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Statistical Press Release – Statistics on corporations in the Central Balance Sheet Database – 4th quarter of 2018

Today, Banco de Portugal publishes statistics, in Table A.19 of the Statistical Bulletin and in BPstat, on corporations in the Central Balance Sheet Database for the fourth quarter of 20181. These data incorporate revisions made since the first quarter of 2017, in line with the statistics revision policy of Banco de Portugal.

In 2018, gross return on assets (EBITDA2 / total assets) of non-financial corporations stood at 7.9%, 0.2 percentage points (p.p.) higher than in 2017. Private corporate profitability increased for most sectors of activity, excluding the industry and electricity, gas and water sectors, which posted a 0.2 and 0.3 p.p. decrease respectively. Public corporations3 showed a 0.9 p.p. decrease in profitability. By size class, SME4 profitability increased by 0.3 p.p., to 7.2% at the end of 2018, whereas large enterprises’ profitability decreased by 0.1 p.p., to 10.1%.

The capital ratio (equity / total assets) stood at 37.9%, which corresponds to an increase of 1.8 p.p. from the end of 2017 (Chart 1). The share of obtained funding in total assets declined by 1.9 p.p. in the same period, standing at 33.8% at the end of 2018.

The cost of debt (interest expenses / obtained funding) stood at 2.8%, 0.2 p.p. lower than in the same period of the previous year (Chart 2). All sectors of activity, excluding transportation and storage, showed a decrease in cost of debt compared to the previous year. In this sector, the cost of debt remained unchanged from 2017.

The interest rate coverage ratio (EBITDA / interest expenses) stood at 8.3, which represents an increase of 1.3 from the same period of the previous year (Chart 2). Industry and trade posted the largest increases in this indicator (1.6 and 3.0 respectively). These two sectors continued to show the highest values for that ratio, mirroring lower levels of financial pressure.

Next update: 15 Jul. 2019


1 The compilation of the quarterly indicators is based on: (i) for balance sheet variables, average values for the year ending in the quarter; (ii) for profit and loss account variables, values for the year ending in the quarter. The structure of funding is based on end-of-quarter values.

2 Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

3 Public corporations not included in the general government sector.

4 Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.