The greatest burden for the group came from its direct and indirect stake of 50% minus one share in Abertis, which caused a hole of 35 million euros in the accounts
ACS’s profit in the year of the coronavirus fell by 40.3%, to 574 million euros, from the 1,000 million euros it earned in 2019, mainly affected by the impact of the coronavirus in all its business units.
The greatest burden for the group chaired by Florentino PÃ © rez came from its direct and indirect stake of 50% minus one share in Abertis, which caused a hole of 35 million euros in ACS accounts, as reported to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).
The Spanish motorway concessionaire suffered directly the consequences of mobility limitations, which reduced average traffic on its roads by 21%, thus reducing its contribution to ACS, which in 2019 reached 245 million euros.
Nevertheless, excluding the impact of Abertis, the company would still register a net profit 15% lower than the previous year. This is due to the negative entry of 28 million related to the sale of 50% of Thiess, an Australian mining company indirectly owned by almost 40%.
Also, your service business Another impact from the coronavirus was noted, as a result of the cessation of activity experienced in the first confinement. Not even its construction and industrial services business avoided suffering the burden of the pandemic, as it reduced its operating results by around 10%. So, as a whole, the construction company’s sales were 34,937 million euros, 10.5% lower than the previous year, while the gross operating profit (Ebitda) was 2,397 million euros, 14.2% lower.
By geography, sales in North America accounted for 52% of the total, Europe 21%, Australia 15%, Asia 5%, South America 6%, and Africa the remaining 1%. Sales in Spain accounted for 14% of the total. Only the United States, Australia, Spain, Canada, and Germany contribute 80% of total sales.
The group portfolio stood at 69,226 million euros at the end of the year, 11% less, due to the sale of Thiess and the impact of the exchange rate, mainly the US dollar, which devalued 9.2% in the year.
During 2020, ACS activities generated a total of 1,245 million euros, thanks to the good performance of the American and European markets, the funds generated by the rotation of energy and concession assets, and by the dividends received from Abertis.
For its part, its debt soared after dedicating more than 1,700 million euros to the capital of the investments in projects, mainly of renewable energy and financial investments. Specifically, it responds to the increase in participation in Hochtief and Comics for a value of 443 million euros and the increase in ACS’s treasury shares for a value of 355 million euros that it undertook in 2020, taking advantage of the volatility of the capital market.
Likewise, the group has allocated 870 million euros to dividend distribution between its shareholders (626 million, of which 59% in ACS shares) and its minority partners (244 million), mainly from Hochtief, its German construction company.