The Basque industry CAF, dedicated to the manufacture of railway rolling stock of all kinds and since the acquisition of Solaris also to manufacture buses, closed the year 2022 with an attributable result of 52 million euros, 39% less than the predecessor, when the profits were 86 million. The group, which has registered great growth in its activity due to a more dynamic order book, has been greatly affected by inflation and the effects of the rupture in the supply chain.
But these figures do not cloud a historic year for CAF, which has registered record contracting and backlog figures. While the first grows 64% to 6,205 million euros, ongoing projects grew 37%, with a total value of 13,250 million. The company especially highlights the growth in sales, as it is above the market average. It estimates that 26% of the portfolio with which it closed 2022 will materialize in income for 2023, a figure that would exceed 3,400 million.
Most of the contracting (58%) is related to rail vehicles, while the rest (14% each) is divided equally between buses, integral solutions and services. CAF also boasts of becoming selective in contracting, having given up contracts that were even already awarded, considering that they decreased its profitability.
The high inflation that affects the entire electro-intensive industrial sector has also reached Beasain and the rest of the company’s factories, which has been involved in a triple increase in costs: energy, labor and materials. The increase in the cost of raw materials, the increase in energy costs by 250% and the application of salary increases according to the agreement have forced the company to implement a mitigation plan.
This should be so that in the second half of the year its spending will already substantially decrease compared to the first quarter. The measures applied include the indexing or fixing of prices in contracts for the supply of materials and equipment with suppliers. The condition has been especially noticeable in the result of Solaris, which does not have additional coverage given that its projects have a much shorter period of time than the railway ones. At the end of the year, it delivered the same buses as the previous year, 1,492, but it had another 250 in the final production process.
Among the most outstanding milestones of the company during 2022, the commercial success in those considered “key geographies” (Germany, France, Spain, the Baltic countries and the US) stands out, with contracts of a significant volume, between 300 and 800 million euros, and with the possibility of replicating or expanding them in the future. Last year it also formalized the purchase of two factories from Alstom in France and Germany, reinforcing the entity’s capabilities in both markets.
Among the most notable contracts of the last year is the sale of double-decker Civity trains to the Dutch operator NS, whose first units will be circulating in 2028; or the contracting of the Tel Aviv light rail, in the absence of the award that is scheduled in the coming months. It has also carried out on-track tests of its hydrogen train prototype, which at the end of the year will begin a commercial service simulation on the railway line that connects Zaragoza with Canfranc to later travel to Portugal.
On December 1, he also presented his new strategic plan, where he broke down some of the keys for the future. For the present 2023 they have projected the start of the recovery of the bus subsidiary, Solaris, which has suffered the effects of the lack of components due to the rupture of the supply chains, in addition to the rate increases and an increase in working capital that It has affected financial spending.