ACS recorded a net profit of 201 million euros during the first quarter of the year, 28% less, due to the lower contribution of Abertis. Despite this, the group managed to increase its turnover between January and March by 3.1%, to 9,553 million euros, thanks to the good performance of the North American market. In addition, it made investments valued at more than 250 million euros in energy projects and concession assets, as well as 103 million euros in increasing its participation in Cimic.
The decrease in earnings was due to the lower contribution of Abertis, which was penalized by the fall in traffic on toll roads produced by the confinement and contributed 40 million euros less to the group’s accounts.
The concessionaire obtained 15% less revenue and 17% less ebitda. As a result, its contribution to ACS accounts was limited to 2.5 million euros, far from the 42.9 million it added in the first quarter of 2019. This result also penalized the ebitda of the infrastructure group, which fell by 8.3%, up to 751 million euros.
In addition, the impact on the benefit of Clece (10.3 million euros), which was penalized for the reduction of cleaning and maintenance activities of those social infrastructures that have ceased their activity. The subsidiary compensated for this loss of business by reinforcing certain cleaning and disinfection activities of hospitals and police offices. Clece also carried out different activities in an altruistic way, fully assuming the cost derived from it.
In the rest of activities of the group, the impact of the coronavirus was practically nil. Under construction, for example, Turner’s strong sales growth in the United States offset the devaluation of the Australian dollar and the impact this had on Cimic.
Industrial activity maintained its “strength” despite the pandemic, contributing 60% of the group benefitor. The turnover of this division was 1,913 million euros, 5.5% less due to the devaluation of Ibero-American currencies and the delays produced in certain projects.
Liquidity of more than 12,000 million
As explained by the president of ACS at the shareholders’ meeting produced last week, the group faces the coronavirus crisis with a solid financial position. The infrastructure group has a cash of 9,054 million which together with 3,328 million in available credit lines, totals liquidity of more than 12,000 million euros.
In addition, it has a portfolio valued at 73,196 million euros and geographically diversified, which together with the “high percentage of recurring income from operation and maintenance, and the current volume of cartisan award the ACS Group’s Industrial Services activity is a good position to face the current situation and maintain the operating profitability that characterizes it, “the group explained.
Net debt reached 2,374 million euros in March, representing 1,477 million more than a year ago. This increase is explained by the provision of 800 million made to guarantee Cimic’s exit from the Middle East market, in addition to the increase in investments and shareholder remuneration. The group approved at the meeting last week the distribution of a dividend valued at 630 million euros.