Companhia Paranaense de Energia - COPEL (NYSE:ELP) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Mar 27, 2020 • 09:00 am ET

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Companhia Paranaense de Energia - COPEL (NYSE:ELP) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Executive
Daniel Pimentel Slaviero

is a reference company in the electric industry. I would like to highlight some relevant business of successes in 2019, highlighting that all our subsidiaries have improved their performance vis-a-vis 2018 and G&T, for instance, we had a positive impact of almost BRL450 million in additional EBITDA coming from a project that have been completed during the year, Colider, Baixo Iguacu and Cutia for instance.

In addition to transmission lines and substations, this was a major landmark in our history, because after a long cycle of relevant investments and several problems during the project execution. Finally, we were able to start commercial operations in 2019. In this process, we learned a lot of lessons, and certainly those will help us avoid the same specs of the fact. So, capital allocation is needed to structure also for capital as well as a lot of discipline -- financial discipline and strong governance is and continue to be one of our main strategic pillar. And Copel GeT, we showed that we are able to change the game. We are now at 42% -- we went from 42% to -- minus 42% to 5.6% efficiency, a great change based on the sound financial results we are already planning in the next few years. And then, as a main event, we have launched an ambitious program to modernize the energy distribution grid. It's called Transmissao, and it has three projects, Three-Phase Parana, Total Reliability and Smart Grid Copel. And this project has a perspective of investment of BRL2.9 billion in the next few years, and these three programs under the main umbrella, that's called Transformacao or transformation. It has three purposes, to improve the quality of services, reduce interruptions and reconnection times, DEC and FEC.

Cost reduction with the less need of the team being travelling and moving around, and that's going to be needed for our current [Indecipherable]. And also that we [Indecipherable] are posted at the page of the regulatory remuneration [Indecipherable] distribution is going to invest over BRL1 million, the highest amount in the history. And that is going to be part of the remuneration base for the tariff review of June 2020.

Another relevant highlight is the reduction of our financial leverage. Now it's 2 times vis-a-vis 3.1 last year, and that level of leverage allows us to have a very favorable conditions to start thinking about new investments, but especially to go through this difficult moment. Also we continue focusing on reducing management cost. And after another Voluntary Redundancy Program in 2019, we ended the year with 7,100 employees, a reduction of a little over 500 employees over 2019. If we consider the last two years, that's a reduction of over 1,200 people that left the company.

And finally, and just as important, there was a significant growth in our dividend proposal or payment of interest on equity and a total of BRL643 million, a growth of 70% vis-a-vis 2018, which also has allowed us to have a relevant tax