THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AT A FORTHCOMING MEETING, WILL CALL THE SHAREHOLDERS' MEETING FOR 20 APRIL 2020
Milan, 11 March 2020 - The Board of Directors of Italgas, which met today under the Chairmanship of Alberto Dell’Acqua, approved the results as at 31 December 2019 and resolved to propose to the Shareholders’ Meeting the distribution of a dividend of € 0.256 per share (+9.4% compared to 2018).
Consolidated economic and financial highlights:
- Total revenues: € 1,257.9 million (+6.8%)
- Adjusted EBITDA: € 907.5 million (+7.8%)
- Adjusted EBIT: € 516.0 million (+13.2%)
- Adjusted net profit: € 345.2 million (+9.4%)
- Technical investments: € 740.0 million (+41.6%)
- Cash flow from operating activities: € 697.2 million
- Net financial debt: € 4,410.6 million
- Dividend per share: € 0.256 (+9.4% compared to the previous year)
Operating highlights including affiliates:
- Municipalities in gas distribution concessions: 1,830
- Number of active meters: 7.694 million
- Gas distribution network: around 72,000 Km
For the third consecutive year from the return to the Stock Market, Italgas presents growing results which confirm the goodness of the choices made during the year in line with the Industrial Plan and focused on digitization, growth and operational efficiency.
The € 740 million capital expenditures implemented along the year (+41,6% vis a vis 2018, doubling 2016 capital expenditures) were devoted to the development, renewal and the digital transformation of the network. Such an effort is confirmed by the related physical data: 933 km of new pipelines laid versus 308 km in 2018. In particular, in Sardinia, network costrunction activities are on schedule: along 2019 there are almost 440 km of pipelines laid with a total length of 590 km laid to date, totalling more than 18.000 request for new connections.
With 2.06 million smart meters installed, the replacement of traditional meters continued, bringing the number of installed smart meters as at 31 December 2019 to around 6.76 million, also considering affiliates).
The installation plan of the smart meters, which will be concluded in 2020, as planned, is part of a wider digital transformation project, whose objective is to digitise the entire network managed; a project that, in 2019, already led to the technological upgrade of around 400 distribution networks.
The requirements related to net investments for 2019 were fully covered by the net positive cash flow from operating activities, equal to € 697.2 million, with a Free Cash Flow - before M&A activities - of € 106.5 million.
The net financial position as at 31 December 2019 was € 4,410.6 million and reflects the first-time consolidation of Toscana Energia for € 436.6 million (€ 3,974.0 million net of Toscana Energia contribution compared to € 3,814.3 million as at 31 December 2018), net of financial payables pursuant to IFRS 16 of € 74.7 million (€ 49.9 million as at 31 December 2018).
The adjusted EBIT in 2019 amounted to € 516.0 million (+13.2% compared to 31 December 2018) and adjusted net profit was € 345.2 million (+9.4% compared to the same period of the previous year). The Board of Directors of Italgas approved the results as at 31 December 2019 and resolved to propose to the Shareholders’ Meeting the distribution of a dividend of € 0.256 per share (+9.4% compared to 2018) calculated as 60% of the adjusted net income. The dividend for 2019 is expected to be paid starting from 20 May 2020 (record date 19 May 2020), distribution date 18 May 2020.
The development and growth confirmed by the economic and financial results are also due to the commitment and the awareness of the sustainability issues. The company’s stock was reconfirmed in the FTSE4Good Index Series and, for the first time in its history, the company was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World, which evaluates the ability of enterprises to tackle the most important issues of sustainability on a global level.
Again in 2019, and for the third year running, Italgas was included by the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) among the leading global companies for strategies and initiatives implemented to tackle climate change, retaining its position in the “Climate change B List”.
Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, commented:
“2019 was the third consecutive year of growth: adjusted EBIT and adjusted net profit recorded increases of 13.2% and 9.4% respectively, improving all the guidelines communicated during the year and the investments made, up by more than 40% compared to the previous year, more than doubling the net income of the fiscal year.
Our network, which was extended by more than 9,000 kilometres, as a result of the investments and the acquisitions completed in 2019, including the consolidation of Toscana Energia, which brought more than 8,000 kilometres of network, 109 concessions and 858 thousand customers to the Group.
We won three area tenders (Torino2, Valle d’Aosta and Belluno) concluded in 2019, beating highly skilled competitors thanks to offers based on innovation, physical and technological development of the networks with growth in the local areas.
In Sardinia, the network extention proceeds according to the established time-table and we have completed half the total of the new “native digital” networks planned. Shortly it will start the methane gas distribution in some Municipalities, with all the benefits which that brings for the productive activities and local residents, in terms of service continuity, cost-effectiveness of resources and sustainability.
The digital transformation, also thanks to the exceptional incubator which is the Digital Factory, has become a distinctive feature of our company, that allows us to radical change the methods of network and process management, improving both service quality and operating efficiency improve, as well as the sustainability of our business, supporting on the energy transition.
Our business model has received a significant recognition, with the inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World, which recognizes the compatibility of our growth with respect for the environment, personal development and positive interaction with the local areas and communities.
Digitisation, growth and sustainability will continue to drive us in our actions and challenges we will have to face”.
 Adjusted net Profit means adjusted net profit attributable to the Italgas Group net of the portion pertaining to third parties.
 Net financial debt as at 31 December 2019 does not include financial liabilities for leases pursuant to IFRS 16. The accounting method according to IFRS 16 – Leases, adopted early effective from 1 January 2018, involved, in 2019, financial payables of € 74.7 million, technical investments of € 39.4 million, amortisation/depreciation of € 15.2 million and financial expenses of € 0.3 million.
 Excluding affiliates, as at 31 December 2019, Italgas has installed 2.05 million new meters, of which 1.78 million to replace traditional ones, bringing the current total of smart meters to 6.74 million, corresponding to around 80% of the entire stock. The company Toscana Energia contributed, in 2019, with the installation of 0.3 million meters, of which 0.2 million to place traditional meters and 0.08 million for the repair of digital meters with anomalies.