14 January 2015 – Expansión
Acciona expects to return to profitability in 2014 having recorded losses of €1,972 million in 2013, when it was hit by the Government’s electricity reform, which led to the impairment of its renewable assets.
The announcement was made today at Spain Investor Day by Acciona’s Director General of Corporate Development and Investor Relations, Juan Muro-Lara, who stressed that the company is also focusing on the new opportunities that it expects to arise in the real estate sector, paying particular attention to the residential market, which represents the backbone of its new strategy.
In fact, as part of the transformation plan launched in 2014, the company has already strengthened its real estate business, by hiring Walter de Luna as the Managing Director of its real estate arm following his departure from Sareb, where he served as number two.
This new strategy has also included the hire of Luis Moreno by Acciona Real Estate, a close associate of Walter de Luna, who also joins from Sareb.
Looking to the year ahead, the company expects growth opportunities in the energy sector to be reactivated; to consolidate the integration of its infrastructure businesses and acheive improvements in its results; to search for opportunities to collaborate and grow in the real estate sector; the stabilisation of Bestinver; and the sale of Trasmediterránea.
With the results for 2014 pending publication, including the real impact of the energy reform, the company forecasts an estimated impact of €365 million or 25% of gross operating profit (EBITDA).
The company’s new roadmap also seeks to reduce the ratio of net debt/EBITDA from 5.7x to 5x by December 2014. In this context, the company is analysing the sale of its shipping arm, Trasmediterránea, as it adopts measures aimed at improving the operations of the division.
Efforts in 2014, when Acciona took the decision to cancel its dividend distribution, focused on reducing costs, undertaking the divestments needed to focus on the ‘core’ business and reorganising its corporate division, as well as on its management company, Bestinver, following the departure of Francisco García Paramés after 25 years with the company.
Despite the losses recorded in 2013, the company recorded profits of €149 million during the first nine months of 2014, up by 98.5% on the same period in 2013, driven by an extension of the loan repayment period for its wind energy assets and certain divestments made during the period.
Original article: Expansión
Translation: Carmel Drake