What is your assessment of 2017? What were the major challenges?
2017 was a year of solid results against a background of uncertainty and transformation in Brazil. EDP Brasil was faced with many opportunities and challenges, which resulted in 89.4% growth in net income, adjusted for non-recurring effects, compared to the previous year. Reported net income was R$ 611 million, allowing the distribution of R$ 367 million in dividends. 2017 also marked the start of a new growth cycle in our operations, with increased investment across all sectors of the value chain expanding our geographical presence from 9 to 12 federal states. We are now a significant investor in the transmission business and the biggest winners in the May 2016 auction. Together with the power line contract we won in 2016, we have made a commitment to invest R$ 3.1 billion over the next five years. In the distribution sector, we have anticipated future consolidation and grew our presence by signing a contract to acquire an interest in the Santa Catarina distributor, CELESC. Our distribution investment plan, for the expansion and modernisation of our grid, amounted to R$ 568 million in São Paulo and Espírito Santo. This represents a 75% increase in investment during the 2016-2018 cycle compared to the 2013-2015 cycle. Once again, as at the Santo António do Jari and Cachoeira Caldeirão plants, together with China Three Gorges and Furnas, we delivered the first São Manoel power plant generator four months ahead of schedule. In Pecém we recorded a very positive net profit of R$ 74 million. The growth of costs attributable to personnel, materials, services and others confirms the effectiveness of our zero-based budgeting programme, which is already in its third year and providing cumulative gains of more than R$ 200 million. I must also not forget to mention the advances in Sales and Services. This year we achieved a historic profit of R$ 151 million EBITDA in sales. And we launched photovoltaic energy distribution, with a number of key projects. All this with a level of personnel motivation in Brazil that has been growing over the last 3 years as a consequence of the "Culture Project", and which this year reached 84%, well above the best companies in the satisfaction study.
What facts stand out in the different areas for which you are responsible?
I believe I have already highlighted the company’s economic and operational results. I think that in addition to these, we have a very significant leadership in sustainability and innovation. In 2017, we received a number of awards in the area of sustainability, from our inclusion in the ISE – Bovespa (index of sustainable companies on the Brazilian stock market) for the 12th consecutive year, to our election by a renowned Brazilian publication, as the “Most Sustainable Company” in the electricity sector. As far as innovation is concerned, this year we were the first company in the electricity sector to commit to the automation of business and administrative processes, one of the many areas included in our Digital Transformation Agenda. Corporate Human Resources also had a very busy year. We have been monitoring the entire process of generational renewal that is under way at EDP. Alongside this process, we have implemented important projects such as the revised performance evaluation model, improvements to the talent management process, new training and development programmes in partnership with EDP University, implementing policies to encourage diversity and internal mobility, introducing the personnel management support system (AboutMe), and improving management information with analytics. And in addition to all this, we have maintained our focus on streamlining internal processes, which has resulted in significant productivity gains (in three years the internal processing time for HR proposals has fallen by 50%).