ACS stayed at the gates of fulfilling the ambitious goal that was set last year: to reach a billion profit. The group chaired by Florentino Pérez has informed the CNMV on Tuesday that it closed 2019 with a profit of 962 million euros, 5.1% more than in 2018.
The result is conditioned by the closure of the operations of Cimic, the group’s Australian subsidiary, in the Middle East. ACS informed the CNMV at the end of January that this fact, which has been compensated by divestments in energy, would have a punctual impact of 400 million euros on its accounts.
The group also notified the supervisor that it would exceed 950 million benefits. And so it has been. The multinational has been driven by the integration of Abertis and the improvement of all its business areas; Only the mishap of Cimic has prevented it from reaching the goal of one billion benefits.
ACS Ebitda grew by 7%, to 3,148 million. Likewise, the turnover of the group reached 39,049 million euros, 6.5% more, thanks to the “solidity” of the group in the United States, Australia and Spain, its main markets. Half of ACS’s sales already come from North America, while Europe contributes 20% and Australia 19%. The United States and Canada also represent 41% of the group’s portfolio, which was worth 77,756 million in December, 7.7% more than at the end of 2018.
In the financial field, the infrastructure group closed the year with a net debt of 54 million euros, equivalent to 0.02 of Ebitda. ACS has already managed to limit its debt to the maximum in the previous two years.
In addition, the group increased the remuneration of its shareholders by 55%, to 1,054 million euros. Of this amount, 195 million corresponded to dividends; 568 million, to the purchase of own shares and the remaining 291 million to dividends to minority shareholders in Hochtief and Cimic.
The investments reached 1,254 million euros. The group allocated 1 billion to financial investments and projects and 659 million to purchase machinery and equipment, especially for civil works activities. The divestments, meanwhile, reach 450 million euros.
By business areas, both infrastructure (sales of 30,955 million euros, 7.5% more) and construction (sales of 30,867 million, 7.6% more), grew strongly. In addition, industrial services improved 2.3%, to 6,530 million in sales, due to the investment in renewable energy assets registered in Spain.
Meanwhile, Abertis, in its first full year integrated in ACS, contributed 245 million to the group’s benefits. Of this amount 184 came from the participation of ACS (which owns 50% less one share in the group) and 61 million from the indirect participation of the group through Hochtief. The result of Abertis, which improved its comparable net profit by 9%, was driven by the increase in traffic on the highways it manages in Spain (+ 4.3%) and in France (+ 1%). .