Naturgy, the former Gas Natural Fenosa, lost 2,822 million euros in 2018, compared to the gains of 1,360 million in 2017, due to the depreciation of its power generation plants worth 4,851 million that it carried out in the first half of the year.
In a communication to the CNMV, the company has specified that, without taking into account this accounting adjustment, would have obtained a profit of 1,245 million euros, 57% higher than the ordinary net result of 2017.
The Catalan company, led by Francisco Reynés for almost a year, closed the year with a gross operating profit or Ebitda of 4,019 million euros, 3% higher than in 2017, although the multinational qualifies that, in ordinary terms, Ebitda would have reached 4,413 million, 11.8% more .
In a statement, Naturgy highlighted on Wednesday that "The value in your income statement has already begun to crystallize" only six months after presenting its strategic plan until 2022, in which it promised to raise its dividend to 1.59 euros per share that year.
In fact, the multinational allocated 1,500 million to remunerate its shareholders already in 2018 through the dividend and the stock repurchase program, which is 50% more than in 2017.
Negative impact of exchange rates
"We have laid the foundations to face the transformation of the group, reposition the business in the face of the energy transition and achieve the objectives set in the new road map," said Reynés.
In the documentation sent to the CNMV, the company highlights that 2018 has been marked by a "solid behavior of the gas and electricity business, which has been partially mitigated by non-ordinary items and the negative impact of exchange rates", which has had a negative effect of 218 million on the Ebitda.
"The results of 2018 show a positive evolution of business, but it will be during the next few years when we will see a more substantial improvement in results as we move forward with the execution of the plan," said Reynés.
In this line, Naturgy also sees progress in its efficiencies plan. Of the 500 million savings in its corporate structure that it has proposed to reach in 2022, it has already managed to achieve 110 million, although to achieve this structural savings it has had to allocate 180 million.
At the end of 2018, Naturgy's financial debt reached 13,667 million, 10% less than in 2017.
Also, since 2018 the company has launched a new organizational structure based on a simpler management and in which businesses have greater autonomy.
Naturgy's main shareholders are Criteria Caixa (25.5%), the GIP infrastructure fund, with 20%, and the CVC venture capital fund, the latter from Corporación Alba, with another 20%.