CAC40 companies post 142 billion profits in 2022

2022 was a good year for shareholders of French CAC 40 companies

CAC40 companies post 142 billion profits in 2022

2022 was a good year for shareholders of French CAC 40 companies. These generated 142 billion euros in cumulative profits in 2022. A figure down from 2021, but which hides records in the luxury sectors and energy. Their turnover reached 1,729 billion euros, according to a count by Agence France-Presse (AFP), up 19% over one year, thanks to sales inflated by inflation for many groups.

On the other hand, net profit is therefore down 9% compared to nearly 156 billion in 2021, a year marked by the exceptional result of nearly 25 billion from Vivendi due to a sale. In 2022, the media giant even went into the red, posting the worst loss of the CAC 40 with 1 billion euros. The aggregate decline nevertheless masks all-round records, starting with energy and its flagship TotalEnergies, which posted the biggest profit in the index with 19.5 billion euros, ahead of the car manufacturer Stellantis with 16.8 billion euros.

The biggest profit of a French company in 2022, however, is that of CMA-CGM, the world's third largest shipowner, not listed on the stock exchange, with 24.9 billion dollars.

The AFP calculation does not take into account two groups, Pernod Ricard and Alstom, which have staggered accounting years.

In total, the energy sector made 23.2 billion euros in profit (14%) despite significant charges related to the war in Ukraine. Excluding accounting effects, earnings jumped further, reflecting the exceptional year fueled by rising energy prices, in the wake of the post-Covid recovery and the war in Ukraine.

The war has also left its mark on industrialists like ArcelorMittal, with a billion dollars in provisions to cover its Ukrainian losses.

Renault posted the second net loss of the CAC, of ​​338 million euros, after a charge of 2.3 billion caused by the sale of Avtovaz, Russian manufacturer of Lada.

Conversely, luxury (LVMH, Kering, Hermès, L'Oréal) saw its profits swell by 23%, or 4.5 billion euros more over one year and an increase of 80% compared to 2019 - taking advantage of being able to pass on the increase in production costs to selling prices.

The largest profit increases came from Orange (820% compared to 2021, a year plagued by depreciation) and semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics (118%), which benefited from "strong global demand" for the scarce commodity of electronic chips.

Like profits, payments to shareholders are progressing, under a rain of criticism accusing companies of not paying as much to employees, nor of doing enough for the climate. No CAC40 group has announced a lowering of its dividend when these had already reached a record in 2022, in France (56.5 billion euros) and in the world (1,560 billion dollars).

LVMH, which has paid 5 billion euros in corporate taxes worldwide, should pay a total of some 6 billion euros to its shareholders, of which nearly 3 billion will go to the family of CEO Bernard Arnault, and distribute 400 million euros to its approximately 39,000 French employees.

Societe Generale wants to redistribute 90% of its profit to shareholders, with an increase in the dividend, despite the fall in its results under the effect of the sale of its Russian subsidiary Rosbank.

TotalEnergies will invest 16 billion dollars, including 4 in "low carbon energies", and pay nearly 9 billion euros in dividends.

In addition to dividends, more and more companies are choosing to buy back their own shares – a transaction intended to support the stock market price. TotalEnergies plans to spend two billion euros in the first quarter, or as much as the group paid under a tax on superprofits in the EU and the United Kingdom. But much less than Chevron or ExxonMobil, which will respectively spend up to 75 billion and 50 billion dollars to buy back securities.

Stellantis will reward its shareholders with 4.2 billion euros in dividends, spend 1.5 billion on share buybacks… and pay out 2 billion in bonuses for its employees.