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December 2023

02. 10-8% growth in earnigns
Data di pubblicazione:

Results for the third quarter 2023 are in line with the growth targets outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Revenue growth is driven by Geoside and the nine-month contribution from distribution in Greece, with the distribution business in Italy offsetting the dilutive impacts of divestments.

EBITDA growth is close to 16 percent, thanks in part to operating cost efficiencies.

 Growth in Debt is mainly related to Superbonus and remains under control.

The actions put in place are also reflected in the continuous improvement of sustainability performance.

Based on the performance achieved as of September 30, 2023, Italgas has confirmed the 2023 guidance given in June.

In the first nine months of 2023 Italgas reported a 26.0% increase in Total Revenues, which stood at 1,369.8 mln€. The increase of 282.8 mln€ stems largely from the contribution of Greece (+117.5 mln€), Other Revenues (+162.5 mln€) driven by the energy efficiency business, and for the remaining 2.7 mln€ from Regulated Revenues from distribution in Italy.

In Italy, the Regulated Revenues component benefited from the increase in RAB and deflector (+39.6 mln€) and from the infilation net of the X-factor (+2.5 mln€); factors partially offset by the negative impact from the sale of the Naples Atem in December 2022.

At EBITDA level, Italgas reported a 15.9 percent increase over the same period in the previous year. EBITDA growth, at a slower pace than that of revenues, reflects the growth of Geoside, which, by its nature, has lower margins than gas distribution contributing to a 133.7 mln€ increase in operating costs, to which must be added those related to the consolidation of DEPA Infrastructure (+32.4 mln€). On a like-for-like basis, Italgas kept distribution operating costs in Italy substantially unchanged.

EBIT, at 536.7 mln€, improves by 18.0% compared to the same period in 2022, in the face of a 13.1% increase in depreciation and amortization, mainly attributable to new investments made and the change in the scope of consolidation following the consolidation of DEPA Infrastructure.

The Group’s adjusted Net Income stands at €316.7 mln, up 10.8% compared to the first 9 months of 2022: a figure broadly in line with market expectations, despite higher net financial expenses (-€30.9 mln) reflecting higher average debt and higher cost and higher taxes (-€12.4 mln) reflecting the more ample tax base against a tax rate of 26.9%.

The updated picture of operating magnitudes shows that, with the contribution of DEPA Infrastructure, Italgas’ gas distribution network reaches almost 82 thousand kilometers.

Growing capex, reflecting business mix

During the first nine months of 2023 Italgas made operating investments of 589.1 mln€: a level 7.8% higher than the previous year. In the period from January to September 2023, Italgas also realized c680 km of new pipelines, including 480km in Greece.

Half of the total investment was dedicated to the development, maintenance and repurposing of distribution infrastructure in Italy. This is a declining figure compared to the same period of the previous year, induced by lower realizations of new networks, mainly due to the progressive completion of the Sardinia methanization project.

Investments in digitization, amounting to €173.3 mln, are on the rise in the first nine months of 2022, due to intense efforts in the installation of devices that enable the acquisition of data for the remote control and monitoring of the network and plants. Within this type of investment are also metering investments. In total, there are 7.7 million smart meters installed as of September 30, 2023, which is essentially equivalent to 100 percent of active meters.

Dedicated investments in Greece, following the acquisition of DEPA Infrastructure, reached €74.5 mln. As of September 30, 2023, the digital meter fleet installed by the Depa Infrastructure Group amounted to 54.9 thousand units out of a total installed meters of 629.3 thousand.

The significant operating investments made in the nine months 2023 fully absorbed Cash Flow from operating activities, amounting to 576.8mln€. To this should be added the cash absorption by Gepside of 178.7mln€ related to the growth of Superbonus-related activities and which will be recuperated through lower tax charges in the coming years.

Free cash flow before M&A is thus negative by 208.7 mln€. After financial investments net of divestments and the distribution of dividends for fiscal year 2022 (283.5 mln€), Net Financial Debt thus shows an increase of 492.2 mln€, standing at 6,492.3million euro, including the effects ex IFRS 16.

Italgas Group maintains a solid and efficient debt structure, with 92% of debt at fixed rates. At the end of September 2023, Italgas can also count on cash and cash equivalents of more than 400mn€ while it boasts a cost of debt of about 1.4%, one of the lowest in the industry.

 

In terms of sustainability, as of September 30, 2023, Italgas has published data on key performance indicators, comparing the goodness of the strategic initiatives put in place.

The results confirm that the Group is on the right trajectory to hit the 2028 and 2030 targets.

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