Iberdrola Chairman To Shareholders: Spain Is Beginning To Recover From Economic Crisis
ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Iberdrola (IBDRY:US) chairman Ignacio Galan told shareholders today that despite a difficult economic environment, Iberdrola again generated solid results in 2012, driven by 35% net earnings growth in its international operations. The Company was one of the few European utilities to have maintained profit and dividends to shareholders since the economic crisis began in 2008.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting in Bilbao, Spain, Galan said strong fiscal measures taken by the Spanish government in 2012 are beginning to bear fruit: "The efforts of the Spanish government are being recognized by the international community and financial markets," he said, adding that this year will be one of transition for the Spanish economy, with positive growth rates in the fourth quarter.
"The reforms carried out and others to be introduced in the near future will boost sustainable growth in the long term and we expect them to have a positive impact on jobs from the second half of 2014 and increasing in the following years," he said.
Galan stressed that Iberdrola has remained an engine of growth in countries where it operates. In 2012, the group hired more than 2,000 employees and 800 interns/trainees, invested €3.26 billion ( $4.18 billion USD) to upgrade technology and infrastructure, purchased goods and services totaling €5 billion ( $6.4 billion USD), and provided direct and indirect employment for 150,000 people around the world.The Chairman also reiterated highlights from the Group's 2012 financial results which were released last month:
- Group revenues rose 8.1% to €34.2 billion ( $43.95 billion USD), while gross margin increased 4.6% to €12.58 billion ( $16.16 billion USD), and operating cash flow rose 2.5% to €6.19 billion ( $7.96 billion USD).
- EBITDA increased 1% to €7.73 billion ( $9.93 billion USD).
- Net earnings rose 1.3% to €2.84 billion ( $3.65 billion USD), driven by a 35% international earnings growth
- sold €850 million ( $1.12 billion USD) of the €2 billion ( $2.6 billion USD) planned of non-strategic assets,
- reduced its debt by nearly €1.38 billion ( $1.82 billion USD) to €30.32 billion ( $40.0 billion USD),
- increased operating cash flow 2.5%, and
- grew liquidity to more than €12 billion ( $15.89 billion USD) – enough to meet its needs for more than three years.
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