Francisco Reynés, Naturgy’s Chairman & CEO, chaired the company’s Ordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting today, which was held at the company’s registered office in Madrid. The shareholders approved the Financial Statements and the Management Report for the 2022 financial year, amongst other points on the agenda for the Meeting, which attained a quorum of over 92%.
Naturgy closed a financial year in 2022 that was marked by the extreme volatility of the international markets. In this context, the company recorded an EBITDA of 4,954 million euros (+40%) and a reported net profit of 1,649 million (+36%). The resources generated during 2022 were mainly used for investments, with around 2,000 million euros being used for investment, 1,200 million were used to remunerate its shareholders, and over 1,100 million to social contribution via taxes and duties.
The destination of the investments confirms Naturgy’s commitment to progressing with the energy transition, as almost 70% of those made are eligible according to the European Union’s taxonomy. At 31 December, the company’s net debt was placed at 12,070 million euros (-6%) which maintained its BBB credit rating from S&P and Fitch.
During his speech to the shareholders, Francisco Reynés highlighted the milestones reached by the company in spite of the context. “2022 has been a unique, challenging year that brought together extreme international volatility, geopolitical tensions and the uncertainty about energy costs for homes and industry. Naturgy has intensified its commitment to giving stability to all its stakeholders, from employees to shareholders and customers, without forgetting about our key role in security of supplies. Our commitment has been, and is, explicit and permanent”, Naturgy’s chairman & CEO told the shareholders.
Naturgy’s chairman & CEO explained to the shareholders about the intensification of the regulatory measures and proposals put into place during 2022 with the aim of uncoupling electricity and gas prices, reducing volatility and limiting the final price of energy, amongst others.
Therefore, Reynés clarified that the company will, starting from 2023, pay the recent Temporary Tax of 1.2% on the net sales in the energy sector. This amount will be added to the tax contribution which, in 2022, exceeded more than 1,100 million between direct taxes and duties.
Dividends and re-elections to the Board of Directors
During the Meeting, the shareholders approved a supplementary dividend of €0.5/share which will be paid on 4 April and which, along with the two dividends on account already paid, comes to a total of €1.2/share for the 2022 financial year, fulfilling its commitments and placing the pay-out at 70%. Therefore, the company will distribute a total of 1,200 million euros to its shareholders, payable from the 2022 profits.
The Meeting also approved re-election of the following members of the Board of Directors for the next four years: Francisco Reynés, as Executive Director, Claudi Santiago and Pedro Sainz de Baranda, both as Independent Directors, and José Antonio Torre de Silva López de Letona, as Proprietary director on the proposal of CVC.
The total number of company directors remains at 12 and is made up as follows:
• Francisco Reynés (Executive Director).
• Ramón Adell (Proprietary, Criteria)
• Enrique Alcántara (Proprietary, Criteria)
• Lucy Chadwick (Proprietary, GIP)
• Isabel Estapé (Proprietary, Criteria)
• Elena Herrero (Independent, Coordinating Director)
• Rajaram Rao (Proprietary, GIP)
• Rioja S.à.r.l (represented by Javier de Jaime, Proprietary, CVC)
• Claudi Santiago (Independent)
• Pedro Sainz de Baranda (Independent)
• Jaime Siles (Proprietary, IFM)
• José Antonio Torre de Silva (Proprietary, CVC).
Milestones in the period
The company’s activity and commitment in the 2022 financial year was framed within a macro, energy scenario marked by significant fluctuations on international markets and world index prices which brought instability to energy costs for homes and industries in Spain.
In this context, the company played a key role in the energy system itself and with all its customers, which was also accompanied by a highly significant increase in investments to reinforce the role of the distribution networks and renewable energy in the energy transition process in the countries where it carries out its activities.
Therefore, Reynés explained to the shareholders about Naturgy’s decisive contribution to gas supply for the security of supply in Spain. The company imported more than 30% of all the natural gas arriving in Spain during the year.
In its key role in guaranteeing support for and operation of the Spanish energy system, the company recorded a highly significant increase in electricity production from gas turbine combined cycle plants. In 2022 this technology represented more than 25% of total electricity production in Spain, compared to 15% in 2021, due, amongst other factors, to the lower hydraulic energy for the period and the high exports of energy to France.
Naturgy also boosted its commitment to its customers, society and the business fabric with various initiatives to help to mitigate, as far as possible, the impact of the rising prices of energy in industrial and domestic activity in Spain. More than 60% of the company’s customer base have benefited from the long term pricing commitment initiatives launched by Naturgy in 2022. The company facilitated and streamlined transfer of the Regulated Tariff for Gas to its customers in 2022, so that they could get the lowest price on the market at the time.
On the other hand, Naturgy confirmed its commitment to rolling out renewable energy in all the countries where it has a presence, with particular emphasis on territories with stable regulations and currencies. The company had more than 5.5GW of operational renewable power at the close of 2022 and, in Spain, currently has around thirty wind farms and photovoltaic plants under construction which it expects to become operational over the next few months.
Naturgy is also the leader in developing renewable gas in Spain, as a fundamental, realistic pillar for decarbonisation in the short and medium term. Naturgy is currently working on hydrogen and bio-methane projects with the aim of increasing the injection of renewable gas into its distribution networks.
ESG commitment. Progress
In line with its commitment to energy transition and decarbonisation, since 2017 Naturgy has reduced its direct CO2 emissions by 28% and increased its installed capacity of emission-free energy generation by 58% worldwide. The company also increased its environmental investments and expenditure by 11% to 850 million euros.
With respect to the environment, Naturgy carried out more than 350 biodiversity initiatives to contribute to preserving the natural capital in all the countries it has a presence in.
The company’s Chairman & CEO wrapped up by telling the shareholders that “the company has the opportunity to play a key role and meet the EU’s climate objectives, addressing the transition from a realistic, committed point of view given the absolute energy trilemma: ensuring security of supply, improving sustainability and offering accessible, competitive prices”.