Italgas already has an optimal financial structure, as proven by the ratio of Net Debt to RAB around 61.5%, a ratio of FFO to Net Debt slightly higher than 15%, a cost of debt of around 1%, and a weight of fixed-rate debt around 98%, which implies a limited exposure to interest rate volatility.
By keeping indicators at virtuous levels over the period covered by the Plan, Italgas expects to continue to benefit from rating metrics in the solid investment grade area. Notably, the Net Debt-to-RAB ratio is expected to remain consistently below 70% over the 2021-27 period.
Moreover, over the Plan period Italgas expects that significant operating cash flow will fully cover organic capital expenditure and a large part of dividend distribution, keeping the ratio of FFO to Net Debt well above the 10% level, which is the threshold defined by rating agencies for the classification of debt in the investment grade area.
Italgas would therefore maintain adequate financial flexibility to support external development, through M&A and tenders, and to integrate shareholder remuneration.
Considering the maturity profile of Italgas’ debt, with limited refinancing needs, there is also room to maintain the cost of debt at excellent levels, around 1%.
The liquidity available is ample after the liability management operations of February 2021 – which have also extended the average maturity of the debt.
Leveraging on the sustainability objectives set out in the Plan for the period 2020-2027, both in terms of emissions reduction (-30%) and energy savings (-25%), Italgas is also aiming at sustainable sources of funding to finance its investments in the energy transition.
The dividend policy for the four-year period 2020-2023, announced in October 2020, is confirmed.
It is therefore planned that shareholders will receive a dividend equal to the greater of:
- Minimum base of €0.256, corresponding to the amount of the dividend per share distributed for fiscal year 2019, increased by 4% per year.
- 65% of adjusted earnings per share.
For the 2020 financial year, Italgas distributed a dividend of 0.277 euro, up 8.2% compared to the previous year: at a rate therefore double that, of 4% per year, envisaged as the “floor