"I think it is no exaggeration to say that ACCIONA is the world's most complete provider of sustainable infrastructure solutions," said today its chairman and CEO, José Manuel Entrecanales, at the General Shareholders’ Meeting in Madrid. In his speech, he recalled that the company invests in a dozen different sectors of activity and that almost all this investment (98%) is aligned with the European taxonomy for sustainable activities.
José Manuel Entrecanales said that “it would be imprudent to not protect the industrial capacities in which Europe can be a leader for the future,” referring specifically to the opportunity of being "a decisive industrial player" in the decarbonization industry.
ACCIONA's chairman indicated that the path ahead “is not free of challenges,” some of which are caused by "social, economic or regulatory fragmentation or excessive intervention by European governments", which reduce companies’ competitiveness and “relegate us to secondary roles in the global economic transformation.”
In his speech, José Manuel Entrecanales stressed that “the company has been able to adapt to the needs of our times,” which has enabled it to achieve "the best results in our history" in 2022. Last year, ACCIONA obtained revenues of €11.2 billion (+38%), its EBITDA reached €2.1 billion (+39%) and its net profit totaled €441 million (+33%). ACCIONA's chairman highlighted "the unprecedented level of liquidity" of the company (€7.3 billion); the investment effort, which exceeded €2 billion; and “the significant reduction of leverage,” as the net debt-to-EBITDA ratio reached 2.5x, whereas in 2020 it was 4.2x.
In 2022, ACCIONA treated more than 1,100Hm3 of water, of which 545Hm3 (47% of the activity) belong to water-stressed countries, mainly through desalination technology
Water: global market
José Manuel Entrecanales dedicated an important part of his speech to water, a global market that is expected to grow by more than 66% by 2030 and by over 100% in desalination. "Water, as a resource, is and will be the origin of many of the coming crises, either because of its scarcity or its excess," he said. "The good news is that the necessary technology is currently available," he added, recalling that it is one of ACCIONA's main lines of business.
In 2022, ACCIONA treated more than 1,100Hm3 of water, of which 545Hm3 (47% of the activity) belong to water-stressed countries, mainly through desalination technology. In addition, over the last few years, the company has built more than 300 wastewater treatment plants and 90 state-of-the-art desalination plants that serve 150 million people in different parts of the world.
In his speech, he recalled that the role of infrastructure “is essential to drive the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” although the annual global gap between actual investment (US$2.6 trillion) and the necessary investment (US$3.5 trillion) remains 25%.
According to ACCIONA's chairman and CEO, the infrastructure needed for decarbonization has to meet "demanding requirements that few companies are as qualified as ACCIONA to offer: climate resilience, carbon reduction and social and environmental regeneration."
These capabilities place the company “in a position of undisputed advantage in many of the world's most complex projects,” he said. He cited as examples the Sydney Harbour Tunnel in Australia, Line 6 of the Sao Paulo subway in Brazil, the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion canal in the US or the large wastewater treatment plants for cities in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Reviewing the various business lines, he recalled that ACCIONA Energía has a total installed capacity of 11.8GW, which last year broke its construction record (with more than 700MW) and will break it again this year (with 1.8GW).
Regarding the Real Estate business, he highlighted that this division delivered 617 housing units in 2022 and has a portfolio of almost 1,500 pre-sold homes. He also pointed out the construction of emblematic buildings such as the Ombú offices and the new ACCIONA Campus in Madrid.
Regarding ACCIONA Cultura, the division that leads innovation in the sector of museums, exhibitions and events, he declared it is “a little gem, an ambassador of our mission, vision and values that gives us prestige, gives us access to new markets as well as high-value clients and, of course, is profitable.”
He recalled that Bestinver was born as a small financial unit for family wealth management and now has more than €5.5 billion under management, highlighting the launch of its new infrastructure fund last year.
"We invest in more than a dozen sectors of activity and almost all of our investment, 98%, is aligned with the European taxonomy for sustainable activities. I believe it is no exaggeration to say that ACCIONA is the world's most complete provider of sustainable infrastructure solutions," he concluded.
José Manuel Entrecanales stated that in 2022 the company achieved "an important milestone in social cashflow, totalling a record €12.2 billion (+21%), and recalled that the company's tax contribution (€1.5 billion) increased by 14%, three times more than the profit it obtained and almost seven times more than the dividend it paid out.
He also pointed out that the company invested more than €262 million in 185 R&D&I projects during the year, which makes ACCIONA the seventh Spanish company that supports innovation.
The chairman ended his speech by emphasizing that, “for yet another year, we have made progress towards all our goals: economic, business, environmental objectives and, above all, our aim of continuing to be an agent of positive social transformation.”
ACCIONA's General Shareholders' Meeting approved the 2022 financial statement and the Sustainability Report for the year, as well as a gross dividend of €4.5 per share, to be paid out on July 6th, 2023.
In addition, the Meeting re-elected Jerónimo Marcos Gerard Rivero as an independent director and approved the appointment of María Salgado Madriñán and Teresa Sanjurjo González as independent directors.