Message from Gilles Cojan, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Solid fundamentals, and the agility needed to prepare for the future
The Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the globe over the past several months has left no organization untouched, both from a human and economic perspective. During this exceptional global crisis, Elior has demonstrated the solidity of its operations teams, the strength of its governance and the power of its values. After a good start to the fiscal year, our business was impacted by the outbreak of the pandemic in all of our host countries. But we swiftly moved into action. Our first priority being to protect the health and safety of our employees, clients and guests. We also immediately took steps to safeguard our financial flexibility and maintain our strict cost discipline, all the while continuing to support our clients.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Group’s teams for the outstanding dedication and commitment they have shown, led by the Executive Committee and fully backed by the Board of Directors. We were able to quickly implement measures designed to ensure our clients could continue their operations, without ever shifting our focus from our fundamental role as a socially responsible caterer, or losing sight of our long-term vision. The crisis has clearly highlighted the expertise of our Services teams, who have displayed an incredible level of resilience, particularly in supporting healthcare workers.
During these turbulent times, we have demonstrated a strong command of our operations and proved that we made the right strategic choices in 2019 with the launch of the New Elior 2024 plan, spearheaded by Philippe Guillemot. The sale of Areas gave us the resources to face the crisis with a solid financial basis. And thanks to our strict cash management we have remained financially robust despite our revenue being hit by the crisis. Our clients’ trust in us is apparent in the many new contracts and contract renewals we won throughout the year, which in turn has reinforced our resilience. And our work on transforming our business, particularly digital transformation, is well under way in all of our markets – Education, Business & Industry, Health & Welfare and Services – and in each of our host countries.
Today, Elior is a group refocused on its core business, with solid fundamentals and the agility to meet the new expectations of its clients and guests. It is concentrated on a long-term vision shaped by the deep-seated changes taking place in its markets. I firmly believe we are very well positioned to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger than ever and prepared for the future.