The Managing Directors, Ian Gallienne and Gérard Lamarche, commented on the operations and results of the first nine months of 2016 as follows:
“GBL’s quarterly results occurred in a relatively quiet market environment during the summer, with the late June Brexit-induced shock having had a limited impact on markets, notably under the action of central banks. All investments of GBL performed well, from both an operational and a stock market perspective. More specifically, LafargeHolcim’s performance reflected the first positive effects of the merger.
Cash earnings were at the same level as last year for the same period, despite the net disposals carried out over the period. Net result, however, remained negative due to the exceptional items recognised during the previous quarters.
The investment in Umicore has become Strategic as its market value now exceeds one billion euros (EUR 1.1 billion at 30 September 2016). Regarding the implementation of the strategy, the first nine months of 2016 were mainly marked by the continued monetisation of the investments in Total and ENGIE (EUR 2,214 million) and, to a lesser extent, the strengthening of the positions in adidas, Umicore and Ontex (for a total amount of EUR 1,083 million). The reinvestment of the proceeds from these disposals remains a priority for GBL, as well as the active management of the investments in portfolio. This redeployment, whether in the form of investments in new participations or reinforcement of existing positions, could materialise in a macroeconomic environment remaining volatile. This environment will actually be characterised by potential major changes in the monetary policies implemented by the central banks, in particular in the US and Europe, the uncertainties in relation to the implementation of Brexit, as well as a heavy political agenda, both across the Atlantic and within the European Union. The volatility generated by these different events could provide GBL with attractive investment windows.”