Early in the year the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s long-term financing institution, granted Amadeus a loan of €200 million to finance the research & development of a variety of projects in the area of IT solutions between 2012 and 2014.
In relation to its debt structure, Amadeus also announced the signature of a €200 million revolving credit facility, via a “club deal” with eleven banks, with a 2.5 year maturity from completion date. This facility added further flexibility to Amadeus’ financial structure and provided additional available liquidity. Taking advantage of its strengthened liquidity position, Amadeus used €350 million of existing cash of the Group to partially amortise its outstanding bridge loan. The maturity of the remaining €106 million bridge loan was extended until May 2013.
Meanwhile strong cash flow generation in the period drove consolidated net financial debt down to €1,495.2 million as of December 31, 2012 (based on covenants’ definition). This was down by €356.6 million vs. December 31, 2011 and represented 1.34x the last twelve months’ EBITDA, well within the target leverage ratio of 1.0x to 1.5x net debt to EBITDA previously established by the company.
Amadeus debuted on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), within both the DJSI-World and DJSI-Europe indexes. Out of the 57 companies invited to participate in the Support Services sector - in which Amadeus is included - only 12 members were ultimately selected and Amadeus was ranked as the leader of the sector with a score of 82 points. Amadeus achieved the highest scores in a number of categories, including the overall Economic and Social Dimension of the business, as well as in Environmental Policy/Management or social metrics such as Labour Practice Indicators and Human Rights, and Talent Attraction and Retention. Amadeus’ ambitions within Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability are to improve gradually and visibly the company’s contribution to society.
The further deleveraging mentioned above, as well as the progress made to strengthen the sound business performace and outlook resulted in an improved credit rating outlook, to positive, by Standard & Poor’s, whilst stating that Amadeus had “improved its financial performance beyond our previous expectations”.
The Board of Amadeus IT Holding, S.A., in the meeting held on October 18, 2012, reviewed the dividend policy of the Company, increasing the proposed pay-out ratio to between 40% and 50% of the consolidated profit (excluding extraordinary items), compared to the previous policy, fixed in 2010, which consisted of a pay-out ratio of between 30% and 40%. The new dividend policy, applicable to the period of 2012 and onwards, also establishes the payment of an interim dividend related to the results of each financial period.
Therefore, in 2013 the Board of Directors will submit to the General Shareholders Meeting for approval a gross dividend of €0.50 per share, including an interim dividend of €0.25 per share (gross), which was paid on January 30, 2013. Based on this, the proposed appropriation of the 2012 results included in our 2012 audited consolidated financial statements of Amadeus IT Holding, S.A. and subsidiaries, includes a total amount of €223.8 million corresponding to dividends pertaining to the financial year 2012 – representing a 35% increase on the previous year’s dividend.
In the early summer Amadeus confirmed its commitment to R&D when Hervé Couturier became Executive Vice President of Development at Amadeus, heading up Amadeus’ software development team of more than 4,500 members across 16 different sites worldwide. Couturier was previously Executive Vice President of SAP’s Technology Group and brings with him 25 years of international software development experience in previous high-profile roles, including at IBM and Business Objects.
Amadeus also strengthened its growing hotel business, which incorporates both distribution and IT services, with the key appointment of hotel industry veteran Jeff Edwards. Formerly Chief Information Officer and EVP Distribution of Wyndham Worldwide, he has joined Amadeus with a clear brief to quickly expand its burgeoning hotel division.