Amadeus shrinks water after the storm | Business

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Amadeus air bookings fell 81% in 2020 and the number of passengers boarded by 65%.
Amadeus air bookings fell 81% in 2020 and the number of passengers boarded by 65%.Brendon thorne

Luis Maroto, CEO of Amadeus IT Group, already saw that the covid was going to make a dent in the results of the group before the WHO declared the global pandemic in March of last year. But he did not imagine the abrupt fall: that 2020 would lead the world’s leading airline in the management of air reservations to losses of 625.4 million euros compared to the profits of 1,113 million the previous year. Amadeus looked vigorous at the start of 2020, completing the purchase of Sky Suite for 36.2 million euros and unseating Telefónica as the fifth company on the Ibex, with its capitalization above 32,000 million euros. A year later, and thanks to the rebound that the share has recorded since the arrival of the vaccines was announced in November, its value exceeds 27,600 million and the title, which fell a year ago to 43 euros, is trading at 62 , only 8 euros below the start of 2020.

Perhaps that is why few experts see it as potential today. “Of the 30 companies that set the Bloomberg consensus, 11 recommend selling Amadeus, 11 are neutral and only 8 advise buying the stock. And the consensus price is at 56 euros, when today it fluctuates at 63, ”says Diego Jiménez-Albarracín, an analyst at Deustche Bank. Even some of those who until now were in favor of acquiring securities, are considering changing their valuation to neutral or directly to sell after the rise in the price. The Stock Market is anticipating with the current valuations that the recovery of tourism will take place from the third quarter of the year, explains Iván San Félix, Income 4 analyst. May or June. Hoteliers are already noticing the increase in bookings. And the airlines have raised theirs since Boris Johnson lifted restrictions on the British. People want to travel, ”he says.

However, the uncertainty is monumental and the visibility very limited, especially at a time when Amadeus has not offered any roadmap to analysts for 2021. No one expects miracles, not even the technology solutions company, which estimates that it will recover. the figures for 2019 in 2024, says Jiménez-Albarracín, while the consensus of analysts suggests that it will be at prendemic levels in 2023. “It would be very negative if a leading company took three years to regain that level,” he points out.

Credit Suisse forecasts in its latest report an operating result (ebitda) of 687 million in 2021, 34% below the Bloomberg consensus of 1,038 million. If this estimate is fulfilled, it would multiply by three the figure of the previous year, 228 million, although it is still very far from the year that has become the base of the projections: 2019. Regarding income, Renta 4 calculates that the 2,174 million from 2020 they will go to 3.4 billion this year, yes, still 40% below the 5,570 registered before the covid. Experts don’t expect any unpleasant surprises, either. They trust the good management of Luis Maroto’s team and the global leadership of Amadeus as the engine of their growth. And they believe that once normality returns to airlines and tourism, the multinational will emerge again.

Your swift action to protect yourself from the impact of COVID gives analysts peace of mind. Amadeus has strengthened its balance sheet with two bond issues for 500 million each, a capital increase of 750 million, an issue of convertible bonds for the same amount, a liquidity facility of 1,000 million already canceled, the abolition of dividends and a plan to cut expenses of 500 million, lists Bankinter. The company closed 2020 with a debt of 3,074 million and liquidity worth 3,500 million. “Even with business drops of 80% compared to 2019, it would have liquidity to face 2021 and a good part of 2022”, highlights Álvaro del Pozo, from Banco Sabadell.

1,200 fewer jobs

The cost reduction plan, which has exceeded 506 million and this year will be increased by 50 million more, will allow you to recover your profitability levels earlier than your income. In 2020 it has focused on a workforce cut that the company does not quantify in its accounts, but that from its financial reports it is deduced that it has settled with about 1,200 losses in the world. “This has resulted in a reduction in the total operating expenses item of 12.5% ​​for the year as a whole,” the company writes, whose information shows a slight decrease in the average remuneration of the executive team and more remarkable for the entire staff. The unions denounced the company’s intentions to present an ERE of 1,600 people. USO, the majority in Spain, has declined to comment on the matter. Nor has Amadeus management responded to this newspaper. In any case, as most analysts agree with Bankinter: Amadeus is the case of a large company in a dire market environment.

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