, a global operator in infrastructure and municipal services management, obtained 168 million euro in net profit in the first six months of 2014, compared with 287 million euro in the same period last year
(which included 138 million euro in capital gains from the sale of Stansted Airport, among other extraordinaries, as well as the sale by Amey of 40% of the company that groups its PFI projects, for 37 million pounds).
EBITDA increased by 4.8% to 435 million euro
, on 11% growth in revenues to 4.159 billion euro, driven by good business performance, especially in Services. International revenues increased by 14% compared with the same period last year, and accounted for 68% of the total.
The total backlog reached a new high of 26.138 billion euro, of which 18.841 billion corresponds to Services
and 7.297 billion to Construction. International contracts accounted for 68% of the total (66% in Services and 71% in Construction).
Notable contracts in the period include the project to build, operate and maintain the I-77 in North Carolina
; street cleaning and waste collection in Barcelona and Pontevedra, and railway network upgrades in several regions of the UK, in the Services area; and the expansion of two toll roads in Australia and Saudi Arabia, in the Construction area.
That backlog figure does not yet reflect major new contracts worth 1.1 billion euro i
n total, including the I-77 in the US, the Docklands Light Railway project in London
, and new contracts to upgrade military facilities in the UK and to build a power plant in Poland.
GREATER FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY
Ferrovial had a net cash position (excluding infrastructure project debt) of 1.599 billion euro at the end of June. Consolidated net debt amounted to 5.563 million euro. The increase with respect to December 2013 is mainly due to the impact of the currency effect and to investments in ongoing toll road construction in Texas (NTE, LBJ Express and NTE 35W).
In the first half of 2014, Ferrovial arranged a new 5-year liquidity
line amounting to 750 million euro with 12 banks, at a cost of 80 basis points. This line will not be drawn initially, providing the company with even greater financial flexibility to take advantage of emerging investment opportunities.
After the end of the period, Fitch Ratings upgraded the parent company's rating, to BBB outlook stable, the same rating assigned by Standard & Poor's one year ago. In July, Ferrovial successfully placed its third corporate bond issue: a 10-year 300 million euro bond paying an annual coupon of 2.5%. The funds raised were used to optimise the corporate debt maturity calendar and reduce the cost of debt, while also enhancing the company's investment capacity.
STRONG PERFORMANCE BY THE MAIN ASSETS
EBITDA increased notably at the company's two main assets: by 10% at the 407 ETR (Canada) and by 16% at Heathrow Airport (in local currency terms in both cases). Traffic also continues to expand: by 3.8% on the 407 ETR, reflecting an increase in the number of trips and the distance travelled, and by 1.9% at Heathrow, to 35 million passengers.
These good results enabled the 407 ETR to increase its dividend in the first half, to 350 million Canadian dollars, and Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) to distribute 135 million pounds among its shareholders. Ferrovial collected a total of 151 million euro in dividends from the two companies in the first half.
As a result of integrating Enterprise and landing new contracts in the UK and Spain, the Services division was the largest single source of revenues and EBITDA in the group, registering growth of 28% and 15%, respectively. The backlog reached a new record high of almost 20 billion euro, including contracts that are accounted for by the equity method.
In Toll Roads, traffic in Europe continued to improve
. Revenues slipped by 3%, to 200 million euro, due to the release of provisions in 2013 in connection with the Norte Litoral toll road in Portugal and to adverse weather in the US, which reduced traffic on Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road in the first quarter.
outside Spain expanded to account for 75% of revenues and 71% of the backlog. Ferrovial Agroman obtained its first important projects in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Australia during the first half of 2014. Total revenues declined by 3%, to 1.804 billion euro, as projects were completed in the UK. Certain major contracts are not yet reflected in the backlog, including 500 million euro in the case of Budimex
HAH registered growth of 7.2% in revenues and 12% in EBITDA, both in local currency terms. A total of 41 million passengers used the company's four airports in the first half. Heathrow continued to obtain record high customer satisfaction levels: 80% of travellers rated their experience as "Excellent" or "Very good", reflecting the improvements achieved in terms of punctuality, safety and immigration.