NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Iberdrola (IBDRY:US) chairman Ignacio Galan addressed attendees at the Group's Annual General Meeting (AGM) and reiterated the important role the Company plays as an engine for economic growth in countries where it operates. Galan highlighted the projected rate of capital investment, estimated at €9.6 billion ($12.5 billion USD) between 2014-2016, as well as the secondary benefits of corporate purchasing, tax payments, and job creation. As examples he cited €4.4 billion ($5.8 billion USD) in corporate purchases and €5.4 billion ($7.2 billion USD) in tax payments worldwide in 2013.
In the U.S. last year, Iberdrola invested some $800 million in infrastructure improvements, purchased more than $1.2 billion in goods and services, and created thousands of supply chain jobs. Galan reminded investors of the importance of the U.S. market, where Iberdrola's networks businesses deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 2.4 million customers and its renewables group is the country's second-largest wind producer with 5,500 megawatts of capacity, which represents 10 percent of the U.S. total wind generation capacity.
Galan said the Company will continue to execute its business strategy of investing internationally in regulated businesses in 2014 despite a drop of 7% in net profit last year, while keeping spending flat to increase operating efficiency and reducing its debt to further strengthen its balance sheet. In 2013, the Company reduced its net debt by €2.3 billion ($3.1 billion USD).
Around the world, Iberdrola directly employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 5,000 in the U.S. It is estimated that the economic impact of the Group's business activities generate nearly 150,000 additional jobs through direct and indirect employment across the globe. In 2013, the Iberdrola companies hired 2,200 people, half of whom were under 30, and it hires around 1,200 interns each year as well.
"Without a doubt, our human capital is our main asset," Galan said. "Last year we increased training to a total of 1.2 million hours and involved nearly 90% of our workforce."
Through the Iberdrola Foundation, the company also reaches beyond its current workforce. In 2013, the Foundation awarded seventy scholarships worldwide for post-graduate studies, including more than $300,000 awarded by the Iberdrola USA Foundation for energy and environment postgraduate students in Maine and New York. This year, the Foundations expect to provide more than one hundred scholarships in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Galan also stressed the scientific research, technological development, and innovation that are essential elements of the Group's strategy. He noted that the Company designated nearly €160 million ($212 million USD) for R&D efforts related to smart grids, clean energy generation, and new technologies.
Galan stated that investors evidently agree with the company's long-term strategy since Iberdrola shares had appreciated 10.5% in 2013, surpassing performance of the Eurostoxx Utilities index and most of Iberdrola's European peers.
Galan repeated the Group's strong commitment to preserve the environment, reporting that in 2013 Iberdrola increased its emission-free generation to more than 60% of its total. This led to the elimination of nearly 20 million tons of CO2, making the Company's emissions 30% lower than its European electricity peers.
He also noted with pride that Iberdrola was named as one of the most ethical companies in the world, according to the 2014 World's Most Ethical Company ranking drawn up by the Ethisphere Institute, which acknowledges organisations that are committed to ethical leadership and behaviour at a corporate level.
Iberdrola is the only Spanish enterprise to have achieved this award in 2014.
Finally, Galan paid tribute to the efforts of "all the men and women who work for Iberdrola around the world," including the management team, union representatives and the Board of Directors "without whose commitment we would not be able to present the results we are submitting to the AGM today."
Visit Iberdrola's website to view the complete 2013 results report: https://www.iberdrola.es/webibd/gc/prod/en/doc/folleto_13.pdf
All financial results herein were calculated using international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and converted to Euros where appropriate. 2013 Euro to USD average conversion rate: €1 = $1.328.
Iberdrola USA is the U.S. subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A. The Iberdrola USA companies employ about 5,000 people with operations in 24 states from New England to the West Coast, providing electricity generation, transmission and distribution, natural gas storage and distribution, and energy services. For more information, please visit our website: www.iberdrolausa.com. Follow us on Twitter: @IberdrolaUSA
SOURCE Iberdrola USA