The eco decryption. Despite the CAC 40 losses, some companies will pay dividends

Display of different quotes at Euronext in La Défense (Paris). Illustrative photo. (ERIC PIERMONT / AFP)

The plunge is severe for the flagships of our economy. Last year, the total profits of the 40 French companies that make up the CAC, this flagship index of the Paris Stock Exchange, reached 39 billion euros in total against almost 100 billion before the crisis. This is what reveals a statement drawn up by the audit firm PwC.

Be careful, not everyone has suffered this shock: some have even taken advantage of it, such as telecoms and tech companies. For example, Téléperformance, which specializes in customer relations, saw its turnover rise by 7%. In health, Sanofi made more than 12 billion euros in profits. LVMH, in the luxury sector, has also gained a lot. Conversely, in industry, tourism, energies, groups, have suffered: with the drop in the price of oil and global production, Total’s turnover fell by 30% per year. latest. The same goes for ArcelorMittal, or even for Airbus, which suffers the full brunt of the air traffic freeze. Slap also for Renault with its 8 billion euros of losses.

As we say in stock market jargon: “Not sold, not lost”, and there is not always a mechanical relationship between these results and the stock market price: Sanofi, for example, may have made money last year, the pharma giant ends up with a less well valued title than in 2019. He failed to be in the race for the vaccine, and his image took a hit. On the dividend side, last year, shareholders were put on a diet, minus 42% in total. But this year, the lean cows are over: more than thirty groups will return to payments. Despite the still fragile context, some will even increase dividends, such as L’Oréal, Air Liquide, or even Crédit Agricole, some like Danone will contain them. In reality, only a handful, very, very weakened by the crisis – such as Renault, Accor, or even Airbus – will miss out on 2021.

The groups are all hoping for a very strong recovery as soon as health measures are lifted, but the timing is still uncertain. Investors lack visibility. Not to mention that in tourism, air transport, or aeronautics, it will surely be necessary to wait several years for a return to normal.

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