1. MAINHIGHLIGHTS OF FIRST HALF OF 2018:
Ângelo Paupério, Sonae Co-CEO, says: "Thegrowth achieved in the 2ndquarter allowed Sonae to end the 1sthalf of 2018 with a turnover increase of more than 6% over the sameperiod last year, with positive contributions from all our businessareas, particularly food retail which grew by 7.2%. The overallprofitability also improved, with EBITDA reaching €154 M, 11.1%above the 1st semester of 2017.
It was also possible to reduce the Group’s net debt by anadditional €95 M while increasing investment levels and continuingto grow by 5% the dividend paid to our shareholders.
The quarter was, however, marked by the resultsreached in terms of portfolio management, with relevant steps in thepreparation of the potential IPO of Sonae MC, with the partial saleof a stake in Outsystems (indirectly owned by Sonae IM) andparticularly with the acquisition of an additional 20% stake of SonaeSierra, an operation that contributed to a more balanced portfolioand to reinforce the group’s international profile, which remainsat the forefront of Sonae's strategic priorities.”
Businessesgrow in 1H18From a statutory view, Sonae consolidatedturnover grew by 6.6% in comparison to the same period last year,amounting to €2,680 M in 1H18, particularly impacted by SonaeRetail which contributed with additional €167 M.
Consolidated EBITDA improved €15 M, to €154 M, supported bya higher underlying EBITDA (+€8 M) and equity method results (+€9M). Results before taxes (EBT) rose by 30.1% to €37 M in 1H18,similar to the amount registered in direct results.
Indirect results reached €68 M in1H18, more than double the amount from 1H17, mainly due to portfoliorevaluations, capital gains in Sonae IM and value created ininvestment properties of Sonae Sierra.
Thanks togrowing sales and profitability, along with indirect results, the netincome group share improved by €25 M or + 34.2% y.o.y. to €98 M.
Investmentstood at €151 M, increasing €30 M when compared to last year,especially thanks to a higher capex level in Sonae MC, linked torefurbishments, and Sonae IM, linked to M&A operations.
Decreaseof 95 million euros in debt strengthens financial solidity
Sonaecontinued to strengthen its financial solidity, as net debt decreasedby €95M y.o.y., to €1,324 M in 1H18, and its financial leverage stood at38.3%, 2.8 p.p. less compared to 1H17.
The averagegearing at market value improved in comparison to the same periodlast year, to 0.6x, namely driven by an average market cap increaseand the net debt decrease, when compared to the same period in 2017.
The Groupmaintained its practice of remaining fully financed for the coming 18months, while also having improved its general funding conditions.Moreover, Sonae was able to decrease the average cost of debtoutstanding to 1.0% with no material impact on the average maturityprofile.
Creationof more than 1,700 jobs and support to over 800 institutions
Sonae createdmore than 1,700 jobs over the last 12 months, closing this year’sfirst half with over 45 thousand employees. This evolution reflectsthe company’s general growth in all business areas, both inPortugal and abroad, resulting in boosted competences for Sonae.
During thefirst six months of the year, Sonae also maintained its commitment tothe community, supporting over 800 institutions across Portugal,providing material goods, skills and financial resources. Among theareas of intervention that benefited from Sonae support were SocialSolidarity, Culture, Education, Environmental Awareness, and Healthand Sports.