLP to monitor and provide continuing advice in respect of the Company's compliance with applicable VCT legislation and regulation. As at 31 December 2016 the Company had 75.4% (by VCT valuation) of its funds in such VCT qualifying holdings. The Board and the Manager believe that the strategy of focusing on growth private equity investments is currently in the best interests of Ordinary Shareholders and the historical information reproduced in this report is evidence of positive recent performance in this area. It is intended that the Planned Exit and Infrastructure Shares funds will be closed and funds returned to Shareholders in the medium term. The Company's performance relative to its peer group and benchmarks will depend on the Manager's ability to allocate the Company's assets effectively, make successful investments and manage its liquidity appropriately. Statement of Directors' Responsibilities in respect of the Annual Report and Financial Statements The Directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law they have elected to prepare the financial statements in accordance with UK Accounting Standards and applicable law (UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice) including FRS 102, the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Under company law the directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Company and of the profit or loss of the Company for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the directors are required to: The directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the company's transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They have general responsibility for taking such steps as are reasonably open to them to safeguard the assets of the Company and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities. Under applicable law and regulations, the directors are also responsible for preparing the Strategic Report, Directors' Report, Directors' Remuneration Report and Corporate Governance Statement that complies with that law and those regulations. The directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Company's website (which is delegated to Foresight Group and incorporated into their website). Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions. Statement of Directors' in respect of the Annual Financial Report We confirm that to the best of our knowledge: We consider the annual report and accounts, taken as a whole, are fair, balanced, and understandable and provide the necessary information for Shareholders to assess the Company's position and performance, business model and strategy. On behalf of the Board At 31 December 2016 there was an inter-share debtor/creditor of £52,000 which has been eliminated on aggregation. Reconciliations of Movements in Shareholders' Funds for the year ended 31 December 2016 *Expenses in relation to share issues include adviser fees (£820,000) and promoters fees (£755,000) for the 2016 fund raise and trail commission in relation to prior year fund raises (£49,000). The total column of this statement is the profit and loss account of the Company and the revenue and capital columns represent supplementary information. All revenue and capital items in the above Income Statement are derived from continuing operations. No operations were acquired or discontinued in the year. The Company has no recognised gains or losses other than those shown above, therefore no separate statement of total recognised gains and losses has been presented. The financial statements on pages 45 to 67 of the Annual Report and Accounts were approved by the Board of Directors and authorised for issue on 24 April 2017 and were signed on its behalf by: Analysis of changes in net debt 1. The audited Annual Financial Report has been prepared on the basis of accounting policies set out in the statutory accounts of the Company for the year ended 31 December 2016. All investments held by the Company are classified as 'fair value through the profit and loss'. Unquoted investments have been valued in accordance with IPEVC guidelines. Quoted investments are stated at bid prices in accordance with the IPEVC guidelines and Generally Accepted Accounting Practice. 2. These are not statutory accounts in accordance with S436 of the Companies Act 2006. The full audited accounts for the year ended 31 December 2016, which were unqualified and did not contain statements under S498(2) of the Companies Act 2006 or S498(3) of the Companies Act 2006, will be lodged with the Registrar of Companies. Statutory accounts for the year ended 31 December 2016 including an unqualified audit report and containing no statements under the Companies Act 2006 will be delivered to the Registrar of Companies in due course. 3. Copies of the Annual Report will be sent to shareholders and will be available for inspection at the Registered Office of the Company at The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG and can be accessed on the following website: www.foresightgroup.eu. The net asset value per share is based on net assets at the end of the period and on the number of shares in issue at that date. Notes: a) Total return per share is total return after taxation divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the year. b) Revenue return per share is revenue return after taxation divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the year. c) Capital return per share is capital return after taxation divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the year. The Annual General Meeting will be held at 10.00am on 23 May 2017 at the offices of Foresight Group LLP, The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG. *Deferred consideration of £51,000 was received by the Ordinary Shares fund in the year and is included within realised losses in the income statement. This was offset by a decrease in the deferred consideration debtor of £50,000. ** Deferred consideration of £364,000 was recognised in the year and is included in investment holding gains in the income statement. * Deferred consideration of £13,000 was received by the Planned Exit Shares fund in the year and is included within realised losses in the income statement. ** A deferred consideration debtor of £249,000 was recognised in the year and is included in investment holding gains in the income statement. No Director has an interest in any contract to which the Company is a party. Foresight Group CI Limited, which acts as manager to the Company in respect of all its investments, earned fees of £2,135,000 during the year (2015: £1,227,000). Foresight Fund Managers Limited, Company Secretary, received fees excluding VAT of £110,000 (2015: £100,000) during the year. At the balance sheet date, there was £17,000 (2015: £nil) due to Foresight Group CI Limited and £nil (2015: £nil) due to Foresight Fund Managers Limited. No amounts have been written off in the year in respect of debts due to or from the related parties.
News Article | February 27, 2017
Antoine Frérot, Veolia Environnement’s Chairman & CEO commented: “2016 represents another year of strong results growth for Veolia. Our margins have continued to improve and we achieved net free cash flow of nearly €1 billion. Revenue also improved significantly in the fourth quarter, with 1.9% growth at constant exchange rates. These good results were achieved due to the efforts of each and every one of our Group’s employees, and I would like to thank them. At the end of 2015, we presented our 3-year development plan. It is based on controlled and profitable growth and accompanied by continued cost reduction efforts. Our ambition remains intact. The last quarter of 2016 showed that Veolia has demonstrated the capacity to generate growth and I wish to further accelerate growth by committing additional resources. In addition, our business situation has toughened during recent months. In order to finance reinforced commercial efforts and address this new reality, we are intensifying our cost savings program to drive €800 million in savings over the 2016-2018 period compared with the previous expectation of €600 million. These additional efforts will enable Veolia to continue on the path of profitable growth.” By business, and at constant exchange rates, Water revenue declined by 1.5% to €11,138 million due to lower construction revenue, while Waste revenue increased 0.5% to €8,401 million given a 0.6% increase in revenue due to higher volumes and service price increases of 0.8%. Energy revenue increased 0.4% to €4,851 million, including the impact of lower energy prices, as well as a slightly favorable weather effect (+€35 million) and good volumes in China. Excluding the impact of lower energy prices and construction revenue, each business increased revenue at constant exchange rates by +1.8%, +1.6% and +3.2%, respectively.The reinforcement of the percent of revenue generated by industrial clients continues, representing 45% of 2016 revenue compared with 44% in 2015. * At constant exchange rates ** Equivalent to €3.4bn to €3.6bn (excluding IFRIC 12) and before taking into account the unfavorable exchange rate impacts recorded in 2016 Definitions of all financial indicators used in this press release can be found at the end of this document. Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 174,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2015, the group Veolia supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 63 million people with wastewater service, produced 63 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 42.9 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.0 billion in 2015. www.veolia.com Veolia Environnement is a corporation listed on the Euronext Paris. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside our control, including but not limited to: the risk of suffering reduced profits or losses as a result of intense competition, the risk that changes in energy prices and taxes may reduce Veolia Environnement’s profits, the risk that governmental authorities could terminate or modify some of Veolia Environnement’s contracts, the risk that acquisitions may not provide the benefits that Veolia Environnement hopes to achieve, the risks related to customary provisions of divesture transactions, the risk that Veolia Environnement’s compliance with environmental laws may become more costly in the future, the risk that currency exchange rate fluctuations may negatively affect Veolia Environnement’s financial results and the price of its shares, the risk that Veolia Environnement may incur environmental liability in connection with its past, present and future operations, as well as the other risks described in the documents Veolia Environnement has filed with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers (French securities regulator). Veolia Environnement does not undertake, nor does it have, any obligation to provide updates or to revise any forward looking statements. Investors and security holders may obtain from Veolia Environnement a free copy of documents it filed (www.veolia.com) with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers. This document contains "non‐GAAP financial measures". These "non‐GAAP financial measures" might be defined differently from similar financial measures made public by other groups and should not replace GAAP financial measures prepared pursuant to IFRS standards.. FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR THE YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2016 Under concession contracts with local authorities, infrastructure is accounted, as appropriate, as an intangible asset, a financial receivable, or a combination of the two. Veolia may have a payment obligation vis-a-vis the grantor to utilize the associated assets. In July 2016, IFRIC published a verdict regarding these payments and concluded that in the case of fixed payments required by the operator, an asset and a liability should be recorded (intangible model) Veolia identified the contracts concerned and will apply the new IFRIC 12 measures retroactive to 1/1/2015. The most significant contracts concerned are our water concessions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. RECONCILIATION OF 2015 AND 2016 FIGURES EXCLUDING AND INCLUDING IMPACTS OF THE ADOPTION OF THE IFRIC 12 INTERPRETATION Revenue, net free cash flow and net financial debt are not impacted by the adoption of the IFRIC 12 interpretation. The data for the year ended December 31, 2016, presented in this press release do not include the impact of the re-presentations relating to the adoption of the IFRIC 12 interpretation. (1) Including the share of current net income of joint ventures and associates viewed as core Company activitie (2) See definition in Appendix (3) Subject to the approval of General Shareholders’ Meeting of April 20, 2017 The main foreign exchange impacts were as follows: C] INCOME STATEMENT EXCLUDING THE IMPACT OF IFRIC 12 Group consolidated revenue stood at €24,390.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to €24,964.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of -0.4% at constant exchange rates. Excluding Construction revenue 5 and the impact of lower energy prices, revenue increased +2.0% at constant exchange rates. Revenue posted an upturn of +1.9% at constant exchange rates in the 4th quarter (after -2.1% in the 1st quarter, +0.1% in the 2nd quarter, and -1.7% in the 3rd quarter at constant exchange rates), reflecting the Group’s return to growth. Excluding Construction and the impact of energy prices, 4th quarter revenue rose by +3.4% at constant exchange rates (compared to +1.2% in the 1st quarter, +1.9% in the 2nd quarter, and +1.6% in the 3rd quarter). The municipal sector generated 55% of 2016 revenue (i.e. around €13 billion), and the industrial sector generated 45% (i.e. around €11 billion). The change in revenue between 2015 and 2016 breaks down by main impact as follows: The foreign exchange impact on revenue amounted to -€473.2 million (-1.9% of revenue) and mainly reflects fluctuations in the value of the euro against the U.K. pound sterling (-€275.8 million), the Argentine peso (-€90.6 million), the Japanese yen (+€43.9 million), the Polish zloty (-€38.9 million), the Mexican peso (-€27.3 million), and the Chinese renminbi (-€29.2 million). The decrease in Construction revenue (-€484 million, representing -1.9% of Group revenue) essentially concerns Veolia Water Technologies and SADE for -€345 million, as well as the completion of construction work on the Leeds and Shropshire PFI incinerators in the United Kingdom (-€80 million). Group revenue was affected by the decline in energy prices (-0.5%), primarily in the United States and in Central Europe. The positive business momentum (Commerce/Volumes and scope impact) of +€423 million was due to: Favorable price effects were the result of tariff indexations that remain positive, although moderate, and the favorable price impact from recycled materials (+€15 million, particularly paper). The revenue trend in the 4th quarter of 2016 was marked by a turnaround, driven by the growth of Europe excluding France and the Rest of the world: Revenue in France for the year ended December 31, 2016 was €5,417.7 million, down by -1.0% compared with the prior year. Excluding the impact of Construction activities and energy prices, revenue decreased -0.9%. Revenue in the Europe excluding France segment for the year ended December 31, 2016 amounted to €8,286.3 million, up +0.1% at constant exchange rates compared to the year ended December 31, 2015. Revenue posted an upturn of +1.5% at constant exchange rates in the 4th quarter, after virtual stability throughout the year: -0.9% in the 1st quarter, +0.3% in the 2nd quarter, and -0.6% in the 3rd quarter. Excluding the impact of Construction activities and energy prices, revenue increased +2.3% at constant exchange rates for the year. This increase breaks down as follows: Revenue in the Rest of the World segment for the year ended December 31, 2016 was €6,028.4 million, up +3.7% at constant exchange rates compared to the year ended December 31, 2015. After a decrease of -2.4% at constant exchange rates in the 1st quarter, revenue continuously improved throughout the year: +1.9% in the 2nd quarter, +6.3% in the 3rd quarter, and +9.1% in the 4th quarter. Excluding the impact of Construction activities and energy prices, Rest of the World revenue increased +5.0% at constant exchange rates. Rest of the World revenue reflects solid growth across the region, with the exception of Australia: The good growth in the Rest of the World segment was offset by lower revenue in Australia (-3.1% at constant exchange rates). In the Waste business, the increase in collection and treatment activities only partially offset the fall in industrial services. The Global Businesses segment reported revenue of €4,626.2 million for year the ended December 31, 2016, down -4.1% at constant exchange rates compared to the year ended December 31, 2015. After a decrease of -5.2% at constant exchange rates for the nine months period ended September 30, 2016, the decline in 4th quarter revenue was less significant at -1.1% at constant exchange rates. Excluding the impact of Construction activities and energy prices, revenue increased +3.0% at constant exchange rates. The change in revenue was mainly due to: Water revenue declined -1.5% at constant exchange rates year-on-year, and increased +1.8% at constant exchange rates excluding the impact of the Construction activity and energy prices. This decline can be explained as follows: Waste revenue rose +0.5% at constant exchange rates year-on-year, and +1.6% at constant exchange rates excluding the impact of the decrease in Construction activity, in relation, overall, to a positive volume impact of +0.6%, and a service price impact of +0.8%, and more specifically: Energy revenue rose 0.4% at constant exchange rates year-on-year, and increased +3.2% at constant exchange rates excluding the decrease in energy prices (impact of -€115 million). This increase can be explained as follows: Changes in EBITDA by segment were as follows: In 2016, the Group’s consolidated EBITDA amounted to €3,056.0 million, an increase of 4.3% at constant exchange rates compared to 2015, generating an improvement in the EBITDA margin (12.5% in 2016, compared to 12.0% in 2015). This improvement in EBITDA was primarily due to operational efficiency, with cost savings in the amount of €245 million. Changes in EBITDA by segment between 2015 and 2016 were as follows: The change in EBITDA between 2015 and 2016 breaks down by main impact as follows: The foreign exchange impact on EBITDA was negative, amounting to -€71.4 million. It mainly reflects fluctuations of UK the pound sterling (-€38.2 million), South American currencies (-€14.7 million, essentially the Argentine peso), the Chinese renminbi (-€8.7 million) and the Polish zloty (-€8.3 million). Prices effects, net of cost inflation, had a negative impact, notably in France, in line with the very low indexation of contracts. The impact of French Water contract renegotiations amounted to -€31 million. The volumes, commerce and scope impacts are favorable, in the amount of +€38 million: Cost-savings plans contributed €245 million. They mainly cover operational efficiency (for 42%) and purchasing (35%). They were achieved across all geographical zones: France (31%), Europe excluding France (26%), Rest of the World (26%), Global Businesses (12%) and Corporate (5%). Other changes mainly concern one-off items in the amount of -€46 million, particularly in France. Changes in current EBIT by segment were as follows: The Group’s consolidated current EBIT for the year ended December 31, 2016 amounted to €1,383.9 million, up significantly by +8.5% at constant exchange rates compared to 2015. This positive increase in Current EBIT was mainly due to: The foreign exchange impact on Current EBIT was negative at -€43.8 million and mainly reflects fluctuations of the UK pound sterling (-€24.1 million), South American currencies (-€7.5 million, including the Argentine peso), and the Chinese renminbi (-€7.7 million). The reconciling items between EBITDA and Current EBIT as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 are as follows: Depreciation and amortization charges (-€1,394.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016) are up +3.1% at constant exchange rates, or -€42.7 million compared to depreciation and amortization charges for the year ended December 31, 2015 (-€1,380.6 million) mainly due to acquisitions and the commissioning of new assets. Capital gains and losses on disposals of industrial assets for the year ended December 31, 2016 concern capital gains on the disposal of industrial assets in relation to the continuous review of industrial asset portfolios. The share of current net income of joint ventures and associates comprises the UK entities (Water and Waste) for €9 million (versus €15.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, due to movements in scope), and Chinese Water and Waste entities for €44.3 million (compared to €44.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015). The Chinese Water concessions nevertheless rose at constant exchange rates (€35.8 million in 2015, versus €36.2 million in 2016). Net charges to operating provisions for the year ended December 31, 2016 include net provision reversals, particularly usual provision reversals related to landfill site remediation (mainly in France and the United Kingdom), and provision reversals in relation to the removal of certain risks in France and Italy. For the year ended December 31, 2015, this heading included a provision reversal for the “Olivet” contracts in the Water activities in France and the removal of certain risks in France and Australia. 2.3 Analysis of EBITDA and Current EBIT by segment EBITDA in France fell -8.1% during the year. In the Water business, cost savings only partially offset contractual erosion of -€31 million (margin degradation), lower volumes, and the negative impact of price effects net of inflation. EBITDA also fell in the Waste business despite cost savings. The decline is due to a decrease in revenue, unfavorable price impacts net of inflation, and the absence of non-recurring items that benefited 2015. Current EBIT fell in France due to the fall in EBITDA. The EBITDA of the Europe excluding France segment increased significantly in most countries and particularly: The rise in EBITDA in Europe excluding France also reflected cost savings efforts undertaken in all geographic areas. Current EBIT in Europe excluding France increased due to the improvement in EBITDA and the positive change in operating provisions and in particular related to landfills in the UK. Rest of the World EBITDA grew significantly in Asia, as well as in Latin America and North America. Asia EBITDA posted solid growth throughout the year, driven by cost reductions and the increase in revenue, particularly in China and Japan. In China, EBITDA benefited from the substantial increase in Industrial water (integration of the Sinopec contract), Hazardous Waste (commissioning of the Changsha incinerator) and heating networks, particularly Harbin. EBITDA in Latin America was up sharply in the 2nd half, particularly in Argentina, in line with the change in revenue. Following a decline in the first half, particularly regarding Energy, North America EBITDA rebounded in the 2nd half thanks to cost-cutting efforts and the integration of the Chemours Sulfur Products division’s assets, which offset the decline in revenue in industrial services and the lower gas price in Energy. Rest of the World Current EBIT was up at constant exchange rates, but to a lesser extent than EBITDA growth, penalized by higher depreciation and amortization charges relating to the integration of the Chemours Sulfur Products division’s assets, the negative change in operating provisions in the US and Australia, and the early repayment of a receivable in Korea. Results of the Chinese Water concessions, recorded within the share of net income (loss) of joint ventures and associates rose at constant exchange rates. EBITDA of the Global Businesses segment is up significantly: Current EBIT of Global Businesses also rose thanks to the increase in EBITDA and the favorable comparison effect in relation to asset impairments in Hazardous waste in 2015. The cost of net financial debt totaled -€423.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, versus -€445.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, representing a decrease of €22.3 million. This decline in the cost of net financial debt mainly reflects the repayment of the inflation-indexed bond using available cash in June 2015, bond refinancing under better conditions, the Group’s active debt management, and a positive exchange rate impact of €6 million, offsetting the increase in the cost of foreign exchange derivatives. The financing rate fell from 5.0% for the year ended December 31, 2015 to 4.95% for the year ended December 31, 2016. OTHER FINANCIAL INCOME AND EXPENSES Other current financial income and expenses totaled -€30.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, versus €27.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Other current financial income and expenses included the impacts of financial divestitures for €12.8 million, and notably impacts related to fair-value remeasurement of previously-held equity interests in France and China. For the year ended December 31, 2015, capital gains or losses on financial divestitures amounted to €59.5 million, including the capital gain on the disposal of the Group’s Israel activities. Net gains/losses on loans and receivables for the year ended December 31, 2015 included the interest on the loan to Transdev, repaid in full in March 2016. Other non-current financial income and expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 primarily concern the Group’s sale of 20% of Transdev. The income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2016 amounted to -€192.3 million, compared to -€199.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2016 declined to 25.7% (versus 28.0% for the year ended December 31, 2015), after adjustment for the impact of financial divestitures, non-current items within net income of fully controlled entities, and the share of net income of equity-accounted companies. 2.6 Current net income (loss) / Net income (loss) attributable to owners of the Company The share of net income attributable to non-controlling interests totaled €102.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to €101.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Net income attributable to owners of the Company was €382.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to €450.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Current net income attributable to owners of the Company was €609.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to €580.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Based on a weighted average number of outstanding shares of 549.0 million (basic) and 568.5 million (diluted), compared with 548.5 million as of December 31, 2015 (basic and diluted), earnings per share attributable to owners of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2016 was €0.57 (basic) and €0.55 (diluted), compared to 0.69 (basic and diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2015. Current net income per share attributable to owners of the Company was €1.11 (basic) and €1.07 (diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to €1.06 (basic and diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2015. The dilutive effect taken into account in the above earnings per share calculation concerns the OCEANE bonds convertible into and/or exchangeable for new and/or existing shares issued in March 2016, as well as the shares attributed under the long-term incentive plan set up in 2015. Net income (loss) attributable to owners of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2016 breaks down as follows: The reconciliation of Current EBIT with operating income, as shown in the income statement, is as follows: Net income (loss) attributable to owners of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2015, breaks down as follows: The following table summarizes the change in Net Financial Debt and net Free Cash Flow: Net free cash flow amounted to €970 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, versus €856 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase in net free cash flow compared to December 31, 2015 primarily reflects the improvement in EBITDA, the favorable change in operating working capital requirements, lower restructuring charges, partially offset by the increase in net industrial investments in line with fewer industrial divestitures in 2016. Total Group gross industrial investments, including new operating financial assets, amounted to €1,485 million in 2016, compared with €1,484 million in 2015. Industrial investments, excluding discontinued operations, break down by segment as follows: Gross industrial investments for maintenance and contractual requirements totaled €1,280 million in 2016 (vs. €1,217 million in 2015), representing 5.2% of revenue (stable compared to 2015). Financial investments amounted to -€881 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 (including the net financial debt of new entities and acquisition costs) and include the acquisition of Kurion in the US (-€296 million), the Chemours’ Sulfur Products division (-€290 million) the Pedreira landfill in Brazil (-€71 million), and the Prague Left Bank district heating network (-€70 million). For the year ended December 31, 2015, financial investments for -€270 million were mainly related to the purchase of minority stakes in the Water business in Central Europe. Financial divestitures totaled €380 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 and include the sale of 20% of Transdev for €216 million (including disposal costs). For the year ended December 31, 2015, financial divestitures included the divestiture of Group activities in Israel. Financial divestitures, including the reimbursement by Transdev Group of the shareholder loan in March 2016 for €345 million (recorded under “Change in receivables and other financial assets”), amounted to €725 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. This transaction therefore had a total impact of €565 million on Group net financial debt (excluding disposal costs). Loans to joint ventures, recorded under “Change in receivables and other financial assets” totaled €165.6 million as of December 31, 2016 (versus €509.9 million as of December 31, 2015) and included loans to the Chinese concessions of €124.1 million (€116 million as of December 31, 2015). As of December 31, 2015, loans to equity-accounted entities also included loans to Transdev Group of €345.4 million repaid in full as of December 31, 2016. The change in operating working capital requirements (excluding discontinued operations) totaled +€270 million as of December 31, 2016, compared to +€203 million as of December 31, 2015. This increase was attributable to the change in inventories (+€35 million), operating receivables (+€84 million) and operating payables (+€151 million). As of December 31, 2016, net financial debt after hedging6 was borrowed at 92% at fixed rates and 8% at variable rates. The average maturity of net financial debt was 9.3 years as of December 31, 2016 vs. 8.8 years as of December 31, 2015. The leverage ratio for the year ended December 31, 2016, i.e. the ratio of closing Net Financial Debt (NFD) to EBITDA, decreased compared to December 31, 2015: Liquid assets of the Group as of December 31, 2016 break down as follows: The increase in net liquid assets mainly reflects the offering of bonds convertible into and/or exchangeable for new and/or existing shares (OCEANEs) for a nominal amount of €700 million, the issue of a renminbi-denominated bond on the Chinese domestic market in September 2016 for a nominal amount of €136 million equivalent and the issue of euro-denominated bonds for a nominal amount of €1.1 billion in October 2016, partially offset by upcoming bond maturities in 2017, including the euro-denominated bond maturing in January 2017 for a nominal amount of €606 million, the euro-denominated bond maturing in June 2017 for a nominal amount of €250 million, the renminbi-denominated bond maturing in June 2017 for a nominal amount of €68 million equivalent, and the floating-rate euro-denominated bond maturing in May 2017 for a nominal amount of €350 million. Veolia Environnement may draw on the multi-currency syndicated credit facility and all credit lines at any time. On November 6, 2015, Veolia Environnement signed a new multi-currency syndicated loan facility in the amount of €3 billion initially maturing in 2020, extended to 2021 in October 2016 and extendable to 2022 with the possibility for drawdowns in Eastern European currencies and Chinese Renminbi. This syndicated loan facility replaces the two syndicated loan facilities set up in 2011: a 5-year multi-currency loan facility of €2.5 billion, and a 3-year loan of €500 million for drawdowns in Polish zlotys, Czech crowns and Hungarian forints. This syndicated loan facility was not drawn down as of December 31, 2016. In 2015, Veolia Environnement renegotiated all its bilateral credit lines for a total undrawn amount of €925 million as of December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, the letter of credit facility was drawn by USD 176.3 million. The portion that may be drawn in cash amounted to USD 8.7 million (€8.2 million euro equivalent). It is undrawn and recorded in the liquidity table above. The decrease in net liquid assets mainly reflects upcoming bond maturities before June 30, 2017, including the euro-denominated bond maturing in January 2017 for a nominal amount of €606 million, the euro-denominated bond maturing in June 2017 for a nominal amount of €250 million, and the renminbi denominated bond maturing in June 2017 for a nominal amount of €68 million equivalent, partially offset by an offering of bonds convertible into and/or exchangeable for new and/or existing shares (OCEANEs) for a nominal amount of €700 million .E] RETURN ON CAPITAL EMPLOYED EXCLUDING THE IMPACT OF IFRIC 12 Veolia Environnement uses the ROCE indicator (return on capital employed) to track the Group's profitability. This indicator measures Veolia Environnement's ability to provide a return on the funds provided by shareholders and lenders. The Group distinguishes between: The return on capital employed indicators are defined in the appendix. In both cases, the impacts of the Group’s investment in the Transdev Group joint venture, which is not viewed as a core Company activity and whose contribution is recognized as a share of net income of other equity-accounted entities, are excluded from the calculations. Current EBIT after tax is calculated as follows: (*) Including the share of net income (loss) of joint ventures and associates. Average capital employed for the year was calculated as follows: The Group's post-tax return on capital employed (ROCE) is as follows: The Group's post-tax return on capital employed (ROCE) was 7.2% for the year ended December 31, 2016 versus 6.8% for the year ended December 31, 2015. The increase in the return on capital employed between 2016 and 2015 was primarily due to improved operating performance. Unlike post-tax ROCE, the capital employed used for the pre-tax ROCE does not include investments in joint ventures and associates. The Group’s pre-tax return on capital employed (ROCE) by segment is as follows: Cost of net financial debt is equal to the cost of gross debt, including related gains and losses on interest rate and currency hedges, less income on cash and cash equivalents. Operating cash flow before changes in working capital, as presented in the consolidated cash flow statement, is comprised of three components: operating cash flow from operating activities (referred to as “adjusted operating cash flow” and known in French as “capacité d'autofinancement opérationnelle”) consisting of operating income and expenses received and paid (“cash”), operating cash flow from financing activities including cash financial items relating to other financial income and expenses and operating cash flow from discontinued operations composed of cash operating and financial income and expense items classified in net income from discontinued operations pursuant to IFRS 5. Adjusted operating cash flow does not include the share of net income attributable to equity-accounted entities. Net income (loss) from discontinued operations is the total of income and expenses, net of tax, related to businesses divested or in the course of divestiture, in accordance with IFRS 5. The term “change at constant exchange rates” represents the change resulting from the application of exchange rates of the prior period to the current period, all other things being equal. The municipal sector encompasses services in the Water, Waste and Energy business lines aimed at users, performed under contracts with municipal governments, groups of municipal governments, or regional or national governments. The industrial sector covers Water, Waste and Energy management services, offered to industrial or service sector customers. EBITDA comprises the sum of all operating income and expenses received and paid (excluding restructuring charges, non-current WCR impairments, renewal expenses and share acquisition and disposal costs) and principal payments on operating financial assets. The EBITDA margin is defined as the ratio of EBITDA to revenue. To calculate Current EBIT, the following items will be deducted from operating income: (*) Correction of an erratum in the figures of the consolidated statement of financial position- equity and liabilities: page 35 Current net income is defined as the sum of the following items: Current net income earnings per share is defined as the ratio of current net income (not restated for the cost of the coupon attributable to hybrid debt holders) by the weighted average number of outstanding shares during the year. Net industrial investments, as presented in the statement of changes in net financial debt, include industrial investments (purchases of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment, and operating financial assets), net of industrial asset divestitures. The Group considers discretionary growth investments, which generate additional cash flows, separately from maintenance-related investments, which reflect the replacement of equipment and installations used by the Group as well as investments relating to contractual obligations. Net financial investments, as presented in the statement of changes in net financial debt, include financial investments, net of financial divestitures. Financial investments include purchases of financial assets, including the net financial debt of companies entering the scope of consolidation, and partial purchases resulting from transactions with shareholders where there is no change in control. Financial divestitures include net financial debt of companies leaving the scope of consolidation, and partial divestitures resulting from transactions with shareholders where there is no change in control, as well as issues of share capital by non-controlling interests. Net free cash flow corresponds to free cash flow from continuing operations, and is calculated by: the sum of EBITDA, dividends received, changes in operating working capital and operating cash flow from financing activities, less net interest expense, net industrial investments, taxes paid, renewal expenses, restructuring charges and other non-current expenses. Net financial debt (NFD) represents gross financial debt (non-current borrowings, current borrowings, bank overdrafts and other cash position items), net of cash and cash equivalents, liquid assets and financing-related assets, including fair value adjustments to derivatives hedging debt. Liquid assets are financial assets composed of funds or securities with an initial maturity of more than three months, easily convertible into cash, and managed with respect to a liquidity objective while maintaining a low capital risk. The leverage ratio is the ratio of closing Net Financial Debt to EBITDA. The financing rate is defined as the ratio of the cost of net financial debt (excluding fair value adjustments to instruments not qualifying for hedge accounting) to average monthly net financial debt for the period, including the cost of net financial debt of discontinued operations. The pre-tax return on capital employed (ROCE) is defined as the ratio of: Capital employed used in the ROCE calculation is therefore equal to the sum of net intangible assets and property, plant and equipment, goodwill net of impairment, operating financial assets, net operating and non-operating working capital requirements and net derivative instruments less provisions. It also includes the capital employed of activities classified within assets and liabilities held for sale, excluding discontinued operations. The post-tax return on capital employed (ROCE) is defined as the ratio of: Capital employed used in the post-tax ROCE calculation is therefore equal to the sum of net intangible assets and property, plant and equipment, goodwill net of impairment, investments in joint ventures and associates, operating financial assets, net operating and non-operating working capital requirements and net derivative instruments less provisions. It also includes the capital employed of activities classified within assets and liabilities held for sale, excluding discontinued operations. For both pre-tax and post-tax ROCE, the impacts of the Group’s investment in the Transdev Group joint venture, which is not viewed as a core Company activity and whose contribution is recognized as a share of net income of other equity-accounted entities, are excluded from the calculations. 1 Excluding representation related to IFRIC 12 fixed payments 2 At constant exchange rates At current consolidation scope and exchange rates: Revenue declined 2.3% and was stable (+0.1%) in the 4th quarter. EBITDA increased 2.0%, current EBIT increased 5.2% and current net income-Group share increased 5.1%. Excluding net financial capital gains current net income increased 13.2%. 3 At constant exchange rates 4 Equivalent to €3.4bn to €3.6bn (excluding IFRIC 12) and before taking into account the unfavorable exchange rate impacts recorded in 2016 5 Construction activities concern the Group’s engineering and construction businesses (mainly Veolia Water Technologies and SADE), as well as construction completed as part of operating contracts. 6 Including the restatement of €1,067 million of the carry-over of cash related to the pre-financing of future bond maturities in 2017.
News Article | February 27, 2017
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. (AGE)* announced that it has guaranteed principal and interest payments on approximately £98 million par of bonds, issued by Uliving to refinance student halls of residence at the University of Essex Colchester campus. As a result of the guarantee, the bonds are rated AA by S&P. The publicly listed, 42-year bond priced on 22 February 2017 taking advantage of the current low long term real rates by issuing at a negative real yield (prior to factoring in inflation). The sponsor, Uliving, was established in 2009 to develop student accommodation projects in partnership with universities. The bonds will refinance a project that has been operational since 2013 and consists of two buildings on the University’s Colchester campus, providing a total of 1,429 student rooms. "We are now seeing a stronger flow of refinancing opportunities like this one, across various sectors and PFI projects, because of the current low interest rate environment, coupled with the increased number of investors choosing to invest in longer maturities in order to match their liabilities. These are excellent conditions to refinance with a wrapped bond and reduce the cost of debt.” Assured Guaranty closed a similar transaction for the University of London at the end of December. “There is strong demand from investors for highly rated infrastructure bonds as a direct result of Solvency II. In this transaction, as with others we have closed, a wrap proved to be the most cost-effective solution to deliver this refinancing." As the financial guarantor, AGE guarantees timely payment of scheduled principal and interest to bondholders throughout the life of the bond, in accordance with the terms of its financial guarantee. * AGE (company number 2510099) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. AGE provides its financial guarantee together with a co-guarantee from its affiliate Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (AGM). Through its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGL and, together with its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty) is the leading provider of financial guarantees for principal and interest payments due on municipal, public infrastructure and structured financings. Its subsidiary AGM guarantees international infrastructure and U.S. municipal bonds - and was previously named Financial Security Assurance Inc. (FSA) before becoming an Assured Guaranty company in July 2009. AGE, a subsidiary of AGM, is Assured Guaranty’s European operating platform. AGL is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO), Bermuda-based holding company. More information on AGL and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com. Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect Assured Guaranty’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those resulting from Assured Guaranty’s inability to execute its strategies; the demand for Assured Guaranty’s financial guarantees; further actions that the rating agencies may take with respect to Assured Guaranty’s financial strength ratings; adverse developments in Assured Guaranty’s guaranteed portfolio; and other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, management’s response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in AGL’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of 27 February 2017. Assured Guaranty undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
News Article | February 16, 2017
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) today announced it was named 2016’s Global Bank of the Year by Project Finance International, the second consecutive year the bank has captured the magazine’s top annual honor. Among MUFG’s 2016 accomplishments, the honor reflects MUFG’s role as the most active Lead Arranger for project financings in the Americas for the eighth year in a row.1 One of the world’s leading financial groups, MUFG also was a significant participant in client transactions which were recognized by PFI with the following awards for the Americas: “This award is an indication of how well a team can perform when it has the full faith and cooperation of its clients,” said Jon Lindenberg, MUFG’s Deputy Head of Investment Banking and Head of Project Finance for the Americas. “My MUFG colleagues and I are proud to support our clients as they create some of the world’s most innovative and advanced projects. Further, we would like to thank PFI, one of the most respected publications in our industry, for recognizing MUFG’s commitment and efforts in this critical sector.” Headquartered in New York, MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation is a financial holding company and bank holding company with total assets of $148.1 billion at December 31, 2016. Its main subsidiaries are MUFG Union Bank, N.A. and MUFG Securities Americas Inc. MUFG Union Bank, N.A. provides an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. As of December 31, 2016, MUFG Union Bank, N.A. operated 365 branches, comprised primarily of retail banking branches in the West Coast states, along with commercial branches in Texas, Illinois, New York and Georgia, as well as two international offices. MUFG Securities Americas Inc. is a registered securities broker-dealer which engages in capital markets origination transactions, private placements, collateralized financings, securities borrowing and lending transactions, and domestic and foreign debt and equities securities transactions. MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation is owned by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., one of the world’s leading financial groups. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Visit www.unionbank.com or www.mufgamericas.com for more information. About MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.) MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.) is one of the world's leading financial groups, with total assets of approximately $2.6 trillion (USD) as of December 31, 2016. Headquartered in Tokyo and with approximately 350 years of history, MUFG is a global network with more than 2,200 offices in nearly 50 countries. The Group has more than 140,000 employees and about 300 entities, offering services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing. The Group's operating companies include Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (Japan's leading trust bank), and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co., Ltd., one of Japan's largest securities firms. Through close partnerships among our operating companies, the Group aims to "be the world's most trusted financial group," flexibly responding to all of the financial needs of our customers, serving society, and fostering shared and sustainable growth for a better world. MUFG's shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York (MTU) stock exchanges. Visit www.mufg.jp/english/index.html.