Results: Enagás reduces its annual profits by 4.4% and maintains the dividend | Economy

Enagás obtained a net profit of 422.6 million euros in 2019, which represents a 4.4% drop compared to the previous year. However, the group chaired by Antonio Llardén indicated that these earnings last year were slightly above (+ 1.34%) of the 417 million euros target set for 2019.

The contribution to its profits of the investee companies throughout 2019 amounted to 162.1 million euros, increasing by 38.5% over the previous year. He highlighted in the period the acquisition of the American Tallgrass from April 1, 2019 and from Desfa (Greece) since December 2018.

Enagás total revenues in 2019 reached 1,151.1 million euros, 1.5% below the figure reached in the previous year. The regulated income of the group grew slightly with respect to the same period of the previous year, as a result of the increase in the RCS (remuneration for continuity of supply) due to the positive evolution of demand in the year.

For its part, the gross operating result (Ebitda) of the Spanish gas system operator closed last year at 994.8 million euros, 5.4% higher than in 2018.

With regard to net investment, it amounted to 704.7 million euros in 2019, mainly including international investment in Tallgrass Energy to achieve an indirect 12.6% stake in its capital. In this regard, in mid-December, Enagás together with Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, GIC (Singapore sovereign wealth fund) and other minority shareholders reached an agreement for the acquisition of the entire floating capital of Tallgrass Energy LP. The operation, once the foregoing conditions are met, will involve a disbursement by Enagás of 836 million dollars (about 772 million euros), thereby increasing its indirect participation in the social capital of the US energy company from 12.6 Current% to approximately 30%.

To finance this operation, the group successfully completed a capital increase of 500 million euros by issuing 23,255 million shares (21.50 euros per share), which represents 8.88% of the share capital after its expansion and in which he entered as a shareholder of the company Amancio Ortega with 5%.

On the other hand, Enagás’ net debt at the end of the year stood at 3,755 million euros, decreasing by 520 million euros compared to 2018. In this variation the group pointed out that the loss of control of LNG Quintero (- 645 million euros), the accounting effect of IFRS 16 (+355 million euros) and the funds obtained from the capital increase amounting to 500 million euros.

Meanwhile, Enagás will propose to its general shareholders meeting a dividend corresponding to the 2019 fiscal year of 1.60 euros gross per share, which represents an annual increase of 5%, in accordance with the company’s strategy.

CNMC Circular

With regard to the regulatory framework for the company’s activity for 2021-2026, approved by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) last December with the circular of remuneration of transport and regasification, which softened Almost half the cut initially planned leaving it at 10.5%, Enagás said that “a stable regulatory framework is established for these activities for the period.”

Antonio Llardén has completely ruled out the possibility of resorting to the new regulatory framework for 2021-2026 of the CNMC, since he considers that “there is no legal basis” for this. At a press conference, he indicated that, after studying the report of the State Council and after requesting the legal reports regarding the regulator’s circular on the methodology for fixing the remuneration of natural gas transportation and regasification plants by 2021 a 2026, it was decided “not to resort”.

“To resort to such a process you have to have a very clear legal basis that leads to it, and the reports say that there is no legal basis. A process of this type opens a period of uncertainty and in our case the periods of uncertainty are tremendously hard, “he said.

Last December, the CNMC approved the definitive circular that affects the remuneration of Enagás, softening to practically half the cut that the regulator initially planned for the group and leaving it at about 5,920 million euros for the sexennium. Llardén said that his particular case “has nothing to do with that of others”, such as gas distribution or the electricity sector, and that the circular has been greatly improved and, finally, the text that was approved “has little to do with the first circular. ” “We have studied it, technical aspects can be discussed, but legal aspects cannot be discussed,” he said, adding that the company’s investors also share this criterion of not resorting to the regulations.

Regarding the forecast of demand for natural gas in Spain by 2020, after in 2019 it grew by 14% to the record figure since 2010 of 398 terawatt hours (Twh), Llardén predicted that it will remain at levels of last year . “For this year we will be in that environment. It would be very difficult for me to go back up, since there was an effect of the country’s economic march, an effect of time, which was good for gas consumption, and it was the first time that in a clear way the coal decreased, “he said.

Regarding the possible entry into the board of directors of Pontegadea, the investment company of Amancio Ortega, which won 5% of Enagás’s capital in the capital increase launched by the group at the end of 2019 to finance the increase in the Tallgrass participation, Llardén said that, today, “has not stated that he has a direct interest in it.” “As any institutional shareholder of the company receives all the information and attention that is necessary,” he said, adding that if at any time he asks to be present at the governing body “we would be delighted.”

With regard to gaining weight on the board of directors of Tallgrass Energy, where the group’s CEO, Marcelino Ortega is currently represented as representative, once the increase in its participation takes place in this first half of the year, Enagás will have a member more like vocal in the American, the financial director, Borja García Alarcón.


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