1.1 Business lines and strategy

 

Business lines   

 

Rubis, a company listed on Euronext Paris with market capitalization of nearly €4 billion at the end of 2020 (SBF 120), specializes in the distribution of energy and bitumen, from supply to the end customer, and, through its Rubis Terminal JV, in bulk liquid storage.

 

With revenue of €3.9 billion and distributed volumes of 5.1 million m3, the Group is recognized in the market for its expertise and the quality of its services. Thanks to its international development strategy, Rubis now occupies strong market positions in diversified products and segments in 41 countries in three regions: Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.

 

With operations in 41 countries spanning three continents, Rubis distributes energy for everyday life.

 

     

Retail & marketing

(Rubis Énergie)

 

 

Business

 

Distribution of energy and bitumen

 

Regions

 

Africa, Caribbean, Europe

 

Customers

 

The customers of our gas stations, private individuals, professionals in industry, services and public works.

 

Support & services

(Rubis Énergie)

 

 

Business

 

Trading-supply, logistics, shipping and refining (SARA).

 

Regions

 

Africa, Caribbean, Dubai

 

Customers

 

Our distribution subsidiaries and energy distribution professionals.

 

Storage

(Rubis Terminal JV)

 

 

Business

 

Bulk liquid product handling and storage

 

Regions

 

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey

 

Customers

 

Supermarkets, oil companies, chemical and petrochemical groups, agricultural cooperatives and traders.

 

     

 

RUBIS – 2020 UNIVERSAL REGISTRATION DOCUMENT 10
 
 

 

DISTRIBUTING ENERGY FOR EVERYDAY LIFE

 

Through its business lines, by offering its customers regular and reliable access to everyday energy, thereby limiting its exposure to economic cycles and ensuring resilience and stability for its activities, Rubis meets basic needs:

 

mobility (land, sea, and air);
heating, cooking, hot water production;
electricity production (fuel supply to power plants);
road infrastructure (bitumen);
storage of basic products for mobility, the pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, etc.

 

For its retail & marketing and support & services activities, Rubis Énergie has 1.4 million m3 of storage capacity for fuels, liquefied gases and bitumen, owned directly or in partnership. The Rubis Terminal JV for its part has 4.6 million m3 of fully owned storage capacity, which it leases to its customers.

 

SAFETY AS A PRIORITY

 

The Group operates within a defined Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE) framework to prevent risks and limit the environmental impact of its activity. Its business lines are subject to regulatory and safety constraints requiring constant investments, making supply scarce while increasing the cost of entering the sector. As such, in 2020 the Group invested €131 million in the safety/maintenance and adaptation of its facilities.

 

Rubis Énergie’s retail & marketing business accounted for 85% of the Group’s 2020 sales revenue, and mostly targets individual customers (B2C) via a network of gas stations and direct sales.

 

The table below shows the breakdown of sales revenue by market segment.

 

Breakdown of sales revenue 2020
Retail distribution (B2C) 52%
•  Fuel sales via a network of 1,015 gas stations, including liquefied gas cylinders and associated services (stores, food service, car washing, etc.). 96%
  Direct sales of liquefied gases and fuels for heating, hot water production and cooking to private individuals. 4%
Professional distribution (B2B) 48%
  Sales to the transportation, hotel, power generation, public works and other industries.  

 

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In addition to individual customers, the Group supplies a wide range of commercial customers with fuels, lubricants, liquefied gases, bitumen and other by-products, mainly in the transportation, infrastructure, hotel, aviation, marine and public works sectors.

 

These products are essential for the economies of the countries where the Group operates, and Rubis generally controls the entire logistics chain. Indeed, through Rubis Énergie’s support & services business, which houses supply and transportation activities, Rubis favors dominant local positioning in which its competitive advantage is protected by control of logistics. This strategic choice guarantees its customers sustainable access to the energy they need on a daily basis.

 

POSITIONING

 

Oil trading and downstream activities remain largely dominated by the major oil companies (Shell, BP, Exxon, and Total) and traders (Vitol, Trafigura, Glencore, Mercuria). Nevertheless, these global players tend to focus on large markets, in order to benefit from economies of scale, and to forgo smaller markets. It is precisely in these latter markets that Rubis has chosen to develop, markets in which it can occupy leading positions while competing with major oil companies, regional operators (Parkland/Sol, Vivo Energy, Repsol) and local independent players (particularly in Africa).

 

Rubis has been built on an acquisition model, with niche product positions (liquefied gases in Europe, bitumen in West Africa) or geographical niches (island positions in the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean) where the Group has strong positions. Rubis’ success in these markets is ensured by a number of factors, including its leading position (No. 1 or 2 in many countries) combined with its control of import logistics facilities, to guarantee advantages in terms of costs and supply quality. This robust logistics (shipping, storage, refining) also allows it to be present in trading and supply vis-à-vis third parties.

 

Region   Main markets   Infrastructure   Market position(2)   Main competitors
Africa
(36% of gross margin)(1)
  Gas stations, commercial, aviation fuel, liquefied gases, bitumen, lubricants   Control of the supply chain (purchasing, transport, retail & marketing) thanks to fully-owned vessels, import terminals, gas cylinder filling plants and a network of gas stations   No. 1 or 2
in most countries and all markets
  Total, Vivo Energy (Shell and Engen brands), NOC, Oilibya, as well as independent local players
Caribbean
(33% of gross margin)(1)
  Gas stations, commercial, aviation fuel, liquefied gases, lubricants  

  Control of the supply chain (purchasing, transport, retail & marketing) thanks to fully-owned vessels, import terminals, gas cylinder filling plants and a network of gas stations

 

  71% stake in the French Antilles refinery (SARA)

 

  No. 1 or 2
in most countries and all markets
  Parkland (Sol), GB Group, Total, Guyoil, as well as independent local players
Europe
(31% of gross margin)(1)
  Mostly liquefied gases, a small number of gas stations   Gas cylinder filling plants, storage terminals   No. 1, 2 or 3
in most countries
  UGI, DCC, Cepsa, Galp, Repsol, SHV

 

(1) Gross margin of the retail & marketing business.
(2) Rubis estimates.

 

RUBIS – 2020 UNIVERSAL REGISTRATION DOCUMENT 12
 
 
  Market position*
(main segment)
Liquefied
gas
Number of
gas stations
Commercial
fuel
Aviation
fuel
Bitumen Total
RUBIS ÉNERGIE (RETAIL & MARKETING)     1,015        
Volumes (‘000 m3)   1,193 1,806 1,309 389 351 5,049
Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)   174 White products: 982 178 87 1,421
             
Africa   527  
45% volume; 36% gross profit              
Volumes (‘000 m3)   436 743 492 248 350 2,269
Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)   41   427 85 84 637
Botswana 2          
Comoros 1          
Djibouti 1   11    
Ethiopia     27      
Kenya 3   228    
Lesotho 2          
Madagascar 1 73      
Morocco 3          
Nigeria 1          
Réunion Island 1 52    
Rwanda 2   42    
Senegal 1          
South Africa 2          
Swaziland 2          
Togo 1          
Uganda     54      
Zambia   40      
               
Caribbean   398  
39% volume; 33% gross profit              
Volumes (‘000 m3)   138 944 741 139 1,963
Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)   20   531 90 3 644
Antilles - French Guiana 2 86  
Bermuda 1 12      
Eastern Caribbean 2 76    
Barbados 2 18    
Grenada 1 11    
Guyana 3 11    
Antigua 1   7    
St. Lucia 1 16      
Dominica 2   7      
St. Vincent 2 6    
Suriname          
Western Caribbean 2   32    
Bahamas     21        
Caicos Islands     11        
Haiti 1 133    
Jamaica 2   48      
Cayman Islands 1 - 2   11    
               
Europe   90    
16% volume; 31% gross profit              
Volumes (‘000 m3)   619 119 76 2   816
Terminals/storage (‘000 m3)   113   24 3   140
Channel Islands 1   27    
France 4          
   of which Corsica     63      
Portugal 2          
Spain 3          
Switzerland 1          
* Rubis estimates.              

 

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Strategy and challenges  
 

 

Rubis aims to give as many people as possible access to reliable and sustainable energy while developing less carbon-intense solutions, thereby promoting sustainability.

 

The markets in which the Group operates are deep, and energy needs are essential and growing, particularly in the regions where Rubis has strengthened its presence in recent years (Africa and the Caribbean, representing 48% and 30% respectively of the retail & marketing division’s contribution to EBIT). In Europe, Rubis is positioned in sensitive markets, such as liquefied gases (butane and propane), synonymous with high barriers to entry, and where growth stems from efficiency, reactivity and market share gains.

 

For the past 30 years, Rubis has pursued an external growth strategy based on strict financial discipline, including modest acquisition multiples and financial leverage, and a clear strategic approach (niche positioning, strong market positions backed by control of resource access infrastructure, and prospects for earnings growth) to ensure value creation for all stakeholders.

 

With each acquisition, the implementation of a strategy, the provision of skills, capital and a new organization, not for-getting the Company’s flexibility, have made it possible to form a multi-local, decentralized and independent group with sound market positions protected by concrete assets, guaranteeing its long-term profitability.

 

Acquisition-led growth, the very core of the Group’s DNA, is one of the chief drivers of Rubis’ development, and would not have been possible without:

 

its short and reactive decision-making structure, capable of responding to market developments;
the importance given to the human dimension in its structure: the Group sees People as the bedrock of its organization and one of its key success factors.

 

Its motto, “the will to undertake, the corporate commitment”, expresses this essential value underpinning the motivation, loyalty and engagement of its 4,142 employees.

 

“The corporate commitment” applies to Rubis’ relations with all stakeholders, primarily its employees, end customers, and the countries and environment in which Rubis operates, but also its shareholders.

 

Driven by “the will to undertake”, Rubis is constantly on the move, developing and positioning itself as a vector of progress in all areas (governance, social, environmental). From that point of view, 2020 will go down as an exceptional year in view of the sum of actions and initiatives undertaken.

 

RUBIS – 2020 UNIVERSAL REGISTRATION DOCUMENT 14
 
 

GOVERNANCE

 

The legal form of Partnership Limited by Shares was adopted when the Company was founded, in keeping with a long-term strategic vision and the convergence of the interests of the two categories of partners. In 2020, this convergence of interests was strengthened by the introduction of a benchmark price (highwater mark) in the calculation of the Total Shareholder Return (TSR) used as a basis for the determination of the dividend per by-laws of the General Partners (see chapter 6, section 6.3.2).

 

In addition, the Company has set up a Group Management Committee (Rubis SCA) comprizing equal numbers of men and women. Rubis Énergie and its subsidiaries set themselves the goal of ensuring that men and women both represent more than 30% of membership of their Management Committees by 2025.

 

ENERGY TRANSITION

 

Rubis is approaching the energy transition confidently thanks to its role as a key link in the logistics chain, equally capable of storing, shipping and transporting new energy to the end consumer. Indeed, the Group’s facilities represent an opportunity for the promoters of these new products.

 

The products and services offered by the Group already reflect the shift towards this transition; liquefied gases, for instance, are a model for cleaner mobility enjoying fiscal incentives. In developing countries, this energy is actively recommended by public authorities and the WHO as a cooking method, rather than charcoal or kerosene, for health reasons and in order to fight against deforestation. A noteworthy development is that the liquefied gas and bitumen segments, products that emit less CO2, accounted for half of the retail & marketing and support & services business lines’ gross margins in 2020.

 

The climate constraint can also be a source of innovation and business opportunities. For example, Rubis was one of Europe’s pioneers in the distribution of HVO, a second-generation biofuel that reduces CO2 emissions by at least 50% compared to conventional diesel. The Group now aims to extend the development of biofuels to the 41 countries in which it operates, while continuing to be a driving force in Africa to popularize the use of liquefied gas, the transition energy par excellence.

 

Rubis has taken a new step in its transition strategy with the creation of a Climate Committee and the publication early in 2021 of a target to reduce Rubis Énergie’s CO2 emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 20% by 2030 (versus 2019).

 

This new, more proactive environmental ambition aims notably to:

 

improve the energy efficiency of our own operations;
offer our customers new, less carbon-intense solutions;
develop renewable energy and circular economy projects;
meet the expectations of our stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders, financial community, etc.;
cement our positioning as a socially responsible company.

 

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