- GRI disclosures
In 2018, Solvay successfully concluded a cycle in its history, delivering on the mid-term objectives set in 2016, which covered both sustainability and financial performance as integrated signals of progress. Solvay has shifted its position towards advanced materials and specialty chemicals. The Group will now focus on fully unleashing its growth potential.
2018 was a pivotal year, during which the Group’s governance played its full role. In preparation for Jean-Pierre Clamadieu’s succession, the Board of Directors reaffirmed Solvay’s priorities: further accelerate transformation to unlock the Group’s full potential.
2018 was a year of growth, as Solvay posted strong organic growth thanks to both good volume dynamics and the ability to manage prices effectively. Cash Flow generation was strong and contributed to further deleveraging the Group’s balance sheet. Solvay’s robust operational performance as well as its ability to optimise financial charges are reflected in the EPS’ double-digit growth. As a consequence, the Group was able to keep duly rewarding the commitment of its shareholders and proposed to increase the 2018 dividend by 4.2%.
On a change journey
Solvay also delivered its medium-term extra-financial objectives. Regarding safety at work, the number of accidents decreased overall on Solvay sites, and the Group’s objective over the next years will be to curb the persisting occurrence of severe accidents. Half of the Group’s activities now qualify as “sustainable solutions”, with respect to both their impact on end-markets and their manufacturing footprint. Solvay has exceeded its initial greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and it has thus raised its ambitions to reduce CO2 targets in absolute terms.1
Lastly, the 2018 Group-wide survey revealed that employee engagement remained high, demonstrating that Solvay teams stay proud and committed as they navigate through change.
Solvay pressed ahead with the transformation of its portfolio, and the divestment of its polyamides business was approved by the European Commission in the first weeks of 2019. This was an important step in an intense sequence of more than 50 Mergers & Aquisitions operations since 2012, during which Solvay has evolved to become more of an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company.
Solvay will continue to transform
Looking ahead, the Group will continue to transform, as we want to grow in pace with the accelerating needs of the society we serve. We intend to engage our teams, rally behind a single overarching vision and become truly customer-obsessed. Solvay’s key drivers will be technologies, innovation and people, to deliver superior solutions to our clients. Companies with a strong sense of purpose innovate, adapt better and deliver consistent growth. We want our Group to join the ranks of the few highly successful companies that have managed to embed their purpose in all of their actions.
Some uncertainty prevails, with looming trade wars, disturbance in Europe and questions about the solidity of the global economy, but we are confident in our ability to succeed by leveraging our portfolio and innovating with our customers in order to deliver value. Our Group has made bold strategic choices and is well equipped, with solid business solutions and a strong presence in future markets. Let us all move Solvay to the next level, delivering more value for all stakeholders.
1 Based on currently anticipated Soda Ash capacity
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO
On behalf of Solvay, I would like to thank Jean-Pierre Clamadieu for his achievements at the helm of the Group. Thanks to his vision and leadership, we can lean on a strong basis today with Ilham Kadri, who after a rigorous process emerged as the obvious choice to take our Group to the next level and to step up value creation.Nicolas Boël
I am honored to join the Solvay community as the Group’s 11th CEO. My excitement is shared by our 24,500 highly engaged employees looking forward to embarking into a new chapter of our company’s transformation. Sharper customer focus, innovation, collaboration, disciplined capital allocation and a clear sense of purpose will drive Solvay’s new growth trajectory.Ilham Kadri