For Sonae 2016 was a year ofsignificant progress in the implementation of corporate strategy and in thediverse areas of activity, culminating in important results in terms of growthand strengthening of competitive positions in main businesses.
Considering the companies wecontrol or co-control, the turnover reached 7,100 million euros, growing morethan 6% y.o.y., and EBITDA surpassed 1,000 million euros, increasing 4,2% whencompared to the previous year. Total Capex reached almost 900 million euros.
We evolved towards anorganisation of more autonomous, agile, and focused business areas, capable ofbetter responding to the speed of change in the markets in which they operate.We paid particular attention to the strengthening of retail businesses,shopping centres and telecommunications, never, however, neglecting investmentin avenues of growth that capitalise on the existing asset base and whichfurther the development of competencies aligned with trends and needs of themarkets of the future.
In retail, we surpassed 5,000million euros in turnover for the first time, enjoying positive contributionsfrom all businesses (even excluding acquisitions), and we increased the qualityof the portfolio with the inclusion of Salsa and Go Natural, as well as withother participations of smaller dimension, which, however, bring with them highlevels of competence in e-commerce, data analytics or energy management.Furthermore, it was also possible to negotiate an agreement with JD Sports forthe creation of a strong Iberian sports operator, which will benefit from thedimension and strongly complementary contributions of each of the integratingcompanies.
At Sonae Sierra, wesuccessfully continued the strategy of reducing capital allocated to matureassets for further investment in new shopping centres and acquisition ofminority participations in funds that enhance our services business and thegrowth in the number of shopping centres under management. In this context, wehighlight the opening of ParkLake Plaza shopping centre, with an innovative andoutstanding concept that has introduced new standards in the Romanian marketand received significant international recognition.
At NOS, we maintained ourcapacity to grow and improve profitability while simultaneously continuing tolead the evolution of telecommunications in Portugal, promoting valuablesolutions for our customers and the entire value chain in this sector ofcrucial importance for the competitiveness of any country.
In the Investment Managementdivision, we acquired relevant positions in three important investment fundswith participations in some of the most promising Portuguese companies in thetechnology sector, such as Outsystems or Feedzai, while at the same time wefurther created an organisation capable of managing companies in diverse phasesof their business life-cycle and in which the participation in global marketconsolidation movements presents a solid promise of value generation.
All this was achieved in ayear in which we continued to reinforce our capital structure, as net debt wasagain reduced, along with the reduction of its cost and increased maturity.We are thus fully aware that we enter 2017 as abetter, stronger company, enjoying an improved portfolio and increasinglycomfortable with our strategy. However, we know that our greatest confidencelies in the quality and dedication of our people who, every day, assuming withease the values of Sonae, dedicate themselves to the accomplishment of themission which inspires us.
Co-CEO of Sonae