Ferrovial boosts net profits by 37% to 218.3 million euros

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Highlights were the alliance with the Macquarie group Operating profit jumped 43% to 388.9 million euros; activities other than construction account for 69% of this figure. Consolidated sales rose 18% to 4.240 billion euros, all areas posting sharp increases: construction (+15.6%), concessions (+34.5%), property development (+22.9%) and services (+10.7%). The group has confirmed its position as both the number one constructor in Spain, where the market is expanding (2000-2007 Infrastructure Plan), and the global leader in concessions, in terms of investment (1.5 billion euros). The construction backlog reached a record high, at 5.599 billion euros; the property backlog is up to 767 million euros and that of services to 718 million euros. At 712.2 million euros, gross investments are maintaining the same levels as in the last few years. The Ferrovial group registered 2001 net attributable profit up 37.1% to 218.3 million euros. This figure is a reflection of the positive progress made during the year by all areas of activity (but primarily in construction and concessions), margins, the main operating divisions (construction backlog, property pre-sales and traffic on toll roads), and guarantees sales in the coming months, as the steady pace of growth of recent years (an annual 35% during the period 1996-2001) will be maintained. Operating profit leapt 43.4% to 388.9 million euros; the operating margin improved, coming to 9.2% (up from 7.5% in 2000). In this item, activities other than construction contributed 69% of the total. At end December 2001, net sales rose 17.9%, year-on-year, to 4.240 billion euros, sales moving steadily upwards in all areas of activity: construction, +15.6%; concessions, +34.5%; property development, +22.9% and services, +10.7%. At the end of the year, foreign sales amounted to 33% of total group sales, totalling 1.419 billion euros. Poland, Canada and Chile made significant contributions. Gross investments, amounting to 712.2 million euros, are at levels similar to previous years. In 2001 the group channelled them primarily into concessions acquisition of Bristol airport, establishment of the Euroscut Norte (Portugal) and increasing stake in Ausol and Europistas; purchase of Don Piso (real estate) and Eurolimp (services). The manner in which figures evolved during 2001 confirm Ferrovials position as the largest construction group in Spain, where the market is expanding and investments are forecast to leap ahead apace (driven by the governments 2000-2007 Infrastructure Plan), and the global leader in concessions, in terms of committed investment (1.500 billion euros). Rapid growth in construction; alliance with MIG boosts concessions Sales from the construction activity moved up 15.6%, to 3.432 billion euros on the previous year. Revenues surged in both the domestic market (+15%) and abroad (+26%). In the latter area, the star performer is Budimex, Polands largest construction group, which posted sales up 11%. As at 31 December 2001, the construction backlog was up 6% on 2000, to 5.599 billion euros, a record figure. The concessions activity, carried out via Cintra, registered sales leaping 34.5% to 345.8 million euros, fuelled by noteworthy contributions from the Canadian 407 ETR toll road (revenue +27%) and Ausol, the Malaga-Estepona toll road (+8%) as well as by the addition of Bristol airport (26 million euros) and the partial opening of the Chilean toll roads (25 million euros). In 2001, Ferrovial signed an agreement with Macquarie Infrastructure Group (MIG) according to which the latter took a 40% stake in Cintra, by means of a capital increase of 816 million euros. Through this deal, Ferrovial is able to bolster its concessions activity (where it is already the world leader, with committed investments of 1.5 billion euros), and to achieve a dual strategic objective: an injection of new capital (thereby eliminating debts and increasing capital) and an alliance with a partner which is complementary and has experience in the market (MIG is the worlds third largest toll road group). This alliance thus guarantees Ferrovial and Cintras ability to participate in projects in Spain and elsewhere, thereby fuelling growth. Following this transaction, the toll road activity (15 roads in Spain, Portugal, Chile and Canada) is valued at 1.530 billion euros net of debt (with airports and car parks, which are not included in the agreement, the implicit valuation would amount to some 1.830 billion euros, net of debt). The agreement is designed to last; within 30 months, Ferrovial and MIG may examine the possibility of embarking on closer cooperation, such as floating Cintra, or some other form of collaboration. In 2001, Ferrovial obtained its second toll road in Portugal (Scut Norte Litoral). The group also extended the 407 ETR toll road in Canada by a further 39 km to a total of 108 km. Moreover, financing on the Santiago-Talca toll road was completed through the issue of bonds worth US$421mn, the largest allocation of bonds made for any project in Chile during 2001. Therefore, financing of the groups four toll roads on Route 5 of the Panamerican highway is complete. Real estate and services are also forging ahead Ferrovial Inmobiliaria registered sharp rises in all line items: sales up 22.9% to 375.2 million euros. The accumulated pre-sales portfolio moved up 19.4%, to 766.6 million euros (twice the value of sales), thereby guaranteeing growth of the division as the sales are transferred to the bottom line. Sales strategy is proving to be highly successful. During the year the group established another innovative method of selling property: an agreement with the El Corte Inglés department stores which resulted in the sale of 450 housing units for 84.7 million euros. Ferrovial also acquired Don Piso, Spains leading realtor, which will enable it to diversify property products and services. In services, sales increased 10.7% to 215 million euros; the backlog amounted to 717.8 million euros. In 2001, Ferroser acquired the Eurolimp group, thereby becoming one of the major companies in the facility cleaning market in Spain. Eurolimp will boost sales in services through the contribution of extra revenue of 75 million euros. In telecommunications, Ferrovial is still present in the cable activity, via Ono (Cableuropa). During the year, the group sold its 7.6% stake in Uni2 (the third largest fixed telephony operator in Spain).


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