At the end of 2017, operating income from Saba’s assets under management stood at 213 million euros (+3.7%), while EBITDA totalled 100 million euros (+5.7%), with a margin of 47%, which has grown in recent years and is the highest in the sector worldwide. Of note is the contribution to EBITDA of the projects incorporated to the Group in recent years (Bamsa and Adif, in Spain, and CPE in Portugal). At the end of 2017, EBITDA of the company’s new assets rose to 42.5% of the total and explains the 63% year-on-year increase.
Saba’s salient figures reflect, on the one hand, this good business performance and, on the other hand, the efforts made by the organisation as a whole to increase the operational efficiency of the business, to implement initiatives that allow the company to become a leader in the sector—putting special emphasis on new support systems, new technologies and energy efficiency, as well as new formulas and commercial initiatives—and to actively manage contracts, focusing on growth. Saba invested €34 million in 2017, of which €21 million was for expansion.
As in previous years, Saba continues with its expense optimization and management measures. The adaptation of sales channels, with special emphasis in the digital area, and products to meet current needs, is an indication of a line of work aimed at continuous improvement that should translate into greater profitability. The traditional policies of selective growth, based on profitability criteria and economic and legal certainty, as well as actions aimed at efficiently managing operations and technological innovation continue to be Saba’s principal lines of action.
2017 Financial Management Figures /€ Millions
2017 Income by country
The financial structure of the Group seeks to limit the risks arising from uncertainty in financial markets, trying to minimise potential adverse effects on financial profitability. Throughout 2017, the company continued to work in order to have the tools and flexibility needed to continue with its objective of growth and diversification. In this regard, the Group constantly assesses its financial structure and, in the same way, must be in a position to improve it at all times, depending on the market situation and its evolution.
In this sense, Saba undertook in 2017 an improvement of its existing financing of its car parks in Europe (Club Deal) and Chile, which basically translated into better price conditions, expanding its borrowing capacity in the case of Chile, in addition to improving future cash provisions, among other aspects. Moreover, and in line with this improvement in the conditions of the company’s financial structure, in 2017 the company expanded its interest rate hedging.
Saba’s total assets as of 31 December 2017 came to €1,397 billion. The company’s consolidated equity as of 31 December 2017 amounted to €554 million, while gross debt (countable financial debt without derivative liability) stood at €532 million (€553 million in 2016) with its net financial debt at €330 million, 26 million less than at the end of 2016. With regard to the distribution of debt, long-term debt represented more than 90% at year end 2017, while it will mature on average in 2021.
Consolidated balance sheet
as of 31 December 2017 / € Millions
(*) Countable financial debt, without derivative liability.
In order to minimise exposure to interest rate risks, Saba maintains a high percentage of debt at a fixed rate or at a rate fixed by hedging, approximately 75%. Therefore, it is estimated that any possible changes in interest rates would not have a significant impact on the company’s accounts.
BUSINESS RISK MANAGEMENT
Saba has established a Risk Management Policy based on a methodology of identifying, analysing and evaluating the various business risks. Risk is understood as an event that could negatively impact on the fulfillment of the Group’s strategic objectives. Among the risks Saba has detected as inherent and a priority are:
Maturity of concessions. Given their very nature, the average concession life marks a specific time horizon that Saba is working to increase on the basis of renewals, the incorporation of new concession contracts and other measures of a similar nature.
Regulatory. This risk implies incurring costs or investments beyond those originally planned, introducing a volatility factor to the results. Saba maintains a proactive policy aimed at providing proposals in line with the new demands that affect the sector and which involve both a viable response to those needs while also incorporating financial rebalancing measures.
Customer demand. The macroeconomic context can significantly affect the Group’s business. The economic crisis at the end of 2008 was a good example of the impact on demand of the economic recession that families had to face. Saba’s response has been to leverage new sources of income, while improving traditional ones by better adapting to the needs of demand and implementing efficiency measures compatible with the quality of the differentiated service which the brand is known for.
Country risk. Traditionally Saba has geared its geographic diversification towards territories with economic and legal stability.
as of 31 December 2017
SHARE CAPITAL AND SHAREHOLDERS
As of 31 December 2017, Saba Infraestructuras has a share capital of 739,037,783 ordinary shares of a single class and series, registered in book entries, of €0.10 par value each, which are fully subscribed and paid up. As of year end, the company has none of its own shares in treasury stock.
Currently Saba has around 3,500 shareholders, which represent 1.2% of the shareholding structure. The Shareholder Office is at the service of the shareholders to assist them in all matters that may be of interest to them. The Shareholder Office responded to nearly 390 queries in 2017, managed with a clear focus on service quality. Half of these queries were regarding the purchase and sale of shares and 23% were requests for information regarding the various General Meetings of shareholders.