U.S. markets closed

Edited Transcript of CCRO3.SA earnings conference call or presentation 6-Mar-20 2:00pm GMT

Q4 2019 CCR SA Earnings Call

Sao Paulo Mar 30, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of CCR SA earnings conference call or presentation Friday, March 6, 2020 at 2:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

================================================================================

Corporate Participants

================================================================================

* Eduardo de Toledo

CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board

* Waldo Edwin Perez Leskovar

CCR S.A. - Chief Financial & IR Officer and Member of Executive Board

================================================================================

Conference Call Participants

================================================================================

* Victor Mizusaki

Banco Bradesco BBI S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst

* Stephen Trent

Citigroup - Analyst

================================================================================

Presentation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for holding. At this time, we would like to welcome you to the CCR S.A. conference call to discuss the results for the fourth quarter 2019. (Operator Instructions)

Before proceeding, we would like to clarify that forward-looking statements made during this conference call referring to business outlook of the company, projections and operational and financial goals are based on the beliefs and assumptions of the CCR Board as well as on information currently available to the company. These statements are no guarantees of performance as they involve risks, uncertainties and premises and may not occur. Investors should understand that general economic conditions, industry conditions and other operational factors could affect the future results of the company and lead to results that differ from these forward-looking statements.

I would now like to give the floor to Eduardo Toledo, Vice President for Corporate Management.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) A good day to all of you. It is a pleasure to be here with you in the earnings results call for the fourth quarter 2019. Today -- with the call today, we have Waldo Pérez, our CFO and IRO; Marcus Vinicius, Flávia Godoy and Caique Moraes, our IR team. Before beginning, I would like to welcome Waldo Pérez, who joined CCR at the beginning of the year and will participate with -- in the call for the first time.

Now my initial statement is that it is a pleasure to state that we have made significant strides in the 3 value pillars to generate value at CCR: the results, growth and sustainability of our results through time. When it comes to the first pillar, that of results, our operational results, I think that will drive it very clear to the evolution of our EBITDA.

Now if we [base the result] on the same basis, the growth was 19.6% in the comparison of the fourth quarter '19 and that of 2018. Now this result is due to our discipline, and this excellence at CCR was also reported in the last month. And the works that we carried out with [Valgoni] giving us very positive results.

The second pillar, which is that of growth, I think that merits a special highlight for the award of the concession of BRL 101 million. This is something continues to ViaSul and will allow CCR to explore the synergies of both of these concessions.

Now the issue of growth for us is fundamental in our strategy, and we continue to adopt measures to enhance our capacity to generate opportunities for growth. And what is emblematic is the arrival of Waldo, who has broad experience in M&As and structuring financial operations and will be of great help in our search for growth.

When it comes to the third pillar, which is generating value, sustainability at CCR, we have worked strongly during this last year with a focus on governance in the company. And the work, especially when it comes to decision-making levels and others, have come to a very quick conclusion with the approval of the new bylaws of CCR at the general assembly on January 10.

This year, we also concluded the revision and enhancement of our compensation system, and it is ever more aligned when it comes to the compensation of executives and value generation for all stakeholders. In the coming days, we're going to send a proposal of management to the ordinary and extraordinary general assembly of the company that will take place soon. And you will be able to observe in this proposal, not only the evolutions that I have mentioned in -- but as other parts of evolution that are part of the proposal.

I would now like to give the floor to Waldo, who will present the results of the fourth quarter '19 in greater detail.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Waldo Edwin Perez Leskovar, CCR S.A. - Chief Financial & IR Officer and Member of Executive Board [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Thank you, Eduardo. Good day to all of you. First of all, I begin by thanking all of you for your participation and interest in the company. Before making my remarks, I would like to mention that our release for results is available at the company's site, www.ccr.com.br/ir.

Now to speak about the main highlights for the quarter, we would like to highlight the same-basis traffic, with a growth of 7.6% vis-à-vis the fourth quarter 2018. If we exclude the ViaSul concessionaire, the growth was up 3%. The recovery of traffic took place for light vehicles as well as heavy vehicles, where we had a positive performance at 3.2% and 2.7%, respectively.

We would now like to highlight the main same-basis figures for the fourth quarter '19, that is to say, considering the business where we do not have control, where we have joint owned subsidiaries or consolidated according to the stake of CCR in each line item. We exclude nonrecurring effects, new projects and assets, where we have altered our stake and where we have components that distort the same-basis comparison.

The net -- adjusted net revenue on the same basis reached BRL 2.7 billion in the fourth quarter '19, with a growth of 13.7% vis-à-vis the same period the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA on the same basis increased 18.6%, resulting mainly from a better operational performance. The margin of EBITDA on the same basis was 64.3%, with an expansion of 2.6 percentage points when compared to the fourth quarter 2018.

Net income same-basis amounted to BRL 499.2 million in the fourth quarter, a drop of 3% vis-à-vis the same period the previous year. Net income achieved BRL 392.6 million when compared to the fourth quarter '18. This slight drop reflects the greater depreciation and amortization due to the closeness of the termination of concession contracts of RodoNorte and NovaDutra.

In the fourth quarter '19, investments, including financial assets and maintenance, amounted to BRL 559.7 million. The concessionaires that most invested in the quarter were ViaSul, RodoNorte, NovaDutra and Samm. The total amount of investments of these 4 concessions was of BRL 370 million.

When it comes to the net indebtedness on IFRS, we reached BRL 13.9 million in the fourth quarter '19, an increase of 1.5% and 7% vis-à-vis the fourth quarter '18 and the third quarter '19. The company leverage, measured by the net debt over operational adjusted EBITDA, has a slight increase when compared to the third quarter '19, going from 2.3x to 2.4x in the fourth quarter '19, which means that this points to a very comfortable situation and backs our growth strategy mentioned previously by Eduardo.

We would now like to offer you the floor for questions and answers. Operator, you may proceed.

================================================================================

Questions and Answers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Victor Mizusaki, Bradesco BBI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victor Mizusaki, Banco Bradesco BBI S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) I have 2 questions. The first, Eduardo, we were being questioned with -- by investors on the balance of CCR. And when I look at the results of 2019, the auditing maintains its questions regarding what is happening with the general attorney. I would like to know what is happening. Does this pertain to São Paulo? Is it something federal?

The second question, when we look at your fourth quarter release, there is an expense of BRL 140 million, BRL 150 million, approximately, referring to the ISS, the service tax at Dutra. I would like to know the origin of this expense.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Victor, thank you for your questions. Very well, let's address them. The first question, referring to that question in our balance. Now these processes for self-composition and plea bargains are based on the permanent cooperation of the company. And whenever a new issue arises, we cooperate, we help, and we offer a clarification. Now because of this, this process is somewhat difficult to anticipate. We don't know when it will come to a closure. And as this is being managed confidentially, it also limits the scope of auditing.

Auditing cannot have full access to everything that is happening because it is mandatory to maintain this process under confidentiality, which means to say that the situation will continue on for some time until we can review these issues. And the only one that can take the decision to review these issues would be the general attorney with -- by lifting the confidentiality.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victor Mizusaki, Banco Bradesco BBI S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Eduardo, another question regarding that. These interactions, have they been very frequent? Have they changed anything? Anything that we could have a reading of that, perhaps, we're coming closer to the end? I don't know if you are at ease to remark on this.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Victor, I truly cannot remark on this because of the issue of confidentiality. I cannot make any comment whatsoever regarding this. Thank you.

When it comes to the ISS service tax, the ISS is an issue that we have been living with for some time already. The payment that we used to make on the Dutra concession, we withdrew ISS in the municipality -- at the headquarters of the supplier of the services. And all the other concessions came in with suits against the NovaDutra, saying that this money should be collected in the different municipalities and not from the headquarter company.

And this led to a long debate. And the (foreign language) was quite low. They had fiscal incentives at that time. There was a different (foreign language) or tax rate in different locations and we were forced to withdraw the ISS from these different locations. Obviously, we stood for the interest of the company. We advocated for the interest. But in the end, it remains very clear that this still has not gone through court. We spontaneously withdrew this tax, but there was no outlook for success in this.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victor Mizusaki, Banco Bradesco BBI S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [6]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) I understand that. Now when we look at your explanatory note, what we have understood is that this payment is retention of taxes will now reach a point of balance. And that the consortium, the operating consortium, Dutra, is this company from CCR? Or is this an outside company?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [7]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Now this company is a company that was created as -- at the point in time, when Dutra was created somewhat before the creation of CCR. This company was created with the aim of reducing the volatility of what was happening on the Dutra Highway. This is something that we expect 30 years, at least, as this was the beginning of the concessions in Brazil. There was a great need to deal with cost to decide how we would manage costs.

And that is when we created this mechanism, this company. And in a certain way, this company began to take on any cost variations that could appear on Dutra. And this became necessary to be able to refinance Dutra. And as we're now coming very close to the end of the concession, there was that issue of the ISS as well as other issues.

So we took advantage of this moment to rebalance the contract in all of those aspects so that we can have a good closure of this concession. This contract with related parties was done based on our own governance. The entire negotiation was followed up carefully, and we have the approval of the independent members of our Board.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victor Mizusaki, Banco Bradesco BBI S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [8]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) I understand that. And Eduardo, is this something specific to Dutra? Or does it also pertain to other highways? So they have the same highway. And when we look at other concessions, it is my understanding that this contract will no longer exist with related parties?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [9]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) You are right. This pertains only to Dutra. And it is part of the mechanism that we have defined because of the pioneerism of Dutra. It would make no sense to continue on with this. We can take on all the volatility at present. But at that time, we still did not have that incentive.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [10]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question, in English, comes from Citibank.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stephen Trent, Citigroup - Analyst [11]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wanted to ask if you could just remind us, when we think about the commercial traffic flow on your toll roads, roughly what portion of that flow is done for the export markets?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [12]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Good morning, and thank you for your questions. The -- well, CCR, works with highway concessions in the state of São Paulo, Paraná, Rio and others. And these are regions that are heavily industrialized with traffic that is very linked to the dynamic of the domestic market.

Of course, we have the influence of exports, but I tend to say that this level would be lower compared to other highways in the country. Once again, because we are part of that very large market -- the producing market of Brazil, here, basically.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stephen Trent, Citigroup - Analyst [13]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's very helpful. And if I may just get one more question in. When you think about the auction calendar in Brazil, with the exception of NovaDutra, which I imagine you're going to look at, are there other kind of 1 or 2 assets that are of particular interest at this time?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [14]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) What I would say is that the entire pipeline that we'd look to in the future would be very interesting. We have set for highways. We have the new bid for Dutra Highway, on which we have a great deal of knowledge and expertise through the years. We have found different solutions to increase productivity. Serra das Araras, which is part of what will probably be included in this new concession. It's a project that we have deep acknowledge on.

And we can be very efficient, especially when dealing with the CapEx for these broader highways. I think that we would have a competitive edge on Dutra, but there are multiple opportunities. And because of this, we will have a very attractive opportunities going forward. The offer of concessions in the coming 2 years will allow us to foresee several opportunities.

Now in the sector of mobility, we have a very strong footprint here. And we have a great footprint in the state of São Paulo. São Paulo is speaking about new bids, 8 and 9 and the highway to Campinas. And here, once again, we would have a significant competitive edge.

Additionally to this, the scale of CCR is incomparable when we think about other companies, especially when we speak about competitiveness in cost. I think we're unbeatable in this.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [15]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) (Operator Instructions) With this, we would like to end the question-and-answer session. We will turn the back floor to Mr. Edward de Toledo for his closing remarks. You may proceed, sir.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eduardo de Toledo, CCR S.A. - VP of Corporate Management & Member of Executive Board [16]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) Thank you very much. And before closing, a few remarks regarding our outlook. What we have observed in January and February is that the evolution of traffic has been positive. We had growth in January and February when compared to the year 2019, perhaps with less growth than in the fourth quarter '19, but we do have growth year-on-year.

Now when it comes to the opportunities, and I mentioned this in one of the questions, the pipeline of opportunities is enormous. And besides the opportunities of the new concessions that have been announced and the new round for airports, we also have opportunities in the secondary market. With the contribution of Waldo Pérez, without a doubt, we will be able to work very well with these opportunities.

Finally, I would like to invite all of you for the CCR Day that will be held on May 30 in São Paulo. And this is a very good opportunity to enhance our conversations on the access of growth of the company, and an opportunity for all of you to get to know the executives from CCR as we have had significant changes lately. This would be a very good opportunity for you to get to meet our team. I'm fully convinced that this team is well prepared to generate the value that this company can generate.

Thank you very much for your participation and for the opportunity to converse with you. Have a good afternoon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [17]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(interpreted) The CCR conference call ends here. We would like to thank all of you for your participation. Have a good day, and thank you for using Chorus Call.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Editor [18]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Portions of this transcript that are marked (interpreted) were spoken by an interpreter present on the live call. The interpreter was provided by the Company sponsoring this Event.