The former Gas Natural Fenosa achieved a profit of 1,231 million euros in 2021, 41% more than in 2020.
Naturgy points out that it met all the forecasts for the year. Revenues reached 22,130 million euros compared to 15,345 million the previous year, which represents an increase of 44.2%. Mainly as a result of higher energy demand and prices in the period, with a particularly positive impact on energy management activities.
Ordinary EBITDA reached 3,983 million euros in 2021, 7.2% more than in 2020, supported mainly by the gradual recovery of energy demand, the increase in energy prices and the positive impact of open positions in the sale of gas in international markets.
“The network businesses remained resilient, while renewable energies were affected by some specific events and adjustments in Spain. The supply activity in Spain has been impacted by higher gas supply costs and pool prices, especially during the second half of the year”, explains the company in a statement sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).
The restructuring costs linked to the voluntary departure plan for employees in Spain, and the withdrawal costs for onerous gas sales contracts in the last quarter of the year, have been almost entirely offset by the net capital gains from the sale of CGE Chile, the agreement in UFG, and the reversal of the 2013-2020 hydraulic canon provision during the last quarter of 2021.
Naturgy’s total investment amounted to 1,484 million euros in 2021, 16% more than the previous year. This increase is mainly explained by higher investments in renewable developments in Australia, Spain and the US, as well as by higher investments in marketing and digitization.
Net debt at the end of 2021 stands at 12,831 million euros, which represents a Reported net financial debt / EBITDA ratio of 3.6 times compared to 3.9 times as of December 31, 2020. The significant reduction in net debt and deleveraging is mainly due to the sale of the electricity network subsidiary in Chile and the cash receipts derived from the UFG exit agreement.
On the other hand, the rebound and volatility in gas prices had a temporary negative impact on the consumption of working capital, especially in the last quarter, which has partially offset the expected reduction in net debt. However, this impact is considered transitory and working capital consumption is expected to normalize in the coming quarters.
During 2021, the company distributed a total dividend of 1.33 euros per share in cash, including the complementary dividend of 2020 (0.63 euros per share) paid in March as well as the first and second interim dividend of 2021 corresponding to 0 .3 euros and 0.4 euros, paid in August and November 2021, respectively.
At its next General Shareholders’ Meeting, Naturgy will propose a complementary dividend for 2021 of 0.5 euros per share, in line with its dividend policy of 1.2 euros per year. The energy company chaired by Francisco Reynés thus reduces the dividend by 9.77% as contemplated in its strategic plan until 2025.