- Rafael del Pino, Chairman of Ferrovial, highlighted the increase in revenues, EBITDA and net profit in 2015.
- The Shareholders' Meeting, held in Madrid, passed all the items on the agenda, including a new Ferrovial Flexible Dividend programme.
Meeting in Madrid, the shareholders approved all of the items on the agenda, including the financial statements and a new Ferrovial Flexible Dividend programme, reappointed the auditors, and ratified and appointed directors.
Del Pino discussed the backlog in Services and Construction, which continues to scale record heights, amounting to 31,531 million euro, 75% of which is located outside Spain. "Ferrovial remained true to its strategy of international development, focusing on a specific set of countries that match our business," he said. During the year, international activities increased their share of revenues from 69% to 72% of the total, while they contributed 61% of total EBITDA.
The Chairman also discussed the takeover bid for Broadspectrum, which so far has attained 75% of the capital, which could lead to the company delisting and eventually acquiring 100% of the capital.
The Chairman emphasised the company's conservative approach and its financial discipline, while it continues to pursue investment opportunities in its target businesses and markets. The net cash position at 2015 year-end, excluding infrastructure projects, was 1,514 million euro, while consolidated net debt including those projects amounted to 4,542 million euro. Ferrovial invested 374 million euro in projects in the Services, Toll Roads and Construction areas.
Operating cash flow amounted to 889 million euro. Cash flow was strong in Services and Construction: 289 and 272 million euro, respectively. Dividends amounted to 267 million euro from Toll Roads and 132 million euro from Airports, due basically to good performance by 407 ETR and Heathrow Airport. Ferrovial's share appreciated by 27% in 2015, contrasting with the decline by the Ibex 35 index in the year, and the total shareholder return, including dividends, was 31.4%. The company allocated 532 million euro to remunerating shareholders in 2015, a 4.4% increase.
Rafael del Pino stated that "our actions are guided by the principles of efficiency, integrity and transparency, since we consider them to be fundamental for building trust, managing risk and creating shareholder value." During the year, Ferrovial appointed a Head of Compliance, updated its Crime Prevention Protocol, and approved policies in connection with tax, control and management of tax risk, social security, director appointments and director remuneration. The Chairman emphasised the company's "unswerving commitment to society," as evidenced by its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainable Index (for the 14th consecutive year), FTSE4Good (11th year) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (8th year).
Traffic growth and new contracts
Ferrovial CEO Íñigo Meirás highlighted the good performance by the company's main assets, as well as growth in traffic on toll roads in the US, Canada and Europe and at Heathrow airport and the UK regional airports. He discussed business results and order intake in new markets. The milestones of 2015 include the inauguration of the LBJ highway in Texas ahead of schedule, as occurred with the NTE.
Meirás listed major contracts landed by Ferrovial in 2015, such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel in London, the Toowoomba toll road in Australia, the Ruta del Cacao road in Colombia, and the new extension to 407 ETR, in Toronto. Towards the end of the year, Ferrovial landed contracts for beltways in Atlanta (US) and Bratislava (Czech Republic), whose financial closure is taking place in 2016.
Íñigo Meirás told shareholders that Ferrovial and its subsidiaries diversified their funding sources in 2015 by drawing on the capital markets, which enabled them to reduce dependency on bank loans, cut funding costs and extend their debt maturities. The CEO noted that the company's "zero accidents" target had resulted in a sizeable reduction in accident rates.
Lastly, he spoke about the company's priorities for 2016, 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 shareholders approved a new Ferrovial Flexible Dividend programme for 2016. They also approved a reduction in share capital through the amortisation of previously acquired own shares, the goal being to increase Ferrovial's earnings per share.
Directors were appointed, ratified or re-appointed, and the auditors' engagement was renewed.