Despite the ongoing health crisis, we returned to our pre-pandemic trajectory of sustainable and profitable growth in 2021, driving earnings to all-time highs.
Record earnings and growth in 2021
Edenred’s total revenue amounted to €1,627 million in 2021, up 14% like-for-like versus 2020, in a year still impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Operating revenue also rose by 14% like-for-like on 2020, with double-digit growth across all business lines and all regions. Compared with 2019 – the last year before the pandemic hit – operating revenue grew by 11% like-for-like.
|2021||2020||Like-for-like change||Reported change|
|EBITDA margin||41.1%||39.6%||+1,5 pts|
|Net profit, Group share||313||238||+31.4%|
Free cash flow totaled €518 million in 2021, lifted in part by the good fourth-quarter performance, leading to a free cash flow/EBITDA conversion rate of 77%.
As a result, the Group’s net debt/EBITDA ratio decreased significantly to 1.2x in 2021, versus 1.9x in 2020.
|Free cash flow||518||640|
Assertive, real-world non-financial targets
In June 2021, we successfully placed our first sustainability-linked convertible bonds for a nominal amount of approximately €400 million.
To coincide with the placement, we published our first Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework, which was reviewed by external firms EthiFinance and EcoAct and is based on the achievement by 2025 of sustainable performance targets selected from our Ideal CSR policy.
Back in 2020, for the first time in our history, we tied CSR criteria to the financial terms of our €750 million syndicated credit facility.
>€1.1 billion in funding tied to non-financial performance targets
Confirmed financial strength
Since Edenred’s IPO in 2010, the Group has been rated Strong Investment Grade BBB+/stable outlook by Standard & Poor’s. This rating, confirmed once again in May 2021, is based on an analysis of multiple criteria that assess the Group’s operating profile and financial position.
|Proposed dividend per share||0.70||0.75||0.90*|
Constant dialogue with the financial community
For the second year in a row, the pandemic restricted opportunities for in-person meetings in 2021. However, thanks to digital and virtual formats, we successfully maintained regular dialogue with the financial community to keep it informed about our strategy and performance. We were in contact with more than 1,350 investors representing over 400 international financial institutions, held 20 virtual roadshows and took part in 16 remote conferences with investors. We also hosted a webinar with the Group’s Executive Vice President, Finance, as well as two in-person meetings specifically for individual shareholders, held during a period of looser health restrictions. Shareholders also receive a dedicated newsletter twice a year.
Reflecting our commitment to dialogue with all stakeholders, in October 2021 Edenred received several awards at the Grand Prix de la Transparence ceremony, in which some 140 companies (SBF 120 index firms and above) were competing. The Group won the Website category, and ranked seventh among SBF 120 companies for the quality of information provided to shareholders and investors. Edenred was also nominated in the “Clarity of the Universal Registration Document” and “Best Progress” categories.
In March 2021, Edenred won the Silver Trophy for Best Digital Communication in the SBF 120 (excluding CAC 40 firms), awarded by French investment weekly Le Revenu.