Gas Natural Fenosa Shareholders’ Meeting approves 10.1% increase in dividend drawn against 2015 earnings

  • The Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting approved shareholder remuneration of 1 billion euros (one euro per share) drawn against the 2015 results, which equates to a payout of 66.6%.
  • The Chairman, Salvador Gabarró, and the Managing Director, Rafael Villaseca, presented last year’s results to the shareholders, which met the objectives set by the 2013-15 Strategic Plan.
  • The company made a fiscal contribution in 2015 of 3.64 billion euros, of which 2.63 billion euros were paid in Spain.
  • The General Shareholders’ Meeting backed the appointment of Helena Herrero to the Board of Directors as an independent member of the board.
The chairman, Salvador Gabarró, and the CEO, Rafael Villaseca, at the 2016 GSM.
The chairman, Salvador Gabarró, and the CEO, Rafael Villaseca, at the 2016 GSM.

The Ordinary Shareholder’s Meeting, which was held in Barcelona today, approved a total dividend drawn against the 2015 results of 1 billion euros (one euro per share), an increase of 10.1% on the dividend corresponding to the financial year 2014. The company will pay out a complementary dividend on 30 June (0.5922 euros per share), meaning that the payout – proportion of net profit allocated to shareholder remuneration – will stand at 66.6%, higher than the 62% commitment made in the 2013-15 Strategic Plan.

In his speech to shareholders, the Chairman of GAS NATURAL FENOSA, Salvador Gabarró, highlighted the “good results achieved” by the company in 2015 in spite of the “complex domestic and international economic climate”. The EBITDA for last year (the last of the 2013-15 Strategic Plan) stood at 5.26 million euros, higher than the 5 billion euros committed to in said plan. The net profit amounted to 1.5 billion euros, in line with the target set, and the net debt/EBITDA ratio remained at three, as forecast.

In his speech to shareholders, the Managing Director, Rafael Villaseca, stressed that the economic-financial performance by GAS NATURAL FENOSA between 2012 and 2015 was better than the average for comparable companies in the same sector in Europe. The EBITDA posted by the Spanish multinational rose by 12%, compared with the 12.1% decline in the sector overall. In turn, the net profit rose by 4.2% in a period when the average from comparable results fell 123%.

GAS NATURAL FENOSA also stands out among it European peers in terms of profitability for shareholders in the period 2013-2015. The company chaired by Salvador Gabarró posted a total profitability (listed value increase plus dividend) of 58.4%, compared with a figure of 25.9% posted by other large European utilities.

Rafael Villaseca said that the results obtained during the 2013-2015 Strategic Plan are based on the balanced profile of the company, for which 66% of its EBITDA stems from regulated activities – natural gas and electricity distribution mainly – and the remaining 34% stems from deregulated electricity generation and natural gas commercialisation activities.

Furthermore, the company has increased its geographic diversification in recent years and obtained 48% of its EBITDA outside of Spain in 2015, in the 30 countries where it now operates.

New dividend policy for 2016-2018

The managing director announced the main aspects of the dividend policy included in the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, which will be presented on 11 May. In this three-year period, GAS NATURAL FENOSA will increase the payout to 70% and will pay shareholders with a minimum dividend of one euro per share.

Payment of the interim dividend, which is usually received in December, will be brought forward to September and will account for approximately one third of the total. Shareholder remuneration will include the possibility of receiving a script dividend.

Contribution to society

Rafael Villaseca highlighted the important contribution made by the company to the regions in which it operates, through the creation of direct and indirect jobs and through its fiscal contribution. GAS NATURAL FENOSA closed contracts in 2015 worth a total of 3.01 billion euros with 7,261 suppliers around the world. 81% of this figure was awarded to local suppliers.

As regards its fiscal contribution, this amounted to 3.64 billion euros in 2015, of which 2.63 billion euros corresponded to Spain.

The managing director said that the human team at the company is “the key to success” of GAS NATURAL FENOSA. In total, the multinational company’s workforce consists of 20,641 employees, of which 8,262 work in Spain. The jobs created by the company are stable and of quality, with 96% of staff working under permanent employment contracts.

General Shareholders’ Meeting agreements

The GAS NATURAL FENOSA Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting voted, among other agreements, to approve the annual accounts and the management report for 2015.

Furthermore, the Shareholders’ Meeting approved the re-election of Salvador Gabarró and Juan Rosell as board members and the appointment of Helena Herrero as a new independent member of the company’s board of directors.

Helena Herrero Starkie has a Degree in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and has completed post-graduate studies in Management at the INSEAD Business School and the IESE Business School. She has been the Chairwoman and Managing Director of HP for Spain and Portugal since July 2012, a company she joined in 1992.

The appointment of Helena Herrero is fully in line with the multinational power company’s vision of corporate governance and development of the strategic plans of GAS NATURAL FENOSA.

Furthermore, the Board of Directors meeting held today approved the appointment of Benita Ferrero-Waldner to the Executive Committee.

The Annual General Meeting was attended by around 800 people, including shareholders and guests, and reached a quorum of 77,4%.