A talk with the Chairman
Interview with Yves Meignié
How would you rate VINCI Energies’ overall performance in 2017?
It was a very good year, with strong growth in order intake and an upturn in organic growth across all business lines and all countries. This resulted in record operating income. Meanwhile, we took our international expansion to a new level, notably in the Scandinavian countries, with the acquisition of Eitech and Infratek, and in the U.S. with PrimeLine, our first major acquisition in that country. In 2000, our revenue came in at €3 billion. In 2018, factoring in the 34 acquisitions we carried out in 2017, we expect to exceed €12 billion – with more than half of that revenue generated outside France. We are moving forward steadily and surely, and what we are seeing is that our business model based on networked autonomous business units is just as effective in the rest of the world as it has proven itself to be in Europe.
How has VINCI Energies’ business environment changed?
Three years ago, we initiated a coordinated innovation programme designed to enable us to help our customers tackle the energy transition and the digital transformation. In 2017, organisations began to experience these two challenges as a hands-on reality. As an integrator, our job is to deliver solutions and services in all the technologies relevant to our four business lines – infrastructure, industry, building solutions and ICT. In a rapidly electrifying and digitising world, we are well positioned to do that, since we cover the full range of expertise required.
How do synergies between the brands boost innovation?
The energy transition and the digital transformation are generating an increasing number of opportunities to cross-fertilise the expertise offered by our brands. To step up this process and to help devise solutions and services going forward, we set up La Factory in Paris-La Défense. A second Factory will open in Frankfurt in the first half of 2018. Our brands are already joining forces to broaden their playing field. Axians is working with Citeos to develop IoT solutions for the city and with VINCI Facilities to do the same for buildings. It brings its expertise in cybersecurity to Actemium’s move to apply its industrial supervision solutions and services to urban buildings and infrastructure. Omexom and VINCI Facilities are also working together to develop solutions such as collective self-consumption.
Safety and recruitment are a crucial focus at VINCI Energies. What were the main events in 2017?
We strive to achieve Zero Accidents and believe that accident prevention must become a shared culture for all our employees. We took advantage of our Safety Week to issue a call for vigilance and transparency and made tools available to managers that they can use to energise their teams.
With respect to recruitment, there was a sharp upturn in our workforce in 2017. Now that global growth has resumed, VINCI Energies’ attractiveness as an employer will be a key factor in its expansion. For us, the challenge will be to attract talent and retain employees, since human resources are the key to our success. We have therefore stepped up our training efforts, extending the VINCI Energies Academy network outside France (to Morocco, Germany, etc.) and forging or renewing a wide variety of partnerships with academic institutions such as the ENSEEIHT and INSA Strasbourg engineering schools in France, the Universities of Coventry in the UK and Queensland in Australia, and the Polytechnique and Ecole Centrale engineering schools in Dakar and Casablanca respectively.