FCC Shareholders' Meeting highlights cycle change
FCC Shareholders' Meeting highlights cycle change
- FCC Group improved financial results and operational capacity in 2016
- Synergies between the business areas entailed a culture change
- The CEO Carlos M. Jarque highlighted that “thanks to the collective efforts of all of us who make up FCC, the Group is beginning to see positive outcomes”
Meeting this afternoon in Madrid, the shareholders of FCC approved all items on the agenda, including the financial statements and directors' report for 2016.
The meeting was marked by the good results and the hard work that resulted in enhanced financial results and operational capacities. As CEO Carlos M. Jarque noted, "the Group has begun to produce good results during a cycle change." In 2016, FCC Group achieved 833.7 million euro in EBITDA, 2.3% more than in the previous year.
Speaking at the meeting, FCC Chairman Esther Alcocer Koplowitz noted that "we have achieved the solidity needed to continue with our proposed growth plan."
The Chairman also said that "the greatest challenge we face as a group, given our growing internationalisation, is to integrate the wealth of cultures, origins and competencies within our greatest resource: our people."
The Shareholders' Meeting was held in Madrid, a fact that the CEO referenced as he commenced his address to the shareholders: "today, from this tower, we contemplate and admire the city of Madrid. FCC has been contributing to this city's development for over 100 years: building and maintaining Madrid's sewers; collecting waste in the eastern part of the city; cleaning streets; maintaining green areas; and building major infrastructures such as Terminal 4 at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, the Caja Mágica and Atocha High-Speed Railway Station."
In his speech, Jarque defined FCC as a strategic company that is positioned in important sectors of demand-led growth. He highlighted that major changes were made within the company in 2016 in the areas of governance, finance and operations, and he focused on describing the milestones attained by the company in each of those areas. Among the financial transactions performed in 2016, the CEO focused on the takeover bid for FCC, the 709.5 million euro equity issue, the reduction of debt by 1,886 million euro, as well as divestments and the recovery of debt and claims.
He then discussed performance in 2016 and provided shareholders with an overview of the company's financial results and of the prospects for the current year. The CEO emphasised the synergies between the company's various business areas, which entailed a change in culture; the ongoing effort to impose austerity in administration expenses, which were cut by 13% with respect to the previous year; the centralisation of procurements that resulted in a 22% saving; and the simplification of new organisation structures. Jarque went on to say that "2016 was a turning point for FCC" and that "thanks to the work of the Board and the collective internal efforts of all of us who make up FCC, the Group is beginning to see positive outcomes."
After detailing the company's key figures and pointing to the share's appreciation in 2016, Jarque referred to the new projects and contracts obtained by FCC Group's business areas. Among them, he mentioned the Millerhill Midlothian Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre in the UK, worth 511 million euro; the El Salitre waste water treatment plant in Colombia, awarded to FCC Aqualia for 130.5 million euro; and Mexico's new airport terminal, worth 3,900 million euro.
The CEO reported on FCC's strategies for growth, stating that the objectives include "acting as a single firm; appropriately concluding projects under way; focusing on profitable businesses with tight risk control and positive cash flow; emblematic projects; innovation and the application of cutting-edge technology; taking advantage of the new wave of technology and digitalisation; focusing on markets we know; synergies and strategic alliances in FCC America; and smart internationalisation. He also referred to the values that guide FCC Group's behaviour: “over 115 years' experience; connected to citizens; professionalism and quality; commitment to talent and diversity; employee health and safety; financial strength and operational efficiency; doing things well and a commitment to corporate social responsibility.” Among the challenges, he said “we must continue reducing debt and enhancing profitable projects.”
The CEO also discussed FCC's future: "2016 was a year of cycle change that we will be able to leverage. Nevertheless, there remain many challenges ahead; this year we are in the black; we have reduced leverage; we are more efficient; we have a leading position in local markets; we have attained stability and we have a business plan defined by each of the business areas." Moreover, he added, "faced with this new cycle, FCC is focusing on the circular economy, a viable solution for achieving efficient production models, and on the digital revolution, an opportunity for FCC to remain at the forefront of Smart Services."
Carlos M. Jarque concluded by stating that "2016 was a year in which FCC progressed with its financial restructuring, concluding the year with a 1,350 million euro bond issue by FCC Aqualia." He also noted that "we will leverage the improved financial and operational position, we will remain at the forefront of innovation, and we will continue working to ensure a profitable, sustainable company with a clear social commitment." "It was a year of positive results, upon which we aim to improve," concluded the CEO.