The Board of Directors has convened the Shareholders’ Meeting for 26 april 2022.
Milan, 10 March 2022 – Italgas’ Board of Directors, chaired by Alberto Dell’Acqua, met yesterday and approved the results as of 31 December 2021 and resolved to propose to the Shareholders’ Meeting the distribution of a dividend of € 0.295 per share (+6.5% compared to 2020).
Economic and financial highlights1
- Adjusted total revenues: € 1,370.8 million (+2.8%)
- Adjusted EBITDA: € 1,008.9 million (+4.1%)
- Adjusted EBIT: € 583.2 million (+6.2%)
- Adjusted net profit2: € 367.7 million (+6.0% compared to the 2020 restated result)
- Technical investments: € 865.1 million (+11.5%)
- Cash flow from operating activities: € 831.9 million (€ 746.6 million in 2020)
- Net financial debt3 € 4,980.0 million; € 4,910.0 million excluding the effects of IFRS 16
- 160.7 103 tCO2 e Scope 1 and 2, -7.3% on 2020
- Volumes of gas distributed: 8,886.68 million cubic metres, +4.8% on 2020
- 0.067 energy intensity4, -4.3% on 2020
- Gas leakage rate5: 0.087% -13.0% on 2020
- Fugitive emissions/km network: 106.7 -10.3% on 2020
- Grams of pollutants per km travelled by the car fleet: 0.081 gNOx (in line with 2020), 0.0003 grams particulate (-18.3% on 2020)
- Employee and contractors accident frequency index6: 1.07 (compared with 1.41 in 2020)
- 22% women in positions of responsibility, as compared with 16.7% in 2020
- 16.4% women in the company, as compared with 15.1% in 2020
- 112,379 total hours of training provided (+48.0% on 2020), of which 24,832 for topics relating to digitisation
Operating highlights (including affiliates):
- Municipalities in gas distribution concessions: 1,898
- Number of active meters: 7.757 million
- Gas distribution network: around 74,400 Km
In a context of substantial economic recovery, albeit partly limited by the ongoing health emergency and the hike in energy prices, the Italgas Group’s performance confirms the constant growth trend initiated with the return to the stock exchange in November 2016. The financial year 2021 presents extremely positive results with reference to all the main economic and financial indicators, combined moreover with the significant progress reported aimed at achieving the ESG targets established in the 2021-2027 Strategic Plan.
The integration of sustainability and economic performance targets enables the Group to contribute with its investment choices to the energy transition process, in line with EU guidelines, and to help to ensure the implementation of the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The € 865.1 millions of investments carried out in the period (+11.5% compared to 31 December 2020) bear witness to this. These investments are devoted primarily to the digital transformation of assets and processes, the methanisation of Sardinia and the repurposing of the networks to enable them to distribute renewable gases (biomethane immediately and, in the medium term, green hydrogen and synthetic methane).
In 2021, 732 km of new pipes were laid, of which 91 km in Sardinia, where the construction of fully-digital new networks continued, including through the installation and commissioning of 50 new LNG storage plants, reaching a total length of approximately 900 km out of a total of around 1,100 km to be developed: at end 2021, a total of 3,891 redelivery points on the island are serviced with natural gas.
Cash generation has also increased considerably, with cash flow from operating activities at end 2021 totalling € 831.9 million.
The net financial position7 as of 31 December 2021 was € 4,980.0 million (€ 4,736.5 million as of 31 December 2020). The net financial position4 amounted to € 4,910.0 million (€ 4,660.2 million as of 31 December 2020), net of financial liabilities pursuant to IFRS 16 of € 70.0 million (€ 76.3 million as of 31 December 2020).
The adjusted EBITDA at the end of 2021 amounted to € 1,008.9 million (+4.1% compared to 31 December 2020) and adjusted net profit attributable to the Group was € 367.7 million (+6.0% compared to 31 December 2020).
In the context of the public tender called by the Greek government for privatisation of the distribution operator DEPA Infrastructure S.A, on 9 September 2021, Italgas was declared the ‘preferred bidder’ by the Greek privatisation fund (HRADF), and on 10 December 2021 a purchase contract was signed for a price of € 733 million. The acquisition of DEPA Infrastructure S.A., which will draw to a close during the first half of 2022, will allow the Group to further strengthen its leadership position in the European gas sector, entering a market that offers significant growth opportunities and for which it will be able to make its well-known distribution network development and digitisation capacities available to support the country’s energy transition process.
Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, commented:
In 2021, which saw the first significant signs of economic recovery, albeit influenced by the ongoing health emergency and the strong tensions around the costs of raw materials, Italgas was confirmed as one of Italy’s most solid industrial companies.
For the twentieth consecutive quarter since the return to the stock exchange, we recorded growth in all economic indicators, in particular the adjusted EBITDA which increased by 4.1%, surpassing € 1 billion, and the adjusted Net Profit, which at +6% came to € 367.7 million. Investments, which reached a record € 865 million, grew by 11.5% compared to the previous year and at the same time continued to be a strategic leverage in continuing the digital transformation of the network and an important contribution for the relaunch of the Italian economy.
Digitising as widespread an infrastructure as our distribution network not only corresponds to valorize an asset of the country and becoming a global benchmark for the sector; it also means ensuring that the gas networks have a central role in the ecological transition as an asset that, with a view of sector coupling, is able to guarantee efficiency and flexibility to Italy’s entire energy system and a greater diversification of sources through the progressive introduction of renewable gases like biomethane and hydrogen.
This same logic is applied to the commitment in Greece, where the acquisition of DEPA Infrastructure signed last December will allow us to work alongside the Greek government to phase out carbon and lignite and to encourage the achievement of EU net zero targets.
Technological innovation continues to be the main driver of the Italgas Group’s significant development alongside attention to people as shown by the growth in the percentage of the women working in the Group and in managerial positions, and the strong drive on training, which saw a major increase in the number of training hours delivered, also with a specific focus on digitisation.
1. For the economic and financial analyses for the financial year 2021, the company considered it more representative to comment on the adjusted results, i.e. the recurring results, comparing them with the adjusted recurring results for the financial year 2020.
2. Adjusted net profit refers to the adjusted amount attributable to the Italgas Group, net of the portion attributable to minority interests.
3. As of 31 December 2021, the net financial debt shown in the directors’ report did not consider liabilities for € 5.6 million due to Conscoop, consisting of shareholder loans disbursed by it to Isgastrentatrè, later incorporated into Medea, insofar as they were considered part of the deferred purchase price settlement.
4. Calculated as the ratio of total Group energy consumption and gas distributed.
5. Volume of fugitive emissions of natural gas/volume of gas distributed.
6. Frequency index: number of accidents recorded / million hours worked
7. As of 31 December 2021, the net financial debt shown in the directors’ report did not consider liabilities for € 5.6 million due to Conscoop, consisting of shareholder loans disbursed by it to Isgastrentatrè, later incorporated into Medea, insofar as they were considered part of the deferred purchase price settlement.