Enagás earned 444 million euros last year, 5.1% more than the previous year, slightly above the targets set by the firm of 440 million. The company’s income suffered by 5.8%, to 1,084 million euros, despite the fact that the gas operator has explained to the CNMV that the network it manages, of around 12,000 kilometers of gas pipelines and 19 compression stations, It has operated with full technical and commercial availability, without registering any significant impact on its activity due to the pandemic.
The firm estimates that behind the benefits are the policies to control operating and financial expenses, the contribution of the investee companies (which contributed 174.8 million to ebitda, 7.9% more), and a non-recurring positive result of 18 , 4 million euros due to exchange rate differences. In 2020, 238 LNG tankers unloaded at natural gas plants, and storage contracting stood at around 95% at the end of the year. The demand for natural gas in Spain was last year the second highest since 2012, according to the company.
Enagás has communicated that, as planned, it will increase its dividend by 5% to 1.68 euros per share, and has ratified its remuneration policy, which contemplates more moderate annual increases of 1% between 2021 and 2026, period in which which plans to deliver some 2,710 million euros to its shareholders. The president of the company, Antonio Llardén, has ensured that the payments are “compatible” with all future scenarios.
Net investments in 2020 were 859.2 million, and among them, the expansion of its stake in the American Tallgrass Energy for an amount of 763 million stands out. Debt grew 14.2%, going from 3,755 million at the end of 2019, to 4,288 million today.
Enagás expects that its investees will generate an average annual dividend of 250 million euros, and is diversifying its business to projects related to decarbonisation: the energy company is already working on 30 hydrogen and 16 biomethane projects with more than 50 partners and a presence in practically all the autonomous communities, which could mobilize a joint investment of around 5,000 million euros. The gas network operator reduced its emissions by 63.2% between 2014 and 2020, and has advanced its goal of being emissions neutral to 2040.
Profit drop in 2021
For 2021, Enagás foresees a 14.4% drop in its net profit, to 380 million euros, although it considers that it will have “sufficient slack” to meet the promised dividends. In addition, the group will intensify its cost control and savings plan, as well as reducing its indebtedness.
The company has also referred to the turbulence caused in the market by the cold wave that hit Spain in January. He assures that natural gas was “crucial” to ensure energy supply, and the demand for residential natural gas increased up to 30%, breaking historical records.