At today's Shareholders' Meeting, Ferrovial Chairman Rafael del Pino advocated maintaining investment in infrastructure as a way of "recovering growth, simulating the economy and creating jobs". The Meeting approved all the items on the agenda, includinga dividend payment charged to reserves amounting to 0.25 per share; the company already distributed 0.20 euro per share in November 2011.
During his presentation at the Shareholders' Meeting, Ferrovial Chairman Rafael del Pino
advocated "maintaining investment in infrastructure to recover growth", an approach he considers ideal "for driving economic growth and creating jobs". He also underlined Ferrovial's plans for public-private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure and services as highly appropriate given the current economic situation.
In his overview of the past year, he noted that "Despite the complex situation, 2011 was more than satisfactory for Ferrovial and its shareholders. We far exceeded our objectives for the year". He also highlighted the "good performance of the businesses, with an 8.9% improvement in EBITDA", as well as the cash flow, monetization of assets, and the performance of backlog, which is close to record highs. He noted that the sale of 5.88% of BAA changed Ferrovial's consolidation scope, as that company is now equity accounted. "Ferrovial has liquidity to undertake future projects from a sound position. We have proven our ability to access the capital markets in various currencies and the market has recognized our efforts, evidenced by the appreciation of Ferrovial's stock", said del Pino.
He also stated that operating cash flow continues to rise, supported by the Construction and Services activities and by divestments, which enabled the parent company to end 2011 with a net cash position of 907 million euro, compared with 31 million euro at the end of 2010.
Mr. del Pino reminded shareholders that Ferrovial celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2012, noting that the company is evolving to become even more innovative, greener, and more committed to society. Ferrovial has been named one of the world's most admired companies by Fortune magazine, and is a member of the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.
Growth in the backlog, liquidity and international presence
In his presentation of 2011 results to shareholders, Ferrovial CEO Iñigo Meirás emphasized the good performance of the company's main assets (such as 407 ETR in Canada and Heathrow Airport), the improved financial position, the Construction and Services backlogs, and monetization of assets (sale of 5.88% of BAA). Rotation of assets, such as Swissport, the BAA stake, and the Chilean and M45 (Madrid) toll roads, led to divestments amounting to 1.264 billion euro and capital gains of 1.064 billion euro. Ferrovial also invested 328 million euro in the year.
Mr. Meirás also noted that Ferrovial had obtained major contracts, such as Crossrail in the UK, Telefónica's data center in Spain, street cleaning and waste treatment for the Murcia city government, adjudications by the UK Ministry of Justice, and the extension of the 407 in Toronto.
The Construction and Services backlog remained close to record highs: 22.422 billion euro. The geographic diversification strategy continued to bear fruit. The company maintained a solid position in its traditional markets and is analyzing opportunities in other areas with similar legal, political and economic stability. Ferrovial's projects outside Spain currently account for 48% of total EBITDA, 55% of consolidated revenues and 58% of the backlog.
Mr. Meirás underlined the company's main priorities as: "financial discipline, cash flow, organic growth, analysis of opportunities and increasing shareholder value". He also highlighted the commitment to workplace safety, corporate responsibility and the environment.
Supplementary dividend of 0.25 euro
The shareholders approved the payment of a dividend amounting to 0.25 euro per share out of reserves, to supplement the 0.20 euro per share dividend paid in November.
All of the items on the agenda were passed, including approval of the financial statements, elimination of term limits for independent directors, and modification of the Bylaws and the Shareholders' Meeting Regulations to adapt to new legislation. The Meeting also approved participation by senior management and executive directors in a remuneration system that has been applied in recent years under which part of variable remuneration is paid in shares.
Watch video: Annual Shareholders' Meeting 2012