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26 Apr 2017

Abertis' net profit totalled €130Mn in the first quarter, up 13% in like-for-like terms

Abertis' net profit totalled €130Mn in the first quarter, up 13% in like-for-like terms

  • A solid set of first-quarter results: revenue totalled €1,281Mn (+18% year-on-year) and EBITDA amounted to €807Mn (+13%).
  • Traffic increased by 2.3% between January and April, a period comparable with the previous year as it includes the effects of the Easter week holiday. Especially noteworthy were the traffic increases in Spain (+6%) and Chile (+6.4%).
  • Road safety: particular improvements in Puerto Rico, Chile and especially in Spain, where the number of accident fatalities fell by 75%.
  • Efficient balance sheet management: the net debt/EBITDA ratio decreased from 4.4x in 2016 to 4.2x in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Investments in the first quarter of the year totalled €1,278Mn.
  • Shareholder remuneration: a dividend of €0.37 per share (+11% compared with 2015) was paid on 24 April. 

Abertis reported growth in its key indicators in the first quarter of 2017: revenue amounted to €1,281Mn (+18%) whilst EBITDA totalled €807Mn (+13%), largely thanks to the growth in traffic and the inclusion of new assets in the consolidation scope. Net profit totalled €130Mn, up 13% in like-for-like terms, since comparison of net profit between 2016 and 2015 is shaped mainly by the impact of the consolidation of the Chilean concessionaire Autopista Central in January 2016.

Consolidated figures in this period were also boosted by the positive exchange rate trends in the Americas, most notably the performances of the Brazilian real, the Chilean peso and the US dollar. 

Income statement

Revenue between January and March 2017 totalled €1,281Mn, up 18% year-on-year, thanks to the increase in traffic, the inclusion in the consolidation scope of the A4 and A31 toll roads in Italy and of the two concessions in India, along with the positive exchange rate trends in Brazil and Chile.

EBITDA totalled €807Mn in the period (+13% like-for-like) thanks, among other factors, to the strong performance of operating margins. Excluding the incorporation of new assets into the consolidation scope, EBITDA advanced 7%. Abertis' net profit totalled €130Mn, up 13% in like-for-like terms.

INCOME STATEMENT    January-March 2017                                           (€Mn)

 

Mar. 2017

Mar. 2016

Change

Total revenues

1,281

1,082

18%

Operating expenses

-474

-368

 

Ebitda

807

714

13%

Ebitda L-F-L

   

7%

Depreciation

-369

-299

 

Operating profit (Ebit)

438

415

 

Financial result

-192

65

 

Equity method result

5

16

 

Income tax expense

-74

-72

 

Non-controlling interests

-48

-39

 

Net profit

130

385

 

Net profit L-F-L

   

13%

BALANCE SHEET                        January-March 2017                                         ( €Mn)

 

Mar. 2017

Dec. 2016

Property, plant and equipment and intangible assets

22,682

22,506

Financial assets

4,384

4,281

Current assets

1,540

1,819

Cash

1,824

2,529

Assets held for sale

11

50

Total assets

30,406

31,186

Shareholders’ equity

6,229

6,901

Non-current financial debt

14,797

15,210

Non-current liabilities

5,387

5,348

Current financial debt

2,022

1,695

Current liabilities

1,965

1,988

Liabilities held for sale

6

44

Total equity and liabilities

30,406

31,186

Traffic performance

The Group's ADT grew by 2.3% between 1 January and 17 April (comparable to the previous year as it includes the effects of the Easter week holiday). Traffic grew in all European markets, with notable increases in Spain (+6%), Italy (+3.7%) and France (+1.4%). In Latin America marked increases were posted in Chile (+6.4%) and Brazil (+1.1%).

In the sphere of road safety, the Group as a whole reduced its accident frequency rate by 21%. Especially striking were the improvements in Spain, where both the number of deaths and the accident mortality rate fell by 75% in the period, and in Puerto Rico and Chile.

Debt management

Abertis' consolidated net debt at 31 March 2017 stood at €14,994Mn, compared with €14,377Mn at 31 December 2016. This increase was the result of the buy of minority stakes in the French subsidiary Sanef and the inclusion of the new assets in the consolidation scope. However, the net debt/EBITDA ratio was reduced from 4.4x in 2016 to 4.2x in the first quarter of 2017. Of this, two thirds is secured with the company's own projects (i.e. non-recourse). The percentage of debt at fixed rates fell to 86% (90% in December 2016) and average maturity is 5.7 years (compared with 5.9 in 2016).

Investment in growth

Investments in the first quarter totalled €1,278Mn, with the acquisition of additional shareholdings in HIT, the company which controls 100% of the Group's French subsidiary, Sanef, accounting for around €1,000Mn of this total, while €134Mn was spent on two toll roads in India.

The main investment in growth in the period related to improvements and lane expansions on toll roads in Brazil (€145Mn).

Consolidation in France

Since the beginning of the year, Abertis has strengthen its presence in France, its main market. In April the Group has completed the takeover of 100% of  HIT, which controls 100% of Sanef.

After consecutive acqusitions from Caisse de Dêpots et Consignations (CDC), AXA, and the recently announced ones from Predica, FFP Invest and CNP, Abertis has invested over €2,100Mn in these deals, which will increase by net profit around €135Mn in the 2017 results.

These transactions underscore the Group's ability to grow its current asset portfolio whilst maintaining financial discipline, reducing its operational risk profile and balancing its global presence with a larger weighting of the developed markets where it has been operating and obtaining strong results for many years.

Furthermore, the Group has extended the average length of its concessions, ensuring greater flow of dividends from France, which will help offset the impact of some concessions coming to an end over the coming years.

In January 2016, Sanef reached agreement with the French government to implement a new investment plan (Plan Relance II) for the upgrade of its network under which it will invest €147Mn in various projects in exchange for an increase in tolls from 2019 to 2021.

France is Abertis’ biggest market. The business in France generated 34% of the Group’s revenues (€1,658Mn) and EBITDA (€1,112Mn) in 2016.

The agreements reached with administrations and ongoing investment in its asset portfolio enabled the company to increase the average life of its portfolio (based on the EBITDA backlog) between 2011 and 2017 by 11 years.

Shareholder remuneration

On Monday 24 April Abertis paid the second dividend for 2016 of €0.37 gross per share, which shareholders could choose to collect in cash or in treasury shares (with a 3% discount).

This second dividend payment, together with the first dividend paid in November, brings the total gross ordinary dividend per share to €0.73, an increase of 11% compared with 2015.

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