Keolis Group has the set the goal of tripling the share of bus kilometres powered by alternative energies to diesel by 2030. This goes along with the other commitment to reducing intensity of greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre by 30% from the 2019 baseline. Finally, the French group aims to raise the share of revenue covered by the ISO 14001 environmental management system from 44% to 80%.
In 2020 Keolis’ revenues went down 7.5%. Losses were limited thanks to cost-saving plans: «We reduced the impact of the health crisis from €519 million to €189 million», the group said.
Keolis financial results 2021
This morning the group presented the financial results 2021. A year that brought significant improvements compared to the ‘pandemic’ 2020, as revenue came to €6.3bn, a 10.3% increase excluding changes in scope from the Wales and Borders contract, and a 3.7% increase with the adjustment.
Over 115 competitive contracts were awarded during the year in France. The Group continued its selective business development strategy in other countries, capitalising on those where it already has a footprint, such as Australia, and on its expertise in heavy transport, which was reflected in the award of the contract to operate and maintain Dubai’s metro and tram networks.
As mentioned above, Keolis Group made public that revenues totalled €6.3 billion in 2021, up 3.7% (+€225 million) from 2020. When adjusted for the Wales & Borders contract, the rise was 10.3%. Operating profit (recurring EBITDA) grew sharply to €690 million, up 30% from €532 million in 2020. EBITDA/revenue margin was back to its pre-Covid level of 10.9%, up from 8.7% in 2020. Net profit, Group share was +€20 million, compared with a net profit adjusted for exceptional operating items of -€101 million in 2020.
Net financial debt (excluding IFRS16) held steady, thanks to continued strict financial discipline and firm control of operational cash flow. It stood at €1,030 million compared with €1,034 million in 2020 and €1,121 million in 2019.
At year-end the Group ended its operations in Germany, in line with the new business development and profitability strategy adopted in 2020. Under an agreement with public transport authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia, the four rail networks previously run by Keolis in Germany have been operated by a new shareholder since 1 January 2022.
Keolis results 2021, tenders in France
In France, calls for tender came at a brisk pace in 2021, due in part to market liberalisation in the Paris Region.
Keolis Group won many urban and interurban contracts in the Paris Region and elsewhere. Examples include bus networks in Argenteuil-Boucles de Seine and in Poissy-Les Mureaux. Keolis also signed a contract for two lots of ZOU!, the regional transport network in the south-eastern department of Alpes-Maritimes, which plans to have a fully electric bus fleet by 2023.
Contracts won in 2021 represent full-year revenues of €304 million and net income of €65 million.
On international markets, Keolis pursued a selective business development policy and scored a number of notable successes, including a contract in the United Arab Emirates to operate Dubai’s automated metro and tram networks. Service started in September 2021, just a few days before the World Expo opened.
Keolis new contract in Australia and Sweden
In Australia, Keolis won a contract to operate a fleet of over 400 buses near Sydney, and began service in October 2021. By the end of the contract, 125 vehicles will be converted to electric power. Momentum in Australia — a market representing revenues of over €700 million — was also reflected in the launch in January 2021 of rail operations in Adelaide, the Group’s first rail network in the country.
In Sweden, Keolis won contracts in Gothenburg, to operate the first 100% electric-powered bus in the country, and in Uppsala County for a biodiesel- and biogas-powered bus network.
Keolis Group points out that “Winning back passengers and restoring confidence in public transport are key priorities for Keolis. The Group is addressing these challenges by developing pioneering tools to measure mobility and ridership. Based on GPS and WiFI tracking technology, the Dotpulse (WiFI) and Visiopulse (GPS) systems are now used by transport networks in Rennes, Nancy and Melbourne. Innovation also helps deliver service to people with special needs, making public transport more inclusive and accessible. Examples include NaviLens next-generation QR codes to facilitate wayfinding for the visually impaired now being tested in Versailles and Bordeaux”.
Keolis, electric bus fleet launched in 2021
Keolis continues to plan and roll out low-carbon transport services. Examples include a second 100% electric BRT line on the Basque coast that started up in April 2021 and laying the groundwork for a hydrogen cell-powered bus service in Dijon. The Group also launched a new biofuel-powered bus network linking Gothenburg and Borås in Sweden, and rolled out 20 electric buses in Odense in May. In the US, it began operating fleets of hydrogen buses in Las Vegas (Nevada) and Foothill (California).
As part of its active contribution to promoting sustainable mobility, the Group has set three major goals for 2030:
- Reduce intensity of greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre by 30% from the 2019 baseline, across all transport modes operated by Keolis
- Triple the share of kilometres powered by alternative energies to diesel for Group buses and coaches
- Raise the share of revenue covered by the ISO 14001 environmental management system from 44% to 80%.
Keolis speeds up on CSR policy
In 2021, Keolis announces it has «adopted a corporate purpose that places CSR at the heart of its strategy. The Group’s new transformation programme, Keolis Way, and a set of ambitious targets will put this new purpose into practice in key areas». Among the targets: «increasing the percentage of women in its workforce to over 24% by 2025, up from 21.7% in 2020, covering over 95% of all employees with GEEIS certification, up from 87% in 2020 (Gender Equality European & International Standard)».
Keolis has also pursued and accelerated its policy of sustainable and responsible procurement. In 2021, purchases from structures in the social and solidarity economy (SSE) amounted to €20 million in France and €13 million in the United States, a sharp rise from 2020 (€11.7 million in France).
Marie-Ange Debon, Keolis Chief Executive Officer: “2021 was a year of consolidation, focused on operational and business performance. Together with our 68,000 employees, we did our utmost to deliver optimum service to our customers and their users, and to limit the pandemic’s impact on our activities. Last year was also a time for restoring and consolidating our financial performance, after a challenging 2020. At the same time, we intensified our focus on CSR, in line with our conviction that Keolis has an important role to play as a responsible corporate citizen.
For the past two years, we’ve worked closely with public transport authorities on a number of measures to win back passengers. In 2022, our committed employees in France and around the world will continue this campaign to offer an increasingly safe, smooth, effortless passenger experience. The prospect of fewer pandemic-related travel restrictions and the vital role of mobility in promoting regional development and fighting climate change are important reasons to look towards Keolis Group’s future growth with confidence and optimism. Today more than ever, we’re convinced that public transport is an essential public service and the cornerstone for building a more sustainable, more inclusive world.”