COMSA Corporación celebrates its 125th anniversary looking to the future. In the past year the company recorded sales of 1,265 million euros (this figure includes the turnover of the companies that may cease to contribute due to their sale during 2016), of which 45% (570 million) correspond to its international activity.
Infrastructure, engineering and maintenance remain the most important businesses of the group, with a combined turnover of €1,013M, 80% of the total.
Infrastructure and engineering
The construction company COMSA implements high value projects in the field of railways, roads, building and specialised civil engineering. In 2015, the company’s railway expertise has enabled it to successully rehabilitate line 12 of the Mexico City metro, access the Croatian market with the construction of Gradec-Sveti Ivan Zabno railway line, and commission the Valladolid-Leon high-speed line, among other projects.
Outstanding among its most recent activity involving roads is the construction of the road tunnels in the Plaza de las Glorias in Barcelona and the duplication of a section of the Régis Bittencourt motorway in the Serra do Cafezal (Brazil); and in the field of construction, the implementation of the new headquarters of Cuatrecasas in Barcelona and the commissioning of the Cultural Centre of Lugano (Switzerland). Other highlights during the past financial year in the field of civil engineering projects are the new BEST container terminal for Hutchinson in the port of Barcelona and the construction of various water treatment plants in Algeria. The infrastructure business closed 2015 with a turnover of €736M .
In the field of engineering, COMSA Industrial (€203M in 2015) offers a turnkey service, with the capacity to handle global and at the same time specialised projects, as a result of its extensive technological know-how in the development of facilities and systems. In 2015, contracts awarded to the engineering subsidiary of COMSA Corporación included the system of traffic control and citizen monitoring in Casablanca (Morocco), the civil protection and safety installations in the Plasencia-Badajoz section of the high-speed line from Madrid to the Portuguese border, and the supply and commissioning of critical equipment for Laboratorios Catedral, in what is the company’s first project in Paraguay. At the same time, it continues with the maintenance of electrical installations at the headquarters of CERN in Prevessin (France) and Meyrin (Switzerland), electrical works for Edelnor in Lima (Peru) and the maintenance of telecommunication networks for various customers in Spain.
Backed by its 125 years of experience in innovative and sustainable projects, COMSA Corporación maintains a firm commitment to the development of smart cities, through the implementation of efficient infrastructure and facilities with a high technological component. Its activity in this field is completed by COMSA Service, a subsidiary specialising in infrastructure maintenance, which also provides energy services and facility management to Gas Natural, Fira de Barcelona and a variety of public administrations, among other customers.
In collaboration with Oficina Técnica Buigas, the company also carries out the design, construction and installation of ornamental fountains with water, light and sound shows. In France it has recently inaugurated a number of fountains in Nice and Nantes and it performs the maintenance of 190 fountains in Paris. As a result of these projects, COMSA Service grew 17% over the previous year, achieving a turnover of €75M.
Adding value in other business areas
In addition to its activity in sectors that represent its core business, COMSA Corporación provides added value in other areas such as rail freight transport. During the past year, COMSA Rail Transport, the leading private operator in Spain, increased its traffic and routes in this country. Within the European framework for promoting sustainable transport, the company also consolidated its international activity through the strategic alliances it has with the French operator SNCF and the Portuguese company Takargo. In addition, the company will be participating in the development of a rolling motorway between the Port of Barcelona and Europe, through an agreement with ViiA (a subsidiary of SNCF). The COMSA Corporación business of transportation, logistics and machinery achieved sales of €33M last year.
The group is also active in other sectors such as the environment, where turnover was €81M in 2015. Through COMSA Medio Ambiente, the group is active in water management and the treatment of industrial waste, involving projects such as the scrapping of wagons and locomotives for Renfe, the management of hazardous waste and the reuse of end-of-life tyres.
In the technology sector, COMSA Corporación recorded sales of €101M last year. The major projects undertaken by its subsidiaries include the installation of a meteorological radar at the international airport of Mexico City (Adasa), the mounting of assembly lines for various models of Airbus and Embraer aircraft in France and Brazil (Aritex) and the deployment of DTT networks in countries such as Algeria and Kenya (Egatel).
For its part, COMSA Concesiones, the company that heads the concessions business of the group, recorded sales of €22M in a year during which the Mas d’Enric prison in El Catllar (Tarragona) was commissioned and the Malaga Metro, of which it is a shareholder, transported more than 5 million users in its first year in operation.
The activity of COMSA Corporación in renewable energy (€16M in 2015) is headed by COMSA Renovables, which last year won new contracts for asset management in the wind farms of Lecrín and Jaufil (Granada) and provided 80,000 tonnes of forest biomass to the solar thermal plant in Les Borges Blanques (Lleida), among other projects.
During the current year, it is planned to renew the refinancing agreement reached with a number of banks in 2013. With the aim of reducing the level of debt, COMSA Corporación has opted to strengthen its rail specialisation and, in parallel, is developing a divestment plan for non-strategic areas of the group. In this regard, during the past year the company sold off its stake in the Metro Ligero de Madrid (light rail tram system) and Line 9 of the Barcelona Metro, and has recently formalised the sale of its shares in Corporación CLD.
For Jorge Miarnau, president of COMSA Corporación, “Infrastructure is one of the main sources of wealth and progress in a society and, as a company dedicated to this sector, we will continue providing our experience of well over 100 years, committed to pursuing technological innovation to contribute to the development of cities and more sustainable environments adapted to people’s needs.”
Miarnau also affirms that, “We are proud to have reached 125 years as a company. We could not have achieved this without the commitment of our entire team throughout these years or without the trust of our customers. This milestone makes us look to the future with excitement.”
Picture: Railway works on the Warsaw – Gdynia line in Poland.