Abengoa revenues up 10 percent, though bioenergy results down

By Susanne Retka Schill | February 27, 2013

The U.S. has become the leading region for Spain-based Abengoa SA’s international businesses, the company reported with the release of its 2012 financial statement which shows revenues of €7.78 billion ($10.17 billion). The company’s international activities account for 75 percent of total revenues, of which 26 percent comes from the U.S., 26 percent from Latin American, 15 percent from the rest of Europe and 7 percent from Asia and Africa. “For the first time in Abengoa’s history, the USA has become the leading region in terms of revenues, thanks to the company’s diversification efforts over the last 10 years,” the company said in a statement.

Revenues in most of the company’s business sectors rose in 2012, although revenues in the industrial production area, which includes its bioenergy and industrial recycling, fell by 2 percent to €2.798 billion while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 21 percent to €285 million.

The performance of the industrial production area lagged behind other sectors. “The results of this segment have been affected by the weak performance of bioenergy margins which went from 7 percent in 2011 to 4 percent in 2012, primarily driven by lower gasoline consumption in the countries where the company operates and by adverse weather in the first few months of the year in the USA and Brazil, driving grain prices up to historic levels in decades. Conversely, both revenues and EBITDA in the industrial recycling activity have grown, with stable margins at around 19 percent.”

Overall, the company recorded revenues of €7.78 billion in 2012, an increase of 10 percent compared to the previous year, while EBITDA grew by 13 percent to €1.26 billion. Profit after tax fell by 51 percent, ending the year at €125 million. The engineering and construction segment revenues increased by 19 percent while revenues in the concession-type infrastructures, primarily electricity generation and transmission, rose 11 percent.

Manuel Sanchez Ortega, CEO of Abengoa, expressed his satisfaction at "being able to present today a good set of results for Abengoa, especially taking into account the extremely complex global economic situation and the regulatory difficulties that we have had to face in Spain in our solar segment. On top of this we have seen the worst drought in the USA in 60 years, severely impacting the margins in our ethanol business. All in all, once again we have demonstrated a strong delivery in the toughest environment in decades, delivering anticipated results, bringing into operation new assets and new geographies to our footprint, proving ourselves capable of protecting our liquidity and continuing to develop our technology plans."

Internationally, Abengoa applies technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, generating electricity from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating sea water and recycling industrial waste. The company owns and operates six ethanol plants in the U.S. with a combined capacity of 375 MMgy. The company’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant is under construction at Hugoton, Kan. The 25 MMgy facility will use corn stover, straw and switchgrass as feedstocks.