23/03/17 – COMSA Corporación has focused its efforts on its core Infrastructures and Engineering businesses, which include railway, civil, building works, installations and systems and maintenance and services projects. The group’s international portfolio has grown in all these areas. Last year the group generated global sales worth 1,027 million euros after concluding its divestment in the companies Aritex (automation for the aeronautical and automotive industries) and CLD (waste collection and urban cleaning).
After the refinancing process at the end of 2016, which meant a 34% reduction of the group’s gross debt, COMSA Corporación is on course to meet the targets set in the Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2020, which calls for its business activity to be focused on the areas of Infrastructures and Engineering and the export of its centennial experience in railway projects to international markets. In this respect, in 2016 the sectors forming part of the group’s core business billed 914 million euros, accounting for 89% of total turnover. Furthermore, in light of the sluggishness of the domestic market, they have strengthened their exporting efforts, since 55% of their sales now come from abroad (506 million euros). In line with the strategy followed in the last two years, COMSA Corporación aims to continue with its divestment plans with the entry of majority equity partners into, or the total discontinuance of, assets belonging to the group’s non-core activities.
Infrastructures and Engineering
In 2016 COMSA’s centennial railway specialization was the key to the group being awarded contracts for the second phase of Line 4 of the Sao Paulo Metro (Brazil), the remodelling of a 327 kilometre stretch of railway track between the towns of Piedra Sola and Salto Grande (Uruguay), the modernization of railway infrastructure on the Okęcie–Czachówek line (Poland), and track doubling between the stations of Tibble and Visinge (Sweden), among others.
COMSA also worked in other areas of civil works. Last year the group embarked on the construction of the Szubin–Jaroszewo section of the S-5 motorway (Poland) and continued work on a stretch of the Lugoj–Deva motorway (Romania). Flagship building work is also one of the group’s main specialties; in recent years it has expanded its portfolio with projects of great architectural complexity. In 2016, the company completed the new headquarters of the law firm Cuatrecasas and began building a 5-star hotel for Grand Mausol, both in Barcelona. Other standout projects in the field of civil works are the construction of a rockfill dam at Lokve (Croatia) and the extension and upgrade of the potable water and sanitation system of the city of Sicuani (Peru). As a result of all these initiatives, COMSA closed the year with sales of €672 M.
In its engineering business, COMSA Industrial turned over €164 M in 2016. This subsidiary, which provides turnkey services in the field of installations and systems, was awarded contracts to supply, install and commission the electromechanical equipment for the La Línea Tunnel (Colombia), to install a traffic control and urban surveillance system in the city of Casablanca (Morocco), and to build an electrical electric traction substation on the section of high speed railway line at Monforte del Cid, among others. In international markets the group also built a pharmaceutical plant for Laboratorios Catedral (Paraguay) and continues to maintain the electrical installations at the CERN facilities at Previssin (France) and Meyrin (Switzerland). Finally, it also undertook high, medium and low voltage electrical work for Edelnor in Lima (Peru). To fulfil COMSA Corporación’s commitment to the development of sustainable infrastructures and facilities with a high technological component, the group has COMSA Service. In the course of the year this business provided maintenance, energy efficiency, and facility management services for clients such as BBVA, Inmobiliaria Colonial, and Renault. Projects implemented by COMSA Service generated a turnover of €78 M, a figure which demonstrates the growth achieved in this field, which has maintained an upward trend since 2015.
Last year COMSA Concesiones recorded sales of €23 M, generated from its railway, road, real estate, and car park concessions. One highlight of the year was that Malaga Metro carried over 5.2 million passengers, 4% more than in 2015. Meanwhile, freight transport, logistics, and machinery division turned over €35 M. The subsidiary COMSA Rail Transport is the leader in private rail freight transport in Spain. Alliances with the French SNCF and the Portuguese Takargo have enabled the company to expand its services in Europe.
COMSA Medio Ambiente managed over 93,000 metric tons of waste at the physical-chemical plant at Massalfassar, in Valencia, and recycled over 18,000 metric tons of end-of-life tyres at the Maials plant (Lleida), selling 95% of the recovered rubber on international markets. In total, the division billed €23 M.
Meanwhile, COMSA Renovables was awarded the contract for the maintenance of the Trucafort wind farm in Tarragona, helping the company to achieve a turnover of €16 M. In the field of technology, COMSA Corporación posted sales of €16 M. Among the most important projects undertaken by its subsidiaries is the automation and remote control system for the water supply systems of a number of cities in Morocco (Adasa) and the supply of transmitters for the deployment of DTT in Colombia and Algeria (Egatel).
Commitment to innovation
COMSA Corporación maintains a firm commitment to the technological transfer of its R&D applied to the construction and maintenance of infrastructures. As a result of its participation in major international consortia, the group has begun to market Neoballast, a ballast with low degradation which reduces the noise and vibrations caused by train traffic. It has also launched eQualtiq, a start-up providing technological solutions for the optimization of energy consumption in facilities and tertiary buildings in accordance with sustainability and energy efficiency criteria.
COMSA Corporación has also introduced BIM (Building Information Modelling) procedures in the construction of infrastructures, a system which enables the various building stages to be represented in three dimensions for the purpose of optimizing project management, facilitating decision-making, and reducing costs. This technology has already been implemented in the construction of a pharmaceutical plant for the Saidal Group in Algeria and in the building of a 5-star hotel in Barcelona, among others.
According to Jorge Miarnau, President of COMSA Corporación, “the high added value of our centennial experience in the railway sector together with our specialization in civil works and engineering are the key to our establishment in international markets as a benchmark group wherever we operate. In this respect, our objective for 2017 is to increase our turnover in these businesses abroad by 25%”.
Mr Miarnau also believes that “innovation is fundamental to the achievement of these goals since it enables us to maintain the loyalty of our clients with advanced and competitive technologies. For this reason, this year we have made an ambitious commitment to the construction of infrastructures using BIM methodology and the marketing of new developments arising from R&D projects under the ‘Corporate Venturing’ model, an incubator of products and services that will be strengthened during 2017 with the launch of innovative initiatives in the sector”.
Jorge Miarnau, president of COMSA Corporación