Veolia halves international business
Firms cuts presence after losses, share drops and a $1.1bn writedown
The world’s largest listed water utility, France’s Veolia, is to withdraw from 50 per cent of its territories following issues in Italy, Morocco and the US.
An FT report suggested that drastic restructuring plans have taken place after a significant drop in shares saw stakes in the utility drop to their lowest level since 2000, after falling first-half profits and the potential of a large dividend cut spooked investors.
The company has also been forced to take a $1.1 billion writedown following regional difficulties, $705 million of which is accounted for by a significant withdrawal from the Italian market and other southern European countries.
The company’s 2011 net income to June fell from $375m to $268m, and a further $217 of the writedown was accounted for by the decision to sell its US marine energy business, which was recently a victim of accountancy fraud.