28.7.2007: Meldung: Agbar Group: Halbjahreszahlen

The Agbar Group achieves a profit of 100.7 million euros in the first half of 2007, 6.1% above the previous year

The Group maintains a trend of growth, with a 25.7% increase in profit from operations, which reaches 184.3 million euros, and significant increases in the Water and Health sectors

The Agbar Group has achieved a net result attributed to the parent company of 100.7 million euros in the first half of the year, 6.1% above that of the same period of last year, when it obtained 94.9 million euros. The Group’s trend during this period is positive, as shown by the main magnitudes, which experienced considerable increases. The operating revenues go from 1,241.7 to 1,394.7 million euros (+12.3%); the operating cash flow, from 231.4 to 277.9 million euros (+20.1%), and the profit from operations, from 146.6 to 184.3 million euros (+25.7%).

The significant increase in profit from operations is driven, on the one hand, by the inclusion in the scope of consolidation of Bristol Water Group, acquired in 2006 and which contributes a high operating margin and, on the other hand, by important organic growth of 18% in the Agbar Group’s two sectors — Water and Health —, which demonstrates the good operating behaviour in both sectors.

The growth obtained in the profit from operations made it possible to offset the higher financial burden (which increased by 29.9% and goes from 26.6 to 34.6 million euros), and also the reduction in the non-recurrent atypical results (which record a 42.2% reduction and go from 63.1 to 36.5 million euros).

During 2006, the Agbar Group acquired Bristol Water Group, which joined the Agbar Group’s scope of consolidation on 1 July 2006. Although the company makes an important contribution to the results of this first half of 2007, at the same time it also represented an increase in the volume of financing associated with the acquisition, also due to the acquired company’s own debt.

As regards the atypical results, which are non-recurrent operations of an exceptional nature which cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the year, these are mainly for gains obtained on the sale of elements of tangible assets.

Important growth in both sectors of activity

Both of the Agbar Group’s sectors of activity, Water and Health, record considerable growth in operating revenues: Water achieves operating revenues of 750.8 million euros (+12.2%), and Health, of 611.6 million euros (+13.2%). The growth in the Water sector is mainly due to the incorporation of six months" activity of Bristol Water Group. This, together with the greater activity in the companies which operate in the domestic water market, made it possible to offset the reduction in revenues from Chile, due to the negative effect of the depreciation of the Chilean peso (8.6% in relation to the previous year). In turn, the considerable growth in the Health sector is due, on the one hand, to the inclusion in the scope of consolidation of the three clinics acquired at the end of 2006, the Canary Island clinics Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Policlínica San José in Vitoria. On the other hand, the important organic growth recorded by this activity should be mentioned, reaching almost 10%.

The increase in profit from operations obtained by the Agbar Group in this first half of 2007, of 184.3 million euros (+25.7%), corresponds mainly to the Water sector activity. In this respect, the contribution of the results of the Bristol Water Group is very significant, as is the increase in the operating margins of the companies operating in the Spanish market. The moderate increase in consumption and in the price in the metropolitan area of Barcelona is also important. These contributions allowed an offsetting of the smaller contribution of the results from Chile, due to the 8.6% depreciation of the Chilean peso against the euro. The Health activity presents a more moderate increase in its profit from operations than Water, but also contributes to the Agbar Group’s growth. In this case, it is likewise caused by the incorporation of new companies into the scope of consolidation, these being the three clinics acquired at the end of 2006, together with the organic growth of the portfolio of policyholders of Adeslas, which was above 6%.

Polarization in the Water sector

Following the agreement signed on 24 July 2007 for the sale of Applus+ to the fund management group The Carlyle Group, the Agbar Group is focusing its activity on Water and Health. The former contributes 78% of the Agbar Group’s profit from operations (75% in the same period of the previous year) and Health contributes 22% of the profit from operations (25% in the same period of the previous year).

With the increase in overall results, the improvement in efficiency, which has led to an increase in the operating margin, and the consolidation of the new acquisitions, the Agbar Group continues its positive trend, again demonstrating the soundness of its businesses.
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