In his presentation, Ferrovial Chairman Rafael del Pino told shareholders that "growth in sales, strong cash generation, and the order book confirm 2014 as a good year for Ferrovial and its shareholders". He also said that "the company is sounder today and well placed to seize any opportunities that arise in the market". "The businesses performed well this year: revenues increased by 8% and EBITDA, by 5%," he added.
Mr del Pino underlined the company's staunch commitment to prudence and discipline, as evidenced by its net cash position of 1.632 billion euro, together with strong cash generation by Services and Construction, which obtained 1.076 billion euro in operating cash flow, including dividends from Toll Roads and Airports. Ferrovial invested a total of 581 million euro in 2014, to acquire Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports and in various projects proposed by the business areas. Mr del Pino highlighted growth of 9% in revenues outside Spain, with the result that the international area now accounts for 69% of total revenues, 71% of the backlog, and 65% of EBITDA.
Ferrovial's share appreciated by 17% in 2014, i.e. 13 points more than the Ibex 35 index, and the total shareholder return, including dividends, was 22%. Shareholder remuneration amounted to 510 million euro in 2014.
Rafael del Pino concluded his presentation by highlighting that the Corporate Ethics Code had been updated, along with other policies in connection with corruption, competition, human rights, corporate responsibility and the environment. He also underlined the company's "firm commitment to society", as visible in its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the 13th consecutive year, the FTSE4Good for the 10th year, and the Carbon Performance Leadership Index for the 5th year running.
Growth in the order book and a greater international presence
Ferrovial CEO Íñigo Meirás reported good results by the main assets, such as Highway 407 in Canada and London's Heathrow Airport, with record traffic numbers, and strong operating performance by the business areas. He also highlighted that the company had entered new markets and inaugurated the NTE in Texas ahead of schedule.
Meirás also spoke about the contracts obtained by Ferrovial during the year, such as maintenance of military facilities for the UK Ministry of Defence, a treatment plant in North Yorkshire, the expansion of London Underground, end-to-end management of non-medical services at the Ourense University Hospital Complex, several municipal services contracts for Madrid City, the Pacific Highway in Australia, and various road projects in Poland. The company recently obtained new contracts for Phase 2 of the 407 East Extension in Ontario and the I-77 in North Carolina, as well as a road in Saudi Arabia. The total order book amounted to 30.461 billion euro, which ensures the company's activity in the medium and long term.
Meirás also noted that the company diversified funding in the capital markets in 2014 through a bond issue by Ferrovial at parent company level and a new liquidity line, enabling it to minimise exposure to bank funding and financial costs.
He also underlined innovation at Ferrovial as a tool for improving productivity and competitiveness, as well as one of the main sources of value creation.
Lastly, he spoke about the company's priorities for 2015, which include remaining committed to sustainable growth and financial discipline, focusing in particular on cash generation and operational management. The company will continue to look for investment opportunities in the coming months.
The Meeting approved the new Ferrovial Flexible Dividend programme for 2015. This initiative includes a reduction in share capital through the amortisation of previously acquired own shares, the goal being to increase earnings per share.
The ratification of Howard Lee Lance as Independent Director was submitted to shareholders for approval, as were the financial statements, the directors' report, the application of income from 2014, and the conduct of business by the Board of Directors.