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Corporate finance: FCC — Living with less liquidity

Analysts predict that Spain will be hit hard by the global economic downturn. But Baldomero Falcones of conglomerate FCC tells Laurence Neville he’s confident the company is well placed to thrive.

Baldomero Falcones with Esther Koplowitz, principal shareholder of FCC

Baldomero Falcones with Esther Koplowitz, principal shareholder of FCC: confident of the future

FOMENTO DE CONSTRUCCIONES y Contratas (FCC) has its origins in one of Spain’s oldest companies, listed since 1900. A constituent of the Ibex35 index, FCC’s business composition – which has increasingly diversified from its heritage in construction and most recently embraced renewable energy – makes it an archetype of the rapid development of the Spanish economy in recent decades. Despite energetic efforts to broaden its revenue base, FCC has suffered as the global financial and economic crisis has gathered pace. In the nine months to September 2008, the company’s net profit fell 51.6% to €297 million; net profit excluding extraordinary items from the sale of part of real estate firm Realia in the first half of 2007 fell 22.3%. Sales increased 6% over the same period.

The task of ensuring FCC’s resilience in a challenging environment – and retooling the company for the future – rests with Baldomero Falcones, who has been chief executive and executive vice-chairman since December 2007. Falcones has broad experience in three areas crucial to FCC’s success – utilities, power and finance.