- “Our companies offer goods and services that are an essential part of life in the societies and economies where we operate,” commented the CEO, who underscored that protecting the health of people and keeping the supply chain running “are the greatest achievements of 2020.”
Santiago, April 29, 2021.- Appreciation, resilience and flexibility. With those three words Francisco Pérez Mackenna, CEO of Quiñenco, summarized what 2020 meant for the holding during his presentation at the most recent Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, which was held online because of public health restrictions.
In that context, he began by “thanking the more than 68 thousand employees of Quiñenco and its companies in Chile and around the world who took care of themselves and those around them. They respected protocols for everyone’s protection and gave their all so we could not only safeguard people’s lives but also continue operating our companies, which are key to keeping supply chains running in the places where we operate.”
Pérez Mackenna stressed the importance of having met this goal, affirming that “our companies offer goods and services that are an essential part of life in the societies and economies where we operate. We had to and must remain active so that ports receive and dispatch cargo; ships reach their destination with the products entrusted to them; large and small businesses have beverages to offer their customers and goods to sell to make a living; car, truck and bus drivers can fuel their vehicles; wind farms have cables to inject their electricity into the power grid; and people can do things as essential as pay and receive money to live on.”
In that spirit, the executive confirmed that “despite the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global and local economy, which also affected our companies, we have pushed forward with our development strategy, a path based on sector and market diversification, and which explains how Quiñenco ended 2020 with 17.7% growth in earnings, driven mainly by our more global businesses.”
“Our diversification strategy enabled us to be resilient and flexible during a complex year. Both values are imprinted in the DNA of the path we have laid over the years, which has allowed us to face these difficult times from a position of both strength and agility,” he emphasized.
Among the holding’s entities, Pérez Mackenna highlighted the performance of Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV), which reported net income of US$ 222 million, the second highest figure since its merger with Hapag-Lloyd. “It is an historic year for CSAV. Following a decade of work, investment and commitment, it is once again in a position to distribute dividends. I must thank all of CSAV’s minority shareholders, who accompanied us on this lengthy transformation process that we led in that company,” he confirmed.
In the manufacturing segment, he reported that Nexans’s sales were impacted by the pandemic, with an organic drop of 8.6%. “However, despite the challenging context, the company managed to improve its financial position considerably, while also reducing its net financial debt to its lowest level in 10 years,” he said.
In port services, SM SAAM increased its contribution to Quiñenco’s earnings by 34.7%, and reported 29.4% growth in net income in comparison to 2019. “These results were attained largely by SM SAAM’s international businesses, especially the towage division,” emphasized Pérez Mackenna.
In the financial segment, Banco de Chile reported a 21.9% decrease in net income in 2020, attributable to higher loan loss provisions, along with a reduction in operating revenues, which was partially offset by lower operating expenses. The CEO of Quiñenco positively highlighted the National Relief Plan supported by the Bank through a variety of initiatives to assist customers affected by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, in the beverage segment, CCU posted 2.2% growth in consolidated volumes in 2020. However, its results were weaker than the prior year, explained in part by the effect of restrictions mandated to control the public health crisis. “Without a doubt, 2020 was an especially intense year for CCU in terms of innovation, evidenced by its social efforts,” explained Pérez Mackenna, who highlighted initiatives like donating 50 thousand liters of hand sanitizer manufactured in CCU facilities to public health authorities.
Finally, in the energy segment, the CEO of Quiñenco affirmed that “the mobility restrictions clearly had a negative effect on consumption at service stations, which drove Enex’s results downward by 68.4%. However, 2020 will be marked as the year in which Enex made decisive strides in its internationalization process, joining forces with Invexans to form its parent company in the United Kingdom.”
Quiñenco is one of the largest, most diversified corporate conglomerates in Chile. It has investments in leading companies in the financial, beverage, manufacturing, energy, transport and port services industries, which together employ over 68 thousand people in Chile and abroad. More information is available at www.quinenco.cl