The performance by the Group’s businesses over the Covid 19 crisis serves to underline the essential nature of operations, which has allowed consolidated net profit for the Infrastructure and Concessions divisions to achieve the levels of the previous year.
Since March 2020, Elecnor has been generating and monitoring action protocols adapted to the recommendations issued by the competent authorities in Spain and in each market in which we operate, prioritising, at all times, the protection of people's health and safety. The positive evolution of the Group's results is due to the commitment, effort and responsibility of the employees who have maintained the activity in essential services in a particularly complex environment.
The Infrastructure Business operates a broad range of services which were hit in the first half yet managed to steady again in the second half owing to their essential nature. It also manages turn-key projects in various different sectors and countries, especially in the field of energy, where investment has been ongoing given their strategic characteristics. This business has achieved a sales turnover of 2,352.5 million euros, an improvement of 3.2% on the previous year, while profit after tax came in at 71.5 million euros, showing 7.5 % growth against the previous year.
In the domestic market positive growth rates have been attained thanks to the commitment from our key services customers who have kept up and even brought forward their investment plans in anticipation of the opportunities presented by the 2021 – 2030 Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC). Elecnor has thus held onto its position as market leader nationwide in services for major operators, mainly within electricity and telecommunications. The Group has moreover been highly active in the renewable energy sector, performing construction work on wind and solar PV farms.
Highlights in the international market have included promising progress in constructing electric power transmission lines in Brazil and Chile, as well as at US subsidiaries Hawkeye (engineering, construction and maintenance in the electricity and gas sectors) and Belco (traffic), the smooth running in Italy of the power distribution and telecoms activities pursued by the office of Elecnor, S.A. there and at the electricity business in the United Kingdom, which is operated by subsidiary IQA.
Notable on the African continent has been work on design, construction and commissioning for substations and transmission lines in Angola, as well as the refurbishment of hydroelectric power stations and building of a water supply network there. Growth has also been boosted by design, supply and installation for substations and the construction of solar farms in Ghana, and construction work at hydroelectric plants in Cameroon.
In Australia work is underway on installing the substation and transmission line for a hybrid solar and wind plant at Port Augusta, as well as the engineering and construction of the New England Solar Farm also there. Meanwhile Elecnor has been selected as part of a 50/50 joint venture along with Australian group Clough to do the construction on the Energy Connect project to include 700 kilometres of high voltage lines and four substations worth 917 million euros and backed by Australian operator TransGrid.
Turning to Concessions, the influence of the pandemic on activity has been moderate given that the bulk of assets are in operation. These have performed well, in spite of the impact on profits of weaker functional currencies (the Brazilian Real has fallen back 33% against the euro, as has the US dollar by 2%, approximately). Assets at the construction phase have suffered delays in certain cases, although these are not expected to have major repercussions for the business’s profitability.
Profit after tax for the Concessions division was 31 million euros (36.7 million the previous year). In 2019 profit included the margin achieved from the sale of solar PV developments. Stripping out the profit made last year from this, the trend for attributable net profit in this segment would have been positive. Profit for this segment additionally reflects the depreciation of the Brazilian Real over the year.
The Group operates some 5,740 km of electric power transmission lines in Chile and Brazil. In these countries it is involved on the projects to construct new electricity transmission lines to be operated by Group subsidiaries Celeo Redes Chile and Celeo Redes Brasil respectively. The Group has completed the construction of six PV farms (179.8 MW) in the State of Piauí, Brazil, where the energy sales contract was awarded to the Brazilian subsidiaries in which Grupo Elecnor has an interest in 2018.
On the other hand, the results for the projects managed by its wind development and operation subsidiary Enerfín have seen the effect of depreciation on the Group’s functional currencies mitigated (especially in Brazil) by greater available wind resources there over the year, thereby retaining stability in profits for the other companies in this business area. The Group has installed capacity of 1,349 MW at wind farms in operation and construction in Spain, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Australia.
Grupo Elecnor consolidated net profit for 2020 was 78.3 million euros. Comparison with the profit of 126.4 million euros the previous year has been chiefly affected by the consequences of the corporate initiative agreed towards the end of 2019 with APG, the June 2019 acquisition of 42.57% and 44.3% of the companies Dioxipe Solar, S.L. and Aries Solar Termoeléctrica, S.L. respectively via Celeo Termosolar, and other non-recurring profits also included in the Notes to the company’s Annual Financial Statements. Leaving aside these effects on the results for the previous financial year, Group profits are similar to those from the previous year, as can be observed in the results for the businesses.
Net EBITDA for corporate operations was 245.8 million euros, down 7.4 % on the year before, mainly due to the depreciation felt by the Group’s functional currencies. The contracts backlog at 31/12/20 and for which execution is foreseen in the next 12 months came to 2,273.1 million euros (2,222.7 at the close of the previous year). Backlog growth (relative to the like figure at the close in the previous year) was 2.3%. 73% of the backlog relates to the international market.
Over 2020 the Group managed to generate cash-flow from operating activities of 194 million euros and has made net investment of 209.6 million euros.
Corporate Net Financial Debt (129.9 million euros) has been trimmed by 4.2% compared to the previous year (135.7 million euros). This was basically on account of good progress by Group businesses in terms of cash-flow generation from operating activities.
Total Net Financial Debt (536.6 million euros) rose by 8.6% on the previous year (494.2 million euros) from project finance arrangements on the San Fernando projects in Brazil.
In the course of 2020 the company has garnered itself sufficient lines of credit to be able to maintain a sound liquidity position and service its obligations comfortably, even in any scenarios of greater market downturns that the COVID 19 situation might trigger.
Key points on Group financial strategy:
With respect to shareholder remuneration, on 29 May 2020 an additional dividend was paid out against 2019 profits with a gross value per share of 0.27455644 euros. Further to this, on 9 December 2020 the interim dividend was paid against 2020 results of 0.05732 euros per share in gross terms.
Looking ahead to 2021, the Board has passed a resolution to include as one of the points in the order of business at the General Meeting of Shareholders a proposal to pay out an additional dividend which would mean paying the same overall amount for the year as in 2020, in line with its current policy of being attentive toward shareholders in the company.
Elecnor is aware of the significance which its activities have for people and the environment where it pursues them. Its aim is therefore to maximise the positive effects and minimise the negative impact on society and the environment by acting in an ethical and transparent manner. This commitment is ingrained in everything it does in the course of its activities and following its business strategy, as well as its relations with its stakeholders.
In line with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) standards, in 2020, Grupo Elecnor played its part in ensuring global sustainability as follows:
Focused on people
Protecting the environment
Engaged with society
The Group continues to run its operations in application of the protocols to prevent the spread of COVID and protect the health and safety of workers.
Group businesses continue to generate a solid operating cash-flow, which adds strength to its financial position. Elecnor additionally has lines of credit available to it associated with sums that are enough to cover its cash requirement in the present situation. It is also closely following all customer receivables and valuations of work in progress to supervise credit risk. To conclude, we consider that investment recoverability will not be compromised by the impact of the pandemic.
With the firm grounding of the company’s reliable contract backlog and its diversity of both geographical presence and business activities, Grupo Elecnor looks ahead to 2021 with the goal of achieving figures that can beat those obtained in 2020 for both turnover and results.
The Spanish infrastructure, energy, services and telecommunications group Elecnor has announced today that it has signed an agreement with Fundación Adecco to promote the employment of people at risk of social exclusion.
The company wishes to increase its social commitment to people in the current complex context of the health and social crisis. Therefore, Elecnor has joined the programme #EmpleoParaTodos, run by Fundación Adecco, an organisation which has been working for over 20 years to support the employability of groups of especially vulnerable people. The agreement has been signed by Rafael Martín de Bustamante, Chief Executive Officer of Elecnor, and Francisco Mesonero, Managing Director of the Fundación Adecco.
The objective of the initiative is to help people in socially vulnerable situations to find work that allows them to normalise their lives and avoid social exclusion. So, people with disabilities, single-parent families and/or people with limited resources are some of the groups that this programme is aimed at. In addition, it deals with groups that suffer more deeply in crises like the one caused by the pandemic, which is why this initiative may be crucial in avoiding situations of extreme vulnerability generated by crises that raise poverty rates.
The project #EmpleoParaTodos covers two essential areas: job seekers and companies. So, on one hand there is a team of inclusion consultants who guide, train and assist people at risk of exclusion so that they can find a job as quickly as possible; and, on the other hand, there is a team with expert knowledge of companies’ needs. This team promotes awareness in work environments through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategies that have an impact across the company.
The Chief Executive Officer of Elecnor, Rafael Martín de Bustamante, emphasises that “during these extremely difficult months we have sought to reinforce our commitment to the most vulnerable people in society more than ever, to help reduce levels of poverty and exclusion in our society. This agreement lets us help people at risk of exclusion through self-sufficiency, personal development and the return to normality that can only be provided by employment.”
As for Francisco Mesonero, Managing Director of Fundación Adecco, he thanks Elecnor for their support and calls for empathy and awareness from the business sector. “In times of adversity and uncertainty, the commitment of the business community is crucial to prevent the most vulnerable people becoming victims of the crisis twice over. However, it is not only about social justice; supporting those who are being hit the hardest simultaneously boosts the competitivity of the company, making it more diverse, innovative and sustainable.”
Through this commitment Elecnor continues to move towards a new model of society and company, which should have workforces that are diverse and inclusive, made up of people with different skills, abilities, perspectives and experiences. It is precisely in this human diversity that companies will find the innovation and competitivity necessary to tackle a changing future.
Elecnor is one of the leading corporations in project development, construction and operation through two major mutually-enriching business areas: Infrastructure and Concessions.
Infrastructure, renewable energy and new technologies are the main areas of activity in which the Infrastructure and Concessions businesses are involved.