Today at the Annual General Meeting, HOCHTIEF’s CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes spoke about the changing conditions associated with coronavirus: “The Group’s activities continue to progress within the framework of the restrictions which have been put in place and we are continuously monitoring the risks to ensure the safety of our people. I am proud that in many places we can support government action to mitigate the pandemic”.
As the leading builder of Healthcare projects in the United States, HOCHTIEF’s subsidiary Turner has been called upon to build space to deliver urgent patient care in 20 locations across the United States. More than 200 Turner staff members – in some cases working in shifts around the clock – are leading efforts to complete work resulting in 4,000 patient care beds in a matter of weeks.
CIMIC is also supporting community efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus by redeveloping, expanding and building hospitals in New South Wales, Australia and delivering the Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand.
Following CIMIC’s decision in January to exit the non-controlling 45% financial investment in BIC Contracting, a company operating in the Middle East, HOCHTIEF has recognized a one-off, post tax, impact of EUR 833 million, after minorities, in its financial statements for 2019. As a consequence, HOCHTIEF recorded a nominal net loss of EUR 206 million for 2019. Excluding this one-off impact, nominal net profit stands at EUR 627 million.
During 2019, HOCHTIEF’s operational businesses continued to perform well with solid advances in profits, sales and order book and significantly higher underlying cash generation. Operational net profit, which excludes non-operational effects, rose by EUR 146 million, or 28%, year on year to EUR 669 million, on sales which were 8% higher at EUR 25.9 billion. The Group delivered net cash from operating activities of EUR 1.6 billion. HOCHTIEF ended December 2019 with a net cash position of EUR 1.53 billion and a strong liquidity position supported by EUR 3 billion of undrawn credit facilities. The Group’s order book reached over EUR 51 billion at the end of 2019, an increase year on year of EUR 4 billion, or 9%.
“In view of the solid performance in the operational business and on the basis of our strong balance sheet and liquidity, HOCHTIEF proposes the distribution of a dividend of EUR 5.80 per share. This is an increase of 16% on the previous year,” says CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes.
HOCHTIEF has achieved further improvements regarding sustainability and innovation.
For example, during 2019 HOCHTIEF generated total sales of EUR 5.9 billion from constructing certified green buildings in the US—an increase of more than 20% compared to 2018.
In 2019, HOCHTIEF was again listed in the internationally renowned Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the 14th time in succession, recognizing the economic, environmental and social performance of the Group. Just a few weeks ago, Deutsche Börse has included HOCHTIEF in a newly created index for sustainable companies, the DAX 50 ESG.
Nexplore, the Group-wide innovation platform, that operates innovation centers in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region has also set up research centers to be at the forefront of technological advances to deliver our solutions rapidly. The innovation platform cooperates with institutes such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), the Minnesota State University, and the University of Darmstadt as well as the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). By the end of 2020, at HOCHTIEF Group more than 100 project sites across the globe will be running some of their processes using the Nexplore platform.
“Across our markets, we expect that governments and the private sector will continue to invest to meet sustained demand for critical economic and social infrastructure, notwithstanding the impact of the corona crisis. Doing so facilitates economic growth, employment and productivity—factors which will be even more important in today’s environment,” says CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes. “With a robust pipeline of identified projects worth around EUR 600 billion in our core markets of USA, Canada, Asia-Pacific and Europe, and a PPP project pipeline of about EUR 230 billion, we are well positioned”.