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Brazilian recovery amid a strong set of Q1 results

  • 26 Apr 17

Abertis released a good set of Q1 results, broadly in line with expectations, marked by a strong momentum in Western Europe although hindered by unfavourable calendar effects (Easter in April this year, leap year in 2016), and, dare one say it, the long-awaited recovery of traffic in Brazil, and a strong cash generation. Please note that management made no comment regarding the talks with Atlantia. Key highlights: Revenue was up 18.3% (+4.6% lfl), at €1,281m (€1,275m consensus). EBITDA rose 13% (+6.6% lfl), at €807m (€809m consensus). Net profit fell 66.3% (+13% lfl), at €130m (€134m consensus). FCF increased by 11.3%, at €385m. Note that the net result was impacted by a positive €293m non-cash one-off last year, corresponding to the revaluation of Autopista Central’s book value following the acquisition of a majority stake. On a lfl basis, net income grew +8.7%. On a ytd basis (to 17 April), traffic trends were positive in most geographies (Spain +6%, France +1.4%, Italy +3.7%, Chile +6.4%, Brazil +1.1%), except for Puerto Rico (-0.9%) and Argentina (-3.1%). Net debt increased to €14,994m, from €14,377m (at 31 December 2016) while management expects it to stand c.€1.5bn higher at 31 December 2017, following the acquisition of minority stakes in Sanef (see below). Other developments The group announced the acquisition of a c.€353m concession by Arteris in Brazil: a 720km highway in the state of Sao Paulo. The concession will expire in 2047 and is expected to generate €135m revenue and €85m EBITDA, starting in 2019.

Stabilisation in North America

  • 26 Apr 17

Organic revenue growth was strong in Q1 17 (+2.6%). There was a stabilisation in the decrease in revenue in North America which is good news. Q1 17 revenue Revenue reached €3,171m (+2.6%, +2.8% at constant currency). The Digital and cloud offerings continued to grow quickly (+24% vs +28% in Q1 16) and represented 32% of total revenue. Organic revenue growth was strong (+2.6% vs +2.9% in Q1 16) despite the on-going re-insourcing at HMRC in the UK. The order intake decreased to €3,001m (-3.2% at constant currency), slightly below revenue (book-to-bill ratio of 95%). New orders are not linear quarter by quarter, in particular in Other Managed services. The comparison was unfavourable in Q1 17 considering the renewal of a major pluri-annual contract in the UK public sector in Q1 16. At constant currency, Application services (61% of total revenue, +5.3%) continued to benefit from strong demand for the digital and cloud-based offerings. The digital transformation also had a positive impact in Consulting services (4% of total revenue, +10.6% including small acquisitions) mainly in Continental Europe. The Local Professional services (16% of total revenue, +5%) benefited from the positive turnaround in France and an increase in the number of working days. Other Managed services (19% of total revenue, -7.6%) was still impacted by the re-insourcing at HMRC in the UK. Staff increase, more “offshore” headcount The workforce comprised 195,800 employees (+7% yoy). The “offshore” headcount represented 57% of the total (+2pts yoy). The attrition rate decreased by 1.4pt to 15.3% due to lower attrition rates in Application services (-1.7pt to 14.3%) and Other Managed services (-2.9pts to 16.5%). Conversely, the attrition rates increased in Consulting services (+1.5pt to 18%) and Technology and Engineering services (+1.1pt to 17.6%).

Consumer business is doing very well

  • 26 Apr 17

Q1 revenues were still down by 2.4% yoy, like in the previous quarter (note, however, the trend is clearly improving compared to H1 16): this was mainly due to the impact of price pressure in the wholesale voice carrier market (iBasis). But revenues for the Netherlands were only 1.5% lower yoy and if KPN is still suffering from the decline in the business market size, the consumer revenues were, however, up by 2.1% yoy supported by the positive impact of base growth and a higher ARPU. But the key point is that the Q1 EBITDA was very solid, 2.8% higher yoy. Quite a good performance, driven by growth in the customer base and the positive impact of cost savings. KPN remains, however, cautious for its 2017 outlook with an EBITDA in line with 2016 (including the negative impact of c.€45m from the European roaming regulation). KPN still intends to pay a regular dividend of €0.11 for 2017 and increase the regular dividend in line with its free cash flow growth profile thereafter. As a reminder, on 13 March, KPN exchanged 6% of Telefónica Deutschland shares for approximately 1.4% of Telefónica’s share capital. Subsequently, KPN has started to sell its shares in Telefónica with a value-driven focus. The 9.5% stake in Telefónica Deutschland is treated as a financial investment. KPN intends to distribute the expected Telefónica Deutschland dividend over 2016 to its shareholders in the form of a special interim dividend distribution of €0.017 per share.

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