MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT |GRI 102-14|
In a constantly changing world, we maintain the resilience and focus on efficiency and consistency necessary to provide essential energy to society and our country.
We maintained this same commitment during the 2019/2020 harvest: we transformed processes and reinvented ourselves every day to continue delivering consistent results. Together, we celebrated the opening of the first photovoltaic power plant. Located in Piracicaba (SP), the unit marks our debut in the Distributed Generation market in a grand way, since it occupies the largest area for solar energy in the State of São Paulo.
We also advanced in the construction of our biogas plant in Guariba (SP), which is expected to be completed in early 2021; we signed for the purchase of 81.5% of Cosan Biomassa, which produces and markets bagasse pellets and sugarcane straw, serving customers abroad who use our products; and we celebrated victory in one of the new energy auctions (A-6) with a project that aims to generate even more bioenergy; and we attained other achievements that diversify our integrated energy portfolio.
In the production of sugar, ethanol and bioenergy, our best performance resulted from an efficient marketing strategy, capturing better prices for the products sold. In fuel distribution, consistency is what summarizes the year: our growth was mainly due to assertiveness in our procurement and marketing strategy and the expansion of the dealer and customer base. The strong growth in ethanol sales highlights the importance of biofuel in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and Brazil's energy mix is ready for it! In Argentina, we celebrated the first year of the consolidation of the operations, with strong results, even with an election period and other economic challenges faced by our neighboring country.
The year was also marked by our partnership with Femsa Comércio to create Raízen Conveniências, a joint venture whose goal is to boost our share in the convenience store business at service stations with the Shell Select brand, and in the proximity business with the OXXO brand, which is already largely present in countries such as Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru, and is now in Brazil. The goal is to open up to 500 stores with both brands in the next three years.
In the consolidated results, our adjusted EBITDA totaled R$ 6.8 billion, with growth in all business lines, and our net income was R$ 2.4 billion, driven mainly by better operating results. The numbers demonstrate our ability to face challenges, even in the most difficult conditions.
I officially took on the position of Chief Executive Officer in April 2020; however, since I have led the Executive Vice Presidency of Logistics, Distribution and Trading in recent years, I know the operations and the team very well. Therefore, I am sure that together, we will overcome the new reality resulting from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the end of the harvest on March 11, 2020.
In view of this situation, we reinforce our commitment to the health and safety of employees, third parties, and partners, as well as their families. Because they are our true priority, we have suspended financial and operational projections for the next harvest. We have also adopted a contingency plan to ensure the preservation of the team's integrity and safety and the continuity of our operations, which are key in helping to keep the country running at such a difficult time. In addition, we seek to maintain close contact with authorities, suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. Through the Raízen and Shell brands, we have joined forces with a number of partners and carried out different actions to help overcome the current challenge.
This challenge coincides with our presentation, for the first time, of the work we are developing to build our Strategic Sustainability Plan, which is being prepared based on a structured study informed by dialogue with investment specialists in the sugar, energy and fuel sectors. This work, in which I had the pleasure to participate, involved 12 executive areas and 18 departments. As a result, we will prioritize topics, which will be studied in depth in order to define objectives, to be pursued through actions and goals in the coming harvests.
These actions reinforce the conviction that our governance, processes and portfolio are strategically structured and that we are prepared to seize the opportunities that arise in the sectors in which we operate.
Enthusiastic about what is yet to come, we remain confident that our energy only grows in the face of challenges. After all, what we do today, we do with an eye on the future, and that is how we will continue this story.
Let's go there together!
CEO of Raízen