Transparency at the heart of our financial reporting: Interview with Bruno Vibert
Interview with Bruno Vibert, Chief Financial Officer
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Bruno Vibert is Technip Energies’ Chief Financial Officer. He has a long and distinguished track record in finance and accountancy and is a key member of our Executive Committee. He explains why discipline and transparency are so important for us to realize our vision and play a key role in the energy transition.
Question: Your job is to provide information and reassurance to a wide range of people in the financial community, including investors, shareholders, lenders, clients, and suppliers. How important is it to stay close to these stakeholders?
Bruno Vibert (BV): It’s of paramount importance. Our projects are complex, and I think that one of the most critical aspects of the finance function is to make sure that we report our financials in a way that makes them clear and easy to understand. We have received positive feedback from the financial community with regards to the data we provide, and the way we communicate our investment case.
Q: You have always stressed that transparency is key to what Technip Energies does. How do we ensure that this is achieved in a consistent manner?
BV: For a start, we use the adjusted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) framework. Financial standards today are becoming ever more complex and for us, we believe that an adjusted IFRS framework gives our investors the best visibility and understanding of our operations. By using the adjusted IFRS framework, we are only presenting our own share of revenues, costs, assets and liabilities without including those of our joint venture partners. In other words, it reflects our actual economic performance or the true economic reality of our company. That’s where the transparency comes in.
Q: And with that transparency comes trust?
BV: Exactly. If you’re an investor, it may be difficult to have a thorough view and understanding of our business. They see large projects that naturally present opportunities but also potential risks. As an external stakeholder, it can be tricky to assess what those opportunities and risks embedded in a contract are. Providing clear explanations and transparency helps them understand things like how jobs have been secured, our backlog and the profitability of our projects. This in turn brings confidence and trust to the stakeholders and allows them to commit their capital to us.
Q: A key part of Technip Energies’ mission is to be at the very center of the energy transition. How does the company’s financials demonstrate that this is happening, and that it is on track when it comes to meeting its commitments in this area?
BV: The energy transition is a journey rather than an event, and we have four clearly defined pillars in terms of the contribution we are making. They are liquefied natural gas (LNG), sustainable chemistry, decarbonization and carbon-free energy solutions. Our backlog relating to these four pillars represents about 70 percent of the total. At present, LNG is very significant, and the other pillars are not as large in terms of size or Euro values. But we are seeing more and more projects in these other areas at the very early concept or FEED stage, and we are working with our clients to find technological solutions that pass the economic hurdle and enable projects to move forward. Therefore, over time, we expect these studies to mature into real projects and become an increasing part of our backlog.
Q: As the energy transition evolves and Technip Energies extends its reach into growing markets, do you foresee a change in the financial reporting structure?
BV: It is consistency that creates trust in the long run, so we need to preserve that in our reporting as it enables external stakeholders to identify trends. If you change the key performance indicators (KPIs) too regularly, then you risk confusing the market. We have started to report in two segments – one is Project Delivery, which captures our EPC work, and the other is Technology, Projects and Services (TPS), which includes the likes of our Loading Systems business, and our Process Technology entities, our consultancy and advisory arms such as Genesis and Project Management Consultancy (PMC). These businesses have promising growth potential, as well as a completely different risk profile to our other operations, which is why we have started to report them separately. This has been well received by analysts and investors, who can clearly identify with the differing characteristics of each segment.
Q: Finally, how can Technip Energies ensure that it continues to be an innovative, stable and successful company?
BV: We have always been a creative and innovative entity. And combining these positive attributes with the appropriate discipline that our people apply every day really drives our success and through-cycle stability. We also must maintain our ability to find solutions to meet our clients’ requirements. As a company executing complex projects, facing issues is part of our day to day life. But it’s how we deal with these issues that makes us successful. In everything we do, we will continue to demonstrate open dialogue and transparency with all our stakeholders, and that is really part of our DNA. Our ability to be flexible and to embrace change will be key to unlock further business growth, especially as we navigate the energy transition and accelerate the journey towards a better tomorrow.