The communication consultancy WAG, formerly known as Llorente y Cuenca, is already part of the family of listed on the Spanish stock market. Since its debut at BME Growth last Thursday, it has accumulated a 32.6% revaluation supported by the expansion plans under which it is placed its founding partner and president, José Antonio Llorente.

The creator of a group that closed last year with a turnover of more than 44 million euros talks with Invertia about its expansion plans -which go through doubling in size again in the coming years-, the learning of the pandemic and the recent turbulence in Latin America, among other issues. Not forgetting its recent jump to the market.

Llorente (Madrid, 1960) boasts a business career that already spans a quarter of a century and puts a decided focus of expansion in the US. The also owner of 17.19% of the company is confident that next year there will be a dividend for shareholders.

Our promise is to duplicate business and it seems consistent to me that a company that has already done it will do it again

LLYC’s stock placement was the first in the Spanish market to have reserved a tranche for retail investors in a long time. How was the reception?

Before going on the market, we launched a capital increase to raise up to 10 million euros, which we shared equally between institutional investor and retail. And we had an oversupply of five times the supply, so I think investors see our project well and trust it.

Could you advance what are the strategic lines of this project?

At LLYC we are a company with a very well defined track record, with 25 years making our business grow steadily and profitably. We come from an investment period with a private equity in which we have duplicated business. Now, our promise for the next four years is to duplicate business again, and it seems consistent to me that a company that has already done this will do so again. In addition, we are more prepared.

The founding partner of LLYC, José Antonio Llorente, at the group’s facilities.

We now have a stronger and more experienced organization thanks also to everything we have learned in the integration of companies, which is a relevant added factor. In addition, our focus on technology and its application in our day-to-day work is an element that enhances our business and our results.

Finally, we are present in very diverse geographies, which gives us a great balance thanks to a highly differentiated offer of products and solutions. All this allows us to adapt to the vicissitudes of each of the markets.

One of its growth focuses is in Latin America, where several Spanish listed companies have recently reduced exposure. How does LLYC manage its expansion in the region?

We are doing very well in Latin America: operations are growing and profitable. In the 25 years of history that we have, we have seen everything in the region … and we will surely see it in the following years. However, what we do – communicate – becomes crucial in the most difficult moments: when companies experience vicissitudes, our company flourishes.

LLYC will pay its first dividend as listed in May or June of next year

It is true that there is a scenario of depreciation of currencies, which have lost weight in relation to the euro and the dollar, but we have a very balanced company with respect to hard and soft currencies. We are going to increase our investment in hard currency markets, but we are not renouncing to continue growing in others that have given us a lot of growth and profitability such as Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, as they are markets that – apart from Spain – have great potential.

They also have the focus on the US. What is your strategy for this country?

It is something that is included in our strategic vision. Starting next year, we are going to give more weight to the US, which is the largest market in the world, the one that pays the best and the one with the most experienced buyer. We want to have a stronger business base, since until now we have been dedicated to serving the interests of US companies in Latin America.

From now on, we want to enter the Spanish-speaking market in the US -which is very large- and the southern belt of the US, where the connection with Latin America -and, especially, with proximity markets such as Mexico- results in an interesting opportunity.

In the 2020 of the pandemic, the firm achieved a turnover of 44.3 million euros. How have they achieved it and what have they learned in this time?

We are a company that due to the internationalization and the nature of our activity, with a strong integration of technology, we were prepared to be able to cope if something like this happened, although we certainly did not foresee it. Thanks to this, we have maintained the same business volume and almost profitability as in 2019, which was the best year in LLYC’s history. In addition, we have been very strengthened in terms of capital and net cash, a financial health that allows us to tackle the projects that we have started now.

In the 25 years of experience that we have, we have seen everything in Latin America

That said, it is still true that the pandemic has posed a tremendous threat to our well-being and our way of life… It has been devastating, but the business has held up very well and has come out stronger.

And those good numbers keep repeating so far in 2021?

We have noticed the economic recovery, especially in the markets that are more advanced in the fight against the pandemic, such as Spain, Portugal and the United States. In Latin America we have countries with very positive results despite the fact that the business environment does not seem to be the most favorable.

As I said before, and I insist, we have a very interesting balance between our areas of activity and we adapt well both to times of growth and to those complicated and of crisis, which are when companies risk being or not being.

So, can you foresee when the new shareholders will receive their first dividend?

Without a doubt: it will be next year. LLYC will pay its first dividend as listed in May or June of next year.

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