Ence – Energía y Celulosa achieved a net profit of € 131.7 million in 2018, 40.6% more than in the previous year. The EBITDA of the company grew by 35% to € 290.9 million and the payment of dividends increased by 69% in the year.
Ignacio Colmenares, CEO of Ence, stressed that “the main driver of the results has come from the pulp business whose prospects continue to be very favorable, given the continued growth of demand and the absence of large new capacity projects during the next years. “Colmenares also noted that” 2019 will be another year of success for Ence in which we will give a new boost to our two businesses with the aim of reaching 340 million euros of EBITDA. ”
During 2018, Ence invested € 280 million in new projects and € 12 million in improvements in sustainability. The company expanded its pulp production capacity by 30,000 tons and began the expansion of another 100,000 tons, which will be completed in the first half of this year.
In the renewable energy business, the acquisition of the Puertollano solar thermal plant (Ciudad Real) stands out, which will provide € 18 million of EBITDA / year. At the end of the year the new biomass plants of Huelva and Puertollano will enter into service, which will increase the annual EBITDA by another € 30 million. These investments will increase the EBITDA of the business to € 100 million / year.
Despite this important investment effort and the attractive shareholder remuneration policy, Ence’s strong cash generation capacity allowed the group to be leveraged in only 1 time Net Debt over EBITDA at the end of 2018. It should be noted that Moody’s and S & P have improved their Ence credit rating this year by one step. Both agencies have expressly recognized the structural improvement of the Ence business model, thanks to the growth in Renewable Energy.