Scope Hamburg has affirmed the B / negative issuer credit rating of Helvetia Environnement Groupe SA. The key drivers remain a moderate to slightly increased business risk profile, the company’s lagging operating performance, which still remains below Scope Hamburg’s expectations, and an inadequate financial flexibility due to rather insufficient cash generation and the currently pending refinancing of the CHF 75m 2017/22 bullet bond. Despite signs of improvement in operating activity, especially since June, Scope Hamburg does not expect a strong uplift in the company’s revenue or profitability levels for the current financial year 2021. The negative outlook reflects increasing refinancing risks: Until the end of November 2021 the group had not yet firmly secured an adequate refinancing facility for the bullet bond, maturing in July 2022, which is why we affirm our negative rating outlook as we expect a further deterioration of the groups credit quality due to increasing refinancing risks.
Helvetia Environnement Groupe SA (HEG), founded in 2005 and headquartered in the Canton of Geneva, started its operations in the waste collection, waste sorting, waste-to-materials and waste-to-energy sector in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Romandie. With the acquisition of Swiss Recycling Services SA (SRS) in February 2017, HEG became one of the leading market players in Switzerland. SRS is operating in the north of Romandie and used to belong to French Veolia Environnement Group in the past. In 2018 HEG acquired the family-owned recycling firm Constantin SA, which enabled HEG to expand its waste treatment capacities further. At the end of 2020, HEG employed a workforce of around 560 employees and had generated revenues totalling CHF 106 million.
Scope Hamburg GmbH (formerly Euler Hermes Rating GmbH) was founded in 2001 as an independent European rating agency focusing on issuer and issuance ratings. Scope Hamburg GmbH is registered as a credit rating agency (CRA) in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and Council (as amended) and is considered as an external credit assessment institution (ECAI) by the European Banking Authority (EBA). Scope Hamburg GmbH is a subsidiary of Scope Group, the leading European provider of independent credit ratings, ESG analyses and fund analyses.
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