Catalan infrastructure company closes 2017 with €900m profits
Abertis also achieved record revenue of over €5 billion
The Catalan infrastructure and toll management company, Abertis, closed 2017 with a profit of 897 million euros, 13% more than the previous year.
These results were achieved partly due to the investment of 3.6 billion euros, 3 billion of which were devoted to acquisitions and inorganic growth. An increase in motorway traffic in Spain (3.9% more), Italy (1.5%), Chile (4%), Brazil (3.2%) and India (9.6%) also led to Abertis making 5.3 billion euros in revenues.
It is the first time the firm, which operates in 14 countries worldwide, turned over more than 5 billion euros. The company also acquired new assets adding to its growth and improvement on the previous year.
In 2017, in the face of the political crisis in the country, the board of directors decided to move the company’s headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid. On Wednesday, the company said it is too soon to say whether it will return its base to Catalonia.
Change in management
Abertis has also gone through a change in management. On Tuesday, the company’s former managing director, Francisco Reynés, was appointed executive chairman of Gas Natural, which also enjoyed a positive 2017.
José Aljaro will take his place, and already has his work set out for him. Aljaro will have to define a new strategic plan for the company incorporating the increase of traffic on motorways where the multinational obtains concessions.
In October, the European Commission authorized Atlantia’s bid for Abertis. In a statement, the Commission said the proposed takeover raised no competition concerns due to the presence of significant competitors in the market, a lack of geographical overlap between the road networks managed by the firms, and the fact that toll-road concessions are a highly regulated market.
In June last year, Abertis also agreed with Argentina on an investment of $250 million (€223 million) into its Argentine subsidiary, the GCO network (Grupo Concesionario del Oeste), in exchange for a license extension.
The Catalan multinational detailed the new investment plan, which is to be funded completely through the future income of the toll road management concession, that has been extended until the end of 2030 (and which was to finalize in 2018). Abertis made the first step towards an agreement with the National Direction of the Highway Administration, which belongs to the Argentine Transport Ministry.
According to the multinational, during the first term of 2017 the group Abertis carried out operations for a total amount of €3.3 billion, among which the purchase of up to 100% of the shares of the French company Sanef (more than €2.2 billion) stood out, the growth of its participation in the Italian Holding A4 of up to 90% (€215 million), the purchase of two highways in India for the value of €130 million and the acquisition of the Rodovía dos Calçados in Brazil (for about €420million).