The traffic, profit and customer satisfaction figures of our main assets continued their positive trend of previous years. In addition to good performances at Highway 407 (Toronto) and Heathrow Airport, the NTE – one of our Managed Lanes project in Texas — distributed its first dividend. Overall, Ferrovial was able to collect more than €729 million in dividends from the assets in its portfolio.
2019 has also been the year in which we have been working on a strategic reset for the business through a five-year plan – Horizon 24. This strategic reset will help reposition Ferrovial as a more agile and sustainable company, while continuing to focus on enhancing profits, efficiency and innovation across the board. We also welcomed our new CEO in October 2019, Ignacio Madridejos, who brings with him a wealth of experience. I am confident in his ability to lead Ferrovial through its new chapter.
Last year, we also began the process of divesting the Services division with the sale of the business in Australia and New Zealand. Until this sale process is completed, we will continue to report that division’s results under discontinued operations and its assets at fair value.
In addition, the sale of a stake in Ausol under the asset rotation policy provided a sizeable cash influx and enabled us to deconsolidate the related debt.
Key developments in 2019 included winning the Silvertown Tunnel project in London and securing another extension of the NTE, which will allow us to strengthen our role as key infrastructure operators in Texas. In addition, we opened the Toowoomba highway in Australia, as well as the I-77, another Managed Lanes project in North Carolina. Construction has focused on risk reduction, maintaining competitiveness and seeking growth in high-value concessions.
Within our Airports division, Heathrow set another record with 81 million passengers, an 18% increase since 2010, while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. The plan to expand the airport is currently advancing through the local planning stages.
Net profit amounted to €270 million, an increase of 160% year-onyear. Revenues from continuing operations amounted to €6.054 billion, an increase of 5.5%. The combined Construction and Services backlog amounted to €29.080 billion.
The cash position, excluding infrastructure projects but including services, amounted to €1.631 billion.
Shareholder remuneration remained in the range announced at last year’s Shareholders’ Meeting — €520 million — in terms of dividends and share buybacks. Investors have responded positively to Ferrovial’s strategy, with the share price appreciating by 52.4%, making Ferrovial one of the best performers on the IBEX, which gained 11.8% overall.
There is significant change in terms of technology, demographics, sustainability, and mobility habits around the world, offering many opportunities for Ferrovial and our assets. Our toll roads and airports, such as the 407 ETR, the Managed Lanes, and Heathrow not only represent innovative, sustainable and efficient solutions but are also models we want to emulate as we continue to grow.
In terms of sustainability, Ferrovial was recognized as the leader in its sector by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and was awarded the Gold Class. Our sustained commitment to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations was further recognized by our inclusion in the most prestigious indexes including FTSE4Good, MSCI, CDP and Vigeo.
Our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and our support to the Global Compact underscore our goal to improve our legacy for future generations by constructing and maintaining efficient infrastructure that ensures mobility on a more sustainable level. In a year during which we were confronted by immense environmental challenges, Ferrovial made notable progress by cutting its CO2 emissions, marking a reduction of 59% in relative terms since 2009, while renewing its commitment to be a carbonneutral company by 2050. I cannot conclude without emphasizing the importance of the care and protection of our workers, an area in which we will continue to take active measures.
We are unsatisfied with this year’s accident rate; consecuently, we have taken the necessary mesures to face this situation
Finally, I would like to recognize the commitment and the contribution of the group’s employees, who are instrumental to the success of Ferrovial. And I would also like to thank our shareholders and clients for their continued support for Ferrovial giving us the confidence to continue working on projects that generate value for all our stakeholders and for society as a whole.