GDF Suez: 2008 1st Half Results



    
    Strong Growth in Results, Industrial and Commercial Developments in Every
    Business Line, Confirmation of Medium-Term Objectives

    PARIS, Sept. 1 /CNW/ -

    Revenues:                                         EUR 43.1 billion (+17%)
    EBITDA:                                           EUR 8.1 billion  (+20%)
    Current operating income:                         EUR 5.5 billion  (+20%)
    Net result, Group share:                          EUR 3.4 billion  (+14%)
    Gearing:                                                             29%
    Capex:                                            EUR 5.7 billion  (+52%)
    

    GDF SUEZ publishes unaudited pro forma half-year results for the new
Group, comprising 2007 data established on a comparable basis.(1) Furthermore,
2008 consolidated first half year results of Gaz de France and of SUEZ have
also been otherwise established and submitted to the audit committee.(2)

    Strong earnings growth

    GDF SUEZ produced excellent operating and financial performances during
first-half 2008. Every business line contributed to numerous commercial and
industrial developments. Double-digit growth in main operating indicators:
Revenues: +17%; EBITDA: +20%; Current operating income: +20%.
    GDF SUEZ net income Group share grew to EUR 3.4 billion, a more than 14%
increase, thus demonstrating the strength and growth potential of the combined
positions of the new Group. In particular, it benefits from growing energy
sales in Europe and internationally against a background of high market prices
and a well-balanced and developing power generation base.
    Exploration and Production activities show strong earnings growth,
propelled by rising hydrocarbon prices and new oilfields coming into
production. The Group achieved very good performance from its LNG activity,
thus illustrating the quality of its assets taking advantage of a diversified
natural gas supply portfolio well adjusted to the market. The Group's
Infrastructure activities made a solid contribution to this performance.
Finally, the dynamism of Energy Services, meeting new energy efficiency
challenges contributed to the Group's earnings growth.
    SUEZ ENVIRONMENT recorded a solid performance characterized by sustained
revenue growth, and strong generation of free cash flow. SUEZ ENVIRONMENT
positions itself on attractive, high-growth markets, and confirms its
financial objectives for 2008-2010.
    The Group generated EUR 6.4 billion in cash flow, allowing a strong
increase in investments, EUR 5.7 billion (+52%), consistent with its
development program. After dividend payment for 2007 and share buyback
programs, net debt stood at EUR 18.8 billion as at June 30, 2008.
Shareholders' equity totaled EUR 64.3 billion, for a 29% debt to equity ratio.

    Top-rank commercial and industrial positions in all business lines

    The merger of Gaz de France and SUEZ, completed on July 22, 2008, gave
birth to a new world leader in energy, with major positions in natural gas,
electricity, and energy services, along with a secure, well-diversified energy
supply portfolio and a flexible, high-performance, low-CO2 emitting
electricity generation base.
    GDF SUEZ enjoys the best human, industrial, and financial assets to meet
tomorrow's energy challenges and opportunities.
    The Group benefits from the complementarity of its activities, a solid
presence across the entire energy value chain (upstream and downstream, in
natural gas, electricity and energy services), a balanced and flexible energy
mix in the heart of Europe, and a presence on every continent. It enjoys
triple world leadership - in LNG, in Independent Power Production, and in
energy services. The Group places sustainable development at the heart of its
businesses and intends to rely upon energy and environment synergies to
contribute to environmental protection and combat global warming.
    The Group is implementing an ambitious strategy based mainly on organic
industrial growth. Recent commercial and industrial developments in each of
its business lines illustrate this strategy, in particular:

    
    -   Brazil: Jirau hydropower dam (3,300 MW);
    -   Middle East: Ras Laffan plant in Qatar (2,730 MW, plus seawater
        desalination capacity of 286,000 m3/day), Shuweihat 2 in Abu Dhabi
        (1,500 MW and 454,610 m3/day) and Al Dur in Bahrain (1,234 MW and
        218,00 m3/day);
    -   Turkey: acquisition of Izgaz (natural gas sales and distribution);
    -   United States: Astoria power plant in New York (575 MW);
    -   United Kingdom: Teesside power plant (1,875 MW), Olympic Park heating
        and cooling network concession for the London 2012 Olympics;
    -   Italy: Romana Gas (natural gas distribution network for the city of
        Rome), 6 cogeneration power plants (370 MW);
    -   LNG: construction of the Mejillones LNG terminal in Chile
        (commissioning in early 2010), Rabaska terminal project in Canada,
        agreement with PowerGas (Singapore);
    -   Nuclear: agreement with Total and Areva for a United Arab Emirates
        project, equity investment in George Besse ll plant (ensuring
        security of supply of enriched uranium).
    -   SUEZ ENVIRONMENT: numerous commercial successes in Europe for water
        projects (10-year, EUR 50 million contract award in Nantes) and waste
        services (signature of a SITA France-Renault partnership for
        dismantling end-of-life vehicles), as well as internationally
        (EUR 99 million contract for modernizing and expanding the East
        Alexandria wastewater treatment station), rounded out by local
        "tuck-in" industrial acquisitions, particularly in the U.S. water
        sector and in European recycling and waste-to-energy facilities.

    Outlook for continued profitable growth
    

    The very strong progression in EBITDA during the first six months
benefited from more favorable weather conditions in Europe and from
non-recurring events such as, the rise in oil and electricity market prices,
along with excellent results for Tractebel Energia (Brazil) and Distrigas.
Taking into account those effects and attractive growth prospects for all its
businesses, the Group confirms its short and medium-term profitable growth
objectives:

    
    -   2008 EBITDA(3) growth (greater than) +10% on the basis of restated
        2007 and 2008 EBITDA(4) reflecting disposals of Distrigas, Fluxys,
        SPE, and Cofathec Coriance;
    -   EBITDA(5) target of EUR 17 billion by 2010;
    -   Operational synergy program generating approximately EUR 1 billion in
        savings per year by 2013;
    -   EUR 30 billion industrial capex program for the period 2008-2010;
    -   Strict financial discipline ensuring a strong "A" credit rating.
        GDF SUEZ confirms a dynamic dividend policy offering competitive
        yield in relation to the sector.
    

    The Group reaffirms its dividend payout target of at least 50% of
recurring net income Group share, as well as its goal of average annual growth
of 10% to 15% for dividends paid between 20076 and 2010.
    The Group is establishing the principle of paying, starting in 2008, an
interim dividend for the year in progress, to be paid during the 2nd semester
of each year.
    For 2008, the Group announces the payment on November 27, 2008 of
EUR 0.80/share, for a total payout of EUR 1.7 billion. This payment will take
the form of an interim dividend. In addition, the shareholders' meeting to be
held in May 2009 will decide to carry out the payment of the balance of the
ordinary dividend, completed by a special dividend of EUR 0.80/share.
    Finally, a new EUR 1 billion share buyback program will be carried out
before the end of the year.

    
    Calendar

    November 13, 2008: Publication of 3rd quarter results
    November 26, 2008: Investor Day
     -  breakdown of GDF SUEZ pro forma accounts by business line
     -  medium-term outlook, synergies, performance plan
    

    One of the world's leading energy providers, GDF SUEZ is active across
the entire energy value chain, in electricity and natural gas, upstream and
downstream. The Group develops its businesses (energy, energy services and
environment) based on a responsible-growth model with the aim of meeting great
challenges: responding to energy needs, ensuring security of supply, combating
climate change and optimizing the use of resources. GDF SUEZ relies upon
diversified supply sources as well as flexible and high-performance power
generation to provide innovative energy solutions for individuals, public
authorities and businesses. The Group employs 196,500 people worldwide and in
2007 achieved revenues of EUR74.3 billion. GDF SUEZ is listed on the Brussels,
Luxembourg and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main
international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Stoxx 50, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext
100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and ASPI Eurozone.

    Forward-Looking statements

    This communication contains forward-looking information and statements.
These statements include financial projections, synergies, cost-savings and
estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans,
objectives, savings, expectations and benefits from the transaction and
expectations with respect to future operations, products and services, and
statements regarding future performance. Although the management of GDF SUEZ
believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements
are reasonable, investors and holders of GDF SUEZ ordinary shares are
cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are not guarantees
of future performances and are subject to various risks and uncertainties,
many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of GDF
SUEZ, that could cause actual results, developments, synergies, savings and
benefits from the transaction to differ materially from those expressed in, or
implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These
risks and uncertainties include those discussed or identified in the public
filings made by GDF SUEZ with the Autorite des marches financiers (AMF) and/or
with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including
those listed under "Facteurs de Risques" (Risk factors) sections in the
Document de Reference filed by Gaz de France with the AMF on May 15, 2008
(under no: R.08-056), in the Document de Reference filed by SUEZ on March 18,
2008 (under no: D.08-0122) and its update filed on June 13, 2008 (under no:
08- 0122-A01), in section 3 of the prospectus prepared for the issue and
admission for listing of GDF SUEZ shares resulting from the merger takeover of
Suez by Gaz de France filed with the AMF on June 13, 2008 (under n(degrees):
08-126) and the Form F4 registered with the SEC on June 16, 2008 . Investors
and holders of GDF SUEZ securities should consider that the occurrence of some
or all of these risks may have a material adverse effect on GDF SUEZ.

    
    Appendices

        Financial Appendices
        Proforma GDF SUEZ
        unaudited data

    2008 Half Year GDF SUEZ proforma results
    Rules of disclosure

    Proforma P&L: retrospective merger at 01/01/2008
    and at 01/01/2007

    Proforma balance sheet: merger at 6/30/2008

    "Reverse" acquisition

    SUEZ Environnement fully integrated, 35% in net income
    Group share

    Before application of associated remedies and capital gains(i)
    and before the purchase of ENI assets

    Preliminary allocation of the acquisition cost, EUR0.37bn
    in depreciation & amortization on H1

    (i) Distrigaz, SPE


    Summary income statement
    In EURbn
    Proforma unaudited data
                                                      S1 2007        S1 2008

    Revenues                                            36.73          43.13
    Purchases                                          (17.90)        (22.25)
    Personnel costs                                     (5.29)         (5.47)
    Amortization depreciation and provisions            (1.93)         (2.35)
    Other operating income and expenses                 (7.03)         (7.57)
    Current operating                                    4.59           5.49
    MtM, impairment, restructuring and disposals         0.33          (0.20)
    income from operating activities                     4.92           5.28
    Financial income (loss)                             (0.32)         (0.45)
    Income tax                                          (1.33)         (1.22)
    Share of net income of associates                    0.24           0.22
    Minority interests                                  (0.56)         (0.45)
    Net result, group share                              2.96           3.38
    Average number of shares (in million)               2,175          2,170

    EBITDA                                               6.75           8.13



    Summary balance sheet at June 30, 2008

    In EURbn
    Proforma unaudited data

    ASSETS                     06/30/08      LIABILITIES            06/30/08
    NON CURRENT ASSETS           110.75      Equity, group share       58.77

    o/w Goodwill                  30.31      Minority interests         5.52

                                             TOTAL EQUITY              64.29



    CURRENT ASSETS                58.26      Provisions                17.28

    o/w financial assets
        at fair value
        through income             0.90      Financial debt            28.44

    o/w cash & equivalents         8.26      Other liabilities         59.00

    TOTAL ASSETS                169.00       TOTAL LIABILITIES        169.00



    Consolidated income statement
    In EURm                               H1 2007    H1 2008       Variation%


    Revenues                               13,778     16,864             +22%

    Purchases and other external charges   (9,446)   (11,587)            +23%

    Personnel expenses                     (1,307)    (1,302)
    Other operating income and expenses       (16)      (266)
    Amortization and provisions              (683)      (942)            +38%
    Operating income                        2,326      2,767             +20%
    Net finance costs                         (68)       (59)            -13%
    Other financal income and expenses        (31)      (101)           +226%
    Share in net income of associates          52         78             +50%
    Income before tax                       2,279      2,685             +19%
    Income tax                               (735)      (948)            +30%
    Consolidated net income                 1,544      1,737             +14%
    Minority interests                         39         37              -5%
    Net results - Group share               1,505      1,700             +14%

    EBITDA - New definition                 3,033      3,888             +28%



                   Summary balance sheet at June 30, 2008

    In EURm

    ASSETS         12/31/07    06/30/08   LIABILITIES   12/31/07    06/30/08

                                           Equity,       17,953       17,511
    NON CURRENT      29,191      29,895     group share
     ASSETS                                Minority         548          575
                                            interests
    CURRENT ASSETS   16,987      20,810    TOTAL EQUITY  18,501       18,086

    o/w financial
     assets valued      238         150    Provisions     7,367        7,583
     at fair value
     through
     profit/loss


    o/w cash          2,973       2,946    Financial debt 5,945        5,960
     & equivalents
                                           Other         14,365       19,076
                                            liabilities

    TOTAL ASSETS     46,178      50,705    TOTAL         46,178       50,705
                                            LIABILITIES



    Consolidated cash flow statement

                                                   06.30.2007     06.30.2008
    In EURm
    Operating cash flow before tax,
     replacement costs and changes                      3,066          3,900
     in working capital
    Concession replacements costs                        (101)           (87)
    Change in working capital requirements              1,461            620
    Corporate income tax paid                            (550)          (864)
    Cash Flow from operating activities                 3,876          3,569

    Cash Flow from investing activities                  (934)        (1,698)
    Investments                                        (1,202)        (1,909)
    Proceeds                                              268            211

    Cash Flow from operating and                        2,942          1,871
     investing activities
    Cash Flow from financing activities                (1,461)        (1,807)
    Dividends paid                                     (1,083)        (1,250)

    Effects of changes in exchange rate,
     consolidation method and other                       106            (35)

    Change in cash and cash equivalents                 1,587             29



     Summary income statement

     In EURm
                                                      H1 2007        H1 2008
     Revenues                                          23,307         26,597
     Purchases                                        (10,706)       (13,102)
     Personnel costs                                   (3,987)        (4,183)
     Amortization depreciation and provisions            (845)        (1,070)
     Other operating income and expenses               (5,034)        (5,262)
     Current operating income                           2,735          2,980
     MtM, impairment, restructuring and disposals         232           (113)
     Income from business operations                    2,967          2,867
                                                         (220)          (279)
     Financial result (expense)
                                                         (208)          (312)
     o/w cost of net debt
                                                         (175)          (194)
     o/w provisions discounting
                                                          163            227
     o/w dividends and others
                                                         (732)          (398)
     Income tax
                                                         (592)          (582)
     o/w current income tax
                                                         (140)           184
     o/w deferred income tax
     Share in net income of associates                    208            152
     Minority interests                                  (369)           297
     Net income - group share                           1,854          2,046

    EBITDA                                              3,717          4,244



                   Summary balance sheet at June 30, 2008

    in EURm

    ASSETS          12/31/07   06/30/08   LIABILITIES   12/31/07    06/30/08

                                          Equity,         22,193      21,715
    NON CURRENT       51,395     53,777    group share
     ASSETS                               Minority         2,668       2,624
                                           interests

    CURRENT ASSETS    27,732     38,964   TOTAL EQUITY    24,861      24,339

    o/w financial      1,320        751   Provisions       9,555       9,695
     assets valued
     at fair value
     through income
    o/w cash           6,720      5,812   Financial debt  21,656      23,070
     & equivalents
                                          Other           23,055      35,637
                                           liabilities

    TOTAL ASSETS      79,127     92,741   TOTAL           79,127      92,741
                                           LIABILITIES



    Cash flow statement
                                                     06/30/07       06/30/08
    In EURm
    Gross cash flow before                              3,654          4,173
     financial loss and income tax
    Income tax paid                                      (548)          (587)
     (excl. income tax paid on disposals)
    Change in operating working capital                   (20)        (1,430)
    CASH FLOW FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES                 3,086          2,156
    Net tangible and intangible investments            (1,128)        (1,898)
    Financial investments                              (1,452)        (1,750)
    Disposals and other investment flows                  818            185
    CASH FLOW FROM INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES               (1,762)        (3,463)
    Dividends paid                                     (1,881)        (2,093)
    Balance of reimbursement of debt / new debt         1,453          2,433
    Interests paid on financial activities               (450)          (408)
    Capital increase                                      155             84
    Other cash flows                                     (434)            57
    CASH FLOW FROM FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES                (1,157)            73
    Impact of currency, accounting practices              (24)           326
     and other
    CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT THE                    7,945          6,720
     BEGINNING OF THE PERIOD
    TOTAL CASH FLOWS FOR THE PERIOD                       143           (908)
    CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT THE                    8,088          5,812
     END OF THE PERIOD


    (1) Unless indicated otherwise, all financial data herein are derived
        from the pro forma section of the GDF SUEZ 2008 half-year financial
        report (whose principal accounting policies are stated page 5 in this
        press release)

    (2) The GDF SUEZ 2008 half-year financial report comprising all of this
        information is online on : http://www.gdfsuez.com

    (3) This objective assumes natural gas sales tariffs in France reflect
        supply costs, It also assumes, for Europe, average weather
        conditions, no significant change in oil prices or in the regulatory
        environment.

    (4) Pro forma 2007 EBITDA thus restated to EUR 12.5 billion.

    (5) GDF SUEZ pro forma EBITDA definition

    (6) Based on Gaz de France dividend paid in 2007 for 2006 (EUR 1.10 per
    share).


    http://www.gdfsuez.com
    





For further information:

For further information: Press Contact: Tel France: +33(0)1-47-54-24-35,
Tel Belgium: +32-2-510-76-70, E-Mail: press@gdfsuez.com; Investor Relations
Contact: Tel: +33(0)1-40-06-66-29, E-Mail: ir@gdfsuez.com; GDF SUEZ
HEADQUARTERS 22, rue du Docteur Lancereaux - 75392 Paris Cedex 08 - France
Tel: +33(0)1-5704-0000

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