Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (NYSE:BIP) reported its second-quarter results before the market opened on Wednesday. The global infrastructure owner overcame the impact from foreign currency fluctuations to deliver solid growth in funds from operations, or FFO, thanks in part to strong contributions from the company's rail platforms as well as the addition of communications infrastructure to its portfolio. More acquisition-driven growth could be on the way as the company is in the process of acquiring several infrastructure assets around the globe.
A look at the numbers
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners reported FFO of $208 million, or $0.91 per unit, during the quarter. That's up from $180 million, or $0.86 per unit, in the second quarter of last year. Driving this growth were new additions to the company's portfolio as well as solid organic growth, which helped it overcome headwinds from the strong dollar.
The company's utility segment was solid as FFO increased to $93 million, which is up $1 million over the prior year. Most of its growth was organic as the company delivered robust connections activity in its U.K.-regulated distribution operations as well as incremental earnings from growth capital projects that were added to its rate base. Unfortunately, currency headwinds wiped out much of these gains, erasing $4 million from FFO.
Brookfield's transportation segment also experienced significant headwinds from foreign currencies to the tune of $12 million. But it was able to more than overcome that headwind thanks to the addition of its Brazilian rail operations as well as strong volumes across its rail and port platforms. This drove segment FFO up 11% year over year to $104 million.
The energy segment was also higher as FFO increased by $7 million year over year to $23 million in the quarter. This growth was driven by organic growth and new investment in the company's district energy platform.
The other major driver of FFO growth was the company's communications infrastructure segment, which is the newest addition to its portfolio. That segment, comprised of the recently acquired French wireless and communications tower portfolio, delivered $20 million in FFO during the quarter in its first full quarter as part of the company.
A look at the outlook
As mentioned, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners has a number of acquisitions in the pipeline that progressed during the quarter. Among its previously announced targets, the company recently received court approval to provide a debtor-in-possession loan to Brazilian construction company OAS, which holds a 24% stake in a large toll road, airport, and urban mobility company that Brookfield is seeking to acquire. The company also recently completed the purchase of a district energy system in Australia and was awarded a project to develop a water system in the country.
In addition to that, the company also announced three new acquisitions opportunities that are progressing through its pipeline. Brookfield and its partners signed an agreement to acquire a natural gas storage company, which is a deal it expects to close next year. It also agreed to acquire the 50% interest in a Chilean tunnel that it didn't already own, which is a key connection point between its toll road and other critical infrastructure in the area. Finally, the company disclosed that it's engaged in discussions to acquire Asciano Limited, which is a large Australian rail-and-port logistics company. That last opportunity is very large as it would mark the second-largest acquisition of an Australian company by a non-Australian company.
In discussing the company's acquisition pipeline CEO Sam Pollock said that the "number of prospects in our investment pipeline and the quality and scale of our opportunities have never been better." Further, he noted that the company has significant liquidity to pursue these opportunities, which should drive FFO growth and increased unitholder distributions. Said another way, the future has never been brighter at the company.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners delivered solid growth as new additions to the portfolio overcame the strong dollar to drive FFO growth. More growth is on the way as the company has a significant number of opportunities in its investment pipeline that should close over the next year with additional opportunities still on the horizon.