Josep Martínez Vila

We will continue working to minimise the impact on our electricity account

It is evident that the Group’s activity was conditioned in 2021 by the evolution of the COVID-19 healthcare crisis and that we commenced 2022 with recovery forecasts thanks, to a large extent, to the relaxation of health and mobility restrictions. Now however, we are heading towards an unprecedented global moment, with an impact never seen in Europe since the II World War. Tragic and with an impact in terms of human lives and refugees. Furthermore, the invasion of Ukraine draws a picture in which many of the variables of our surroundings have been modified, especially those that affect consumption and the volatility of financial and raw materials markets, with a significant increase in inflation and energy prices.

This decision generates measures with the focus on risks which, for example, originate from high energy prices. In recent years, we have been able to safeguard the Group from volatility and contain the increases, thanks to the policies of making electricity purchases on futures markets, thereby gaining stability. For the coming years, we are going to continue working in this same regard to minimise the impact on our electricity account.

Now entering the summary for 2021, Saba has continued to monitor the impact of the pandemic and its effects both on economic activity and on business activity itself, with the main objective of recovering normality at all levels. Hence, the activity revolution was characterised by a gradual recovery, with turning points and a certain stagnation in the first quarter, and others with increases close to those recognised in 2019, in correlation with the readjustment from time to time of the restriction measures adopted by the authorities, based on the very performance of health indicators in each of our countries.

To sum up, the expense control measures and investment prioritisation were maintained, while boosting technological projects with a clear orientation: stimulating commercial and business activities and guaranteeing efficient integration in a future of new car parks. In the employment area, initiatives also continued aimed at preserving the health of workers, including the partial continuity of the administrative teleworking of central services, and workforce dimensioning measures, in line with the changes in activity levels. Lastly, we maintained the processes to request the rebalancing of concessions and the renegotiation of contracts and the search for new market opportunities, encouraging the lengthening of the average portfolio contractual duration.

In 2021, Saba’s rotation activity rose by 29% on 2020, with 2020 being dragged down by the pandemic, although it is still 30% below 2019, while the number of subscribers was up 3% on the previous year and continues to be 9% less than in 2019. With regard to the main aggregates, operating income amounted to 234 million euros, up 18% on 2020 and 21% lower than 2019, and the EBITDA stood at 103 million euros, up 43% on 2020 and down 25% on 2019. Saba invested 25 million euros in 2021. Once again, I wish to highlight the effort in the financial area, with an exhaustive control of liquidity and debt which, in this second section, underwent a reduction despite the exceptional situation.

In 2021, the Group’s parking activity rose by 29% on 2020

Saba’s Care and Control Centre (CCC) has over 400 connected car parks from four countries

In the development area, of note was the culmination of different operations in Portugal and Chile. In Portugal, Saba secured a lease contract on Arena Expo’s car park (397 spaces), at the Lisbon exhibition centre and the lease contract on the “Torres Galp” car park (135 spaces), also in the capital, while in Oporto, the lease agreement on Garagem Sa da Bandeira (112 spaces) was signed, together with the renewal to operate the Ribeira car park (318 spaces).

In Chile, Saba was awarded the Bupa clinic car park management agreement (1,136 spaces), in Santiago de Chile, one of the largest hospitals in the country. Likewise, it concluded the management agreement to operate the Parque Arauco car park (8,477 spaces), a complex of five shopping centres and it managed to renew the car park management agreement at Arturo Merino Benítez airport (7,743 spaces) in the capital.

Already in 2022, Saba has signed an agreement for the refurbishment and improvement of the Plaça d’Europa car park in Platja d’Aro (Girona), a project in which the company will invest 1.8 million in euros, and in Italy, it expects to inaugurate a new car park in Genoa, with 422 spaces, once construction and the adaptation of facilities to provide a service to the Genova Benzi hospital have been completed. Likewise, in the Italian city of Trieste, the company was awarded the car park concession for the Cattinara hospital, with 470 spaces.

In terms of efficiency, operating management and service quality, it must be highlighted that Saba’s Care and Control Centre (CCC) currently has over 400 connected car parks in Spain, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom, with respect to 235 car parks in 2020

To consolidate the recovery, the Company’s resources range from commercial activity through to the adaptation of products, recovery of subscribers, electricity mobility and boosting new digital channels and the digitalisation of processes in general. In this regard, Saba continues to boost and reinforce strategic business initiatives such as the launch of the number plate reading, both for subscribers and in the rotation sector, at over 60 car parks, aside from the extension of e-commerce services business’s web page and Saba’s App (with a refurbishment and improvement of the functionality performed), extending it to all countries in which it operates. Its web pages received 1.7 million visitors in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Chile, and the number of its transactions amounted to over 78.00.E-commerce sales rose by 105% on 2020 and by 90% on 2019.

We continue working to ensure that car parks are something more than a space for cars and motorbikes and that they are also for bicycles and other personal micromobility vehicles, carsharing and rent a car, and intermodality systems, among others, and also with public transport. Saba must adapt the new habits of people and work to be a mobility benchmark adviser, with the ambition of favouring company growth and opening new lines of innovation in the sector and diverse income, which will contribute to its consolidation in the future. This could include the last mile (lockers, e-commerce, proximity distribution), and services at the car park itself: digital screens, vending machines, company fleets, car washes, among others.

Saba continues to boost and reinforce strategic business initiatives, such as the number plate reading

I would like to highlight that one of the Company’s clearest strategic pledges was to reinforce its essential role as an electrical infrastructure point, commencing its deployment in 2018. With a great boost in 2021, the company has over 500 points at 118 car parks in five countries (Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal, Chile and Italy), constituting the largest electric recharging network (semi-rapid and rapid, for subscribers and rotation) in the sector with an impact on emissions avoidance. In Spain alone, since we commenced electricity recharging in December 2018, 278,861 kg of CO2 emissions were avoided.

Although it is certain that, among our greatest challenges, are digitalisation, the boosting of sales activities, the search for new opportunities and the provision of mobility services, we also aim to continue consolidating a committed human team with conviction to face uncertainties that arise in our surroundings and which is our most important asset. I also wish, on behalf of the management team, to thank all members of this Group for their great work, commitment and sacrifice and likewise encourage them to not desist in the persecution of our great objective which is to continue promoting an international benchmark operator.