The Chairman’s vision

A TALK WITH MANUEL PELTIER, CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SOLETANCHE FREYSSINET

In 2017, Soletanche Freyssinet generated €3.18 billion* in revenue, representing 5% organic growth, riding the wave of a strong global construction market.

This market growth is due to a combination of factors. Substantial investments are being made in urban and transport infrastructure in both emerging countries, which are catching up, and mature economies. Large urban areas are being renewed within their existing footprint to cope with the shortage of space, and transport networks, such as the Grand Paris Express in France, are being densified and expanded. This race for space also calls for higher density construction, with an increasing number of high rises in urban areas. Lastly, the energy transition and growth in world energy demand are prompting investment in energy infrastructure around the world. These megatrends boosted all our activities. Order intake was strong, especially in our soil activities, since construction can only take place on solid ground.

We also strengthened our market position by acquiring new expertise. We expanded our technology portfolio by integrating Carpi, world leader in waterproofing, and ConeTec, the Canadian geotechnical site investigation specialist. We also invested heavily in equipment with the dual objective of upgrading our fleet and acquiring state-of-the-art, high-capacity machines to tackle the complex challenges of such projects as the Hong Kong airport extension. Lastly, the Group continues its digital transformation to meet its own needs and deliver new services for construction clients under the Sixense brand. The Digital Site application heralds the paperless worksite and improves site productivity by eliminating low-value-added tasks.

A year of growth and expanding expertise

Our in-depth work to boost the safety of our employees continued in 2017 with a wide variety of initiatives across all entities around the world. We paid special attention to hand injuries with the annual 'Safety Is In Your Hands' campaign, which generated innovative solutions and highlighted the initiatives taken by our teams facing this day-to-day risk on our sites.

To support our growth we invested – and will continue to invest – in developing our human resources. To meet our growing needs, we must do more, around the world, to recruit and train people by promoting our culture based on autonomy, empowerment and initiative.

On the strength of our wide-ranging complementary expertise, our extensive network of locations around the world and the unwavering engagement of our teams in serving their clients, we move into the future with confidence.

*IFRS standards