The Group keeps growing thanks to the extension of concessions in exchange for new investments
- Growth in key figures:
- Revenue: €1,231Mn (+7% like-for-like)
- EBITDA: €780Mn (+7% like-for-like)
- Net profit: €182Mn (+18% like-for-like)
- The Group posted traffic growth in its main markets, with notable increases in Spain, France, Italy and Brazil.
- Abertis reaches 90% stake in A4 Holding, after completing the acquisition of an additional 6.47% stake of the company in January.
- In March, VíasChile, the Group’s subsidiary in Chile, secured authorisation to carry out new investments in Autopista del Sol in exchange for an extension of this concession.
Abertis posted improvements in all its key figures in the first quarter of 2018, with revenue of €1,231Mn (+7% like-for-like), EBITDA of €780Mn (+7% like-for-like) and net profit of €182Mn (+18% like-for-like). Perimeter changes due to the sale of Infracom in Italy (in July 2017) and exchange rate effects negatively affected figures in this period.
Between January and March the uptrend in traffic numbers in all the Group's markets continued. Particularly noteworthy is the growth in Spain (6.1%), Brazil (3.1%), France (2.3%) and Italy (2.2%), with an additional favourable impact from Easter falling in March this year after falling in April in 2017.
As for road safety, the Group posted improvements in both its accident rate-FR1 (-10.1%) and fatality rate-FR3 (-8.6%) and in the number of fatalities (-5.3%). Particularly noteworthy were the improvements in Brazil and India.
Revenue in the first quarter totalled €1,231Mn, up 7% year-on-year in like-for-like terms (restated due to the reclassification of Hispasat as "Discontinued activities"). Figures were improved by the increase in traffic.
EBITDA totalled €780Mn (+7% like-for-like) in the first quarter. France cemented its position as Abertis' biggest market, contributing 34% of total EBITDA. It is followed by Spain (27%) and Chile, which now ranks third (15% of the total).
Discretionary cash flow in the first quarter reached €547Mn, a like-for-like increase of 6.7% compared with 2017. Net profit advanced 41% year-on-year to €182Mn; 18% in like-for-like terms.
The Group's investments in the first quarter amounted to €145Mn, of which €132Mn were allocated to growth. With regard to inorganic growth, Abertis acquired an additional 6% stake in A4 Holding for €33Mn. As a result, the Group now controls 90% of its Italian subsidiary.
With regard to organic growth (€84Mn), the Group invested mainly in the programme to improve the toll road network in Brazil (Florianópolis ring road), Chile (construction of the new section of the Autopista Los Andes) and France (Plan Relance).
Growth through the extension of the Group's concessions
In March, VíasChile, owned by Abertis (80%) and ADIA (20%), obtained authorisation from the Chilean government to carry out further investments in Autopista del Sol (Route 78) in exchange for an almost two-year extension in the length of the concession.
This new investment, which will total €110Mn (excluding VAT), will fund the enlargement of the toll road by building a third lane between the cities of Santiago de Chile and Talagante, and other complementary works. In exchange, the concession period for Autopista del Sol has been extended by 22 months to 2021.
This agreement further strengthens Abertis' commitment to public-private partnership with the aim of achieving future value creation solutions for its territories through agreements with public authorities for new investment in exchange for extending the length of concessions or via rate increases.
Efficient liability management
In the first quarter the Group continued with its policy to efficiently manage the company's balance sheet and reduce exposure to financial risks. In the first three months net debt fell by 1% to €15,201Mn and the annualised net debt/EBITDA ratio improved to 4.2x (compared with 4.4x in December 2017).
The average cost of the Group's consolidated debt fell from 4.0% in 2017 to 3.8%.
Takeover bid for Abertis
With regard to the takeover bid for Abertis, in April the Spanish stock market commission (CNMV) authorised the modification of the characteristics of the offer tendered by Hochtief. As a result, the acceptance period has been extended until the 8th May.
In accordance with the Spanish takeover law, on 17th April the board of Abertis issued its mandatory evaluation report of the modified Hochtief bid, with information about the position of the Group's main shareholders.