Milan, 5 November 2018 - Italgas's Board of Directors met today under the chairmanship of Lorenzo Bini Smaghi and approved the consolidated results for the first nine months and the third quarter of 2018.
Consolidated economic and financial highlights:
- Total revenue: €880.7 million (+5.5%)
- EBITDA: €629.2 milion (+8.9%)
- EBIT: €333.9 million (+8.9%)
- Net profit: €226.4 million (+6.1%)
- Technical investments: €349.1 million
- Net cash flow from operating activities: €590 million
- Net financial debt: €3,734.2 million
Operating highlights including unconsolidated investee companies:
- Gas concessions: no. 1,709
- Number of active meters: 7.5 million
- Gas distribution network: 67.9 thousand Km
Italgas’s economic and financial results for the first nine months of 2018 confirm the positive performance achieved in the first six months and the improvement compared to the 2017 results.
The growth of the business is in line with the target set in the 2018-2024 Business Plan. Investment programs continue, including the initiatives related to the digitisation of the network, as well as the M&A transactions with the goal of a further consolidation of the Company market position.
A significant portion of investments concerned the plan to install smart meters replacing the traditional ones. In the first nine months of 2018, also considering the non-consolidated affiliates, 1.386 milion were installed, 1.258 milion of which replaced traditional meters, bringing the total to 4.283 milion, equal to 53.2% of the entire meter fleet. The target is to complete the substitution plan by early 2020. The installation of smart meters is part of the overall project to digitize the network, for which approximately 50 pilot projects have been launched throughout the country during 2018.
With over 67 thousand kilometres of managed network and 7.5 million redelivery points served in 1,709 concessions, Italgas confirms its position as leader in the sector in Italy, with a market share of over 34%, and of third largest operator in Europe in terms of number of managed delivery points.
The requirements related to the net investments of the first nine months of 2018 were fully covered by the positive net cash flow from operating activities, equal to €590 milion, with a Free Cash Flow - before M&A activities - equal to €250.4 milion.
The net financial position as at 30 september 2018 was €3,734.2 milion, substantially in line with the position at 31 december 2017 (€3,720.3 milion).
As regards to the economic results, operating profit for the first nine months of 2018 amounted to €333.9 milion (+8.9% compared to 30 september 2017) and net profit was €226.4 milion (+6.1% compared to the same period of the previous year).
Following the downgrade announced on 23 October 2018 by Moody's Investor Services of the rating for Italian sovereign bonds to Baa3, stable outlook, from Baa2, a corresponding action was taken by the agency on the long-term rating of the Company, reduced to Baa2, stable outlook, from the previous Baa1 rating, in consideration of the relationship with the government credit rating.
Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, commented:
«At the end of the first nine months Italgas shows a significant growth in its main economic indicators: EBITDA and EBIT both increased by 8.9% and Net Profit by 6.1%.
The strong cash flow generation enabled the financing of investment programmes, the corporate acquisition plan and the dividend distribution, maintaining the financial debt substantially in line with the values as at 31 december 2017.
These results allow us to confirm the targets set for 2018 in the Industrial Plan thanks to our continuous focus on operational efficiency and our commitment to carry out the planned investments, investments that have already produced a significant development of the networks and of the number of managed customers.
The digitization of the network and of the processes progresses as planned, the completion of the transition to the cloud will be completed in the coming days and our Digital Factory will be ready to go in November.
Over these nine months, we have started important organizational, technological and cultural transformations that will produce significant improvements in terms of infrastructure management, efficiency and above all quality of service».
 Excluding the debts for operating leases in accordance with IFRS 16. In fact, on 13 January 2016 IASB issued IFRS 16 - Leases accounting standard, already adopted by Italgas Group on 1 January 2018. The adoption of the principle determined the writing into financial liabilities of debt for leases of €43.1 million.
 Excluding non-consolidated affiliates, in the nine months of 2018 Italgas installed approximately 1.2 thousand new meters, 1.069 thousand of which replaced traditional meters, bringing the current total of meters installed to approximately 3.793 million, equal to approximately 52.7% of all meters.
 Operating data also including non-consolidated affiliates.