In 2021, dividends of 469 million euros were distributed, compared to 340 million euros in the previous year. Regarding the short and medium-term impact of COVID-19 on the main toll roads assets, to the extent that the population already exceeds 80% with the full vaccination pattern and new variants do not emerge with governments imposing mobility restrictions, it is expected traffic to continue its recovery rapidly. The company will continue to focus its efforts on maximizing the quality of the service provided by optimizing its revenues and costs, within the framework allowed by the concession contracts.
In addition, Cintra will continue its bidding activity in the company’s target regions (North America, Europe, Australia, Colombia, Chile and Peru), focusing primarily on complex greenfield projects, given their high potential for value creation.
In 2022, a partial recovery in traffic is expected after the last two years impacted by COVID-19, estimating traffic of 45.5 million passengers at Heathrow and 8.8 million passengers at AGS. Heathrow is not expected to recover 2019 traffic levels over the next regulatory period, which ends in 2026. In the case of AGS, it is not expected to recover 2019 passenger levels before 2025. There is high uncertainty due to the impact on traffic of governmental or international decisions that restrict or preclude passenger flows so any estimates will need to be reviewed periodically.
Heathrow and AGS will prepare operations for the estimated increase in passengers to do so in an efficient and safe manner.
Vertiports’ strategy for the 2022 financial year is focused on growth, certification processes and the creation of an innovative, versatile team with experience in the different sectors that encompass vertiports.
From a growth point of view, success will be based on the number of lands leased for the operation of landfills and on continuing to negotiate and strengthen relationships with eVTOL companies to which Ferrovial can add value through its landfills.
In terms of certification processes, Vertiports’ plans to continue developing a fluid relationship with the interstate and state agencies that regulate airspace and, in this way, ensure that the certification of both vertiports and eVTOLs is on track.
Ferrovial Airports has not distributed dividends in 2021. In the coming years, the payment of dividends will largely depend on the duration and future evolution of the pandemic, passenger traffic and the evolution of the business.
During 2022 Ferrovial Airports will continue to analyze investment opportunities that arise worldwide, placing special emphasis on those identified as sustainable infrastructures with high concession value.
The outlook for 2022, by markets, is as follows:
In Spain, a similar level of sales to 2021 is expected thanks to the stable evolution of contracting in comparison with previous years, with no significant impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, a stabilization in the prices of materials is expected, as well as the implementation of changes and measures by the Public Administrations to mitigate the impacts derived from this effect. In the medium term, a boost in the bidding process is expected as a result of the receipt of Next Generation European funds, in addition to the good dynamic of public initiatives in transport and health infrastructures.
In international markets, the positive profitability trend is expected to continue in 2020 and 2021, to progressively reach the 3.5% EBIT target set in the Horizon24 Strategic Plan for Construction. This consolidation of margins is based on the improvement of operational processes in all phases of the project and the differential technical capabilities of the Construction division. This is despite not counting on the positive contribution of divested businesses during 2021, the expected increase in bidding costs due to the high volume of projects to be tendered and the impact of inflationary processes. However, inflationary processes are expected to have less impact than in previous quarters due to both the bidding cycle and the price control mechanisms implemented using statistical analysis and predictive models based on artificial intelligence to estimate bid costs, the signing of long-term supply contracts with closed prices in those projects where it is possible to implement them, and the introduction of price review clauses in contracts.
In summary, a stable level of sales is expected for 2022, with good bidding opportunities in the future. Finally, profitability margins are expected to consolidate, in percentage terms, thanks to the strategic discipline of project selection, the implementation of control measures and the improvement of operational processes and active management in the execution of works.
In Mobility, the forecast is for 2022 to be very close to normality, after a 2021 still very much affected by COVID-19. Zity’s strategy is to expand its presence in other cities and MaaS Global expects to grow in Europe and Japan. Ferrovial is also exploring other opportunities in the transition to electric vehicles and in the mobility ecosystem in North America and Europe.
In Energy Infrastructure, in the area of renewable energy, Ferrovial will begin executing greenfield projects in key markets with a technology-independent approach. Ferrovial will also actively scan the market for profitable, value-added acquisitions that will help it drive growth and navigate the learning curve efficiently. In transmission lines, the company will continue to focus on expanding its assets, mainly in Latin America, participating in public and private tenders, leveraging its existing presence and accelerating its integration throughout the value chain.
Ferrovial’s capabilities and experience in innovation and value creation in transport infrastructure provide a solid foundation for participating, leading and adapting to changes in both sectors.