6.5.2007: Meldung: The Agbar Group achieves a profit of 45.8 million euros in the first quarter of 2007

The Group maintains a trend of growth, with a 10.3% increase in profit from operations, which reaches 102.6 million euros, and significant increases in the main sectors of activity

The Agbar Group has achieved a net result attributed to the parent company of 45.8 million euros in the first quarter of the year. The Group’s trend during this period is clearly upward, as shown by the main magnitudes, which experienced considerable increases. The operating revenues go from 727.1 to 837.1 million euros (+15.1%); the operating cash flow, from 142.4 to 156.8 million euros (+10.1%), and the profit from operations, from 93 to 102.6 million euros (+10.3%).

This significant increase in operating revenues in the first quarter (+15.1%) is not reflected in the net profit, due to the higher financial burden (which rises 113.1% and goes from 10.2 to 21.7 million euros) and also to the reduction in non-recurrent atypical results (which record a 37.8% reduction and go from 33.8 to 21 million euros). These two circumstances explain why the net profit for the first quarter of 2007 (45.8 million euros) remains in line with that of the first quarter of the previous year and only experiences a slight improvement (+0.5%).

During 2006, the Agbar Group acquired important companies, such as Bristol Water Group and the RTD Group, which joined the scope of consolidation of the Agbar Group from 1 July 2006 and 1 May 2006, respectively. Although these two companies make important contributions to the results of this first quarter of 2007, at the same time they also represented an increase in the volume of financing associated with the two acquisitions, also due to the consolidated debt of the companies acquired.

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 the main sectors of activity

The three main sectors of activity record considerable growth in operating revenues: Water achieves operating revenues of 370.4 million euros (+10%); Health, of 300.5 million euros (+11.8%), and Inspection and Certification, of 150 million euros (+42.3%). The exceptional growth in the Inspection and Certification sector is due to the incorporation of three months of activity of the Dutch certification group RTD and of the Finnish vehicle inspection company K1; they were both acquired subsequent to March 2006.

The increase in profit from operations obtained by the Agbar Group in this first quarter of 2007, of 102.6 million euros (+10.3%), corresponds to the Water sector activity. In this respect, the contribution of the results of the Bristol Water Group is very significant, as is the moderate increase in consumption and in the price in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, although with less weight. These two contributions allowed an offsetting of the smaller contribution of the results from Chile, due to the 10.6% depreciation of the Chilean peso against the euro.

The Health and Inspection & Certification activities experienced a deterioration in their operating margins, which cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the year. For Health, this was due to an increase in the rate of claims in this first quarter, and for Inspection and Certification it was due to non-recurrent indemnity costs, arising from the organizational improvements that Applus+ is implementing.

Polarization in the main sectors

As regards the contribution of the different activities to the overall result, a polarization of the Group is appreciated in the main sectors (Water, Health, and Inspection & Certification) and, above all, in Water. This activity contributes 70.3% of the Agbar Group’s profit from operations (65.3% in the same period of the previous year); Health contributes 18.8% of profit from operations (20.7% in the same period of the previous year), and Inspection & Certification contributes 11.3% of profit from operations (13.9% in the same period of the previous year).

With the increase in overall results, the improvement in efficiency to achieve an increase in the operating margin and the consolidation of the new acquisitions (Bristol Water Group, RTD Group and K1), the Agbar Group continues its upward trend and increases its expectations of growth and profit with a view to the future.
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