General Meeting of Shareholders
General Meeting of Shareholders
- FCC will maintain moderate growth during a year marked by low debt and cost efficiency.
- The company will save 200 million euro in general costs by 2010.
- The Meeting approved a total dividend of 1.57 euro per share, i.e. a payout of 59%.
Baldomero Falcones told the shareholders today in Barcelona that FCC's results so far this year are in line with company projections, and performance is expected to improve steadily during 2009, in sharp contrast with 2008.
The measures implemented by the various governments are having a positive impact on FCC, as is the company's cost containment policy. A determining factor has been falling interest rates and the consequent reduction in financial expenses, which will be reflected in the company's bottom line this year.
Falcones said that FCC maintains the strategy presented in May 2008, and is judiciously taking advantage of growth opportunities, investing in services companies in parts of Europe where the company already operates in order to reap synergies and achieve economies of scale. He added: "Our development is restrained and focused on security and returns, with no large investments and few risks."
FCC is involved in recurring businesses with strong growth potential, such as environmental services, large infrastructure development and renewable energies, including wind, solar and energy-from-waste.
He also underlined the company's sound financial structure and low leverage. All of the debt is attributable to cash-generative activities.
Falcones stated that FCC's major strengths include the fact that it owns its cash flow, it is not dependent on third parties and it has expertise in its business areas, which are managed by experienced teams and use proprietary technology in many cases. One of the Group's main goals is to maintain innovation in all production areas.
He emphasized the shareholders' staunch commitment to the company: almost 54% of FCC is owned by B 1998, in which Esther Koplowitz has an 84% stake. "This ownership structure enables us to focus entirely on the company's performance and without extraneous distractions; this unwavering shareholder support is one of the Group's greatest assets".
Falcones indicated that the creation of efficiency and process re-engineering departments, contract renegotiation and the implementation of measures to cut indirect and general costs have enabled the company to greatly exceed the targets set in these areas. FCC has set very ambitious goals to cut general costs: it aims to reduce current costs by 200 million euro by 2010.
A sustainable company
Falcones highlighted that all business areas, from construction through services to cement and, in particular, technical services, are fully committed to caring for the environment. "We work daily not just to maintain the current environmental situation, but to improve it to the best of our abilities".
FCC aims for all of its projects to have the least possible environmental impact, which includes drastically reducing the discharge of soil and rock in landfills and increasing their reutilisation rates, as well as restoring the vegetation on embankments and other affected areas.
The company is a trailblazer in research to develop quieter and less-polluting trucks and urban sanitation vehicles.
In the cement division, he noted the efforts of Portland Valderrivas to reduce CO2 emissions as part of a Group-wide plan to replace fossil fuels with waste; successful results are expected in the short term.
The General Meeting of Shareholders approved a supplementary dividend of 0.785 euro per share which, together with the interim dividend paid in January in the same amount, gives a total dividend of 1.57 euro, i.e. a payout of 59%, similar to last year.
The remainder after subtracting the interim and supplementary dividends from total income, i.e. slightly over 143 million euro, will be appropriated to voluntary reserves.
Shareholders also authorised the reduction of capital within the next 12 months through amortisation of own shares if the Board of Directors sees fit.
The reduction would be performed by amortising 3,182,582 own shares, i.e. 2.5% of capital.