Milan, 30 July 2019 - Italgas’ Board of Directors, chaired by Alberto Dell’Acqua, met yesterday and approved the consolidated results for the first half of 2019.
Consolidated economic and financial highlights:
- Total revenues: € 609.4 million (+2.3%)
- EBITDA: € 433,9 million (+2.3%)
- EBIT: € 241.6 million (+8.3%)
- Net profit: € 166.2 million (+10.3%)
- Technical investments: € 317.7 million (+39.4%)
- Cash flow from operating activities: € 507.7 million
- Net financial debt: € 3,858.7 million
Operating highlights including affiliates:
- Municipalities in gas distribution concessions: 1,821
- Number of active meters: 7.6 million
- Gas distribution network: around 71,000 Km
The economic and financial results achieved by Italgas in the first half of 2019 further mark the continuous growth trend pursued by the Company and consolidate its role among the main and most dynamic industrial companies in the country, able to create value for communities and investors.
With € 317.7 million of organic investments made in the first half, Italgas has shown its commitment to invest in Italy for the renewal of networks and extension of service. In fact, over 55% of these investments were allocated to maintenance and extension of the network (379 km against 91 last year); at the same time, the installation of smart meters continued, replacing traditional meters. It is expected to be completed by 2020. With approximately 992,3 thousand meters installed during the first half of 2019, of which 840.5 thousand to replace traditional meters, the total number, also considering affiliates, is approximately 5.8 thousand, meaning 68.5% of total meters. The installation of the smart meters is a part of the digitization project, for which during 2019 the digitization of more than 450 networks is planned, in addition to the 50 already completed in 2018.
During the half year, construction activities concerning distribution networks in Sardinia made substantial progress, where the Italgas Group further consolidated its leadership by acquiring among others the Cagliari, Nuoro and Oristano concessions. Works began in almost all the Areas under concession to the Group. As of 30 June, the installed network amounts to about 200 kilometres, creating around 600 new jobs in related industries.
The requirements related to net investments for the first six months of 2019 were fully covered by the positive cash flow from operating activities, equal to € 507.7 million, with Free Cash Flow - before M&A activities - equal to € 255.1 million.
As of 30 June 2019, the net financial position was € 3,858.7 million (€ 3,814.3 million as of 31 December 2018).
With regards to economic results, operating profits in the first half of 2019 amounted to € 241.6 million (+8.3% compared to 30 June 2018) and net profit reached € 166.2 million (+10.3% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year).
Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, commented:
«The first half of 2019 also showed significant results. All the main economic indicators are up compared to last year, in line with the objectives of the Business Plan, confirming the commitment aimed at guaranteeing growing and sustainable returns for shareholders. The performance of Italgas shares on the Stock Exchange, which exceeded the 6-euro threshold and pushed the Company’s capitalisation beyond 5 billion respect to 3.2 billion since its return to the stock market in November 2016, testifies the market’s appreciation for the determination with which we continue to combine growth and efficiency. Ebit and Net Profit experienced increases of 8.3% and 10.3%. We have given a further boost to investments, which increased by around 40% to around € 318 million, mostly allocated to the development and management of the network, with significant focus on the construction of gas distribution networks in Sardinia, where we already have laid over 200 kilometres of new pipelines and created more than 600 jobs in related industries. The company’s digital transformation continues at a rapid pace on all the fronts indicated in the strategic plan: more than 450 new gas distribution networks will be completed by 2019, the smart meters installation plan reached about 70% and in our Digital Factory, among other things, we are working on the introduction of a new IoT platform that will allow us to collect in a single “Data Lake” all the data transmitted by the digital devices that we are installing along our networks. We continue to strengthen our leadership in Italy and abroad also through the development of valuable partnerships, such as the one recently created with GRDF in France, which constitute a benchmark and at the same time an advantaged observatory on the sector’s performance worldwide».
This press release contains forward-looking statements, specifically in the “Outlook” section, relating to: investment plans, future operating performance and project execution. The forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks and uncertainties as they depend on the occurrence of future events and developments. The actual results could therefore differ from those announced in relation to various factors, including: actual operating performance, general macro-economic conditions, geopolitical factors such as international tensions, the impact of energy and environmental regulations, the successful development and application of new technologies, changes in stakeholder expectations and other changes in business conditions.
 Net financial debt as of 30 June 2019 does not include financial liabilities for operating leases pursuant to IFRS 16 of € 74.2 million (€ 49.9 million as of 31 December 2018).
Excluding affiliates, in the first quarter of 2019, Italgas installed about 874 thousand new meters, bringing the current total number of new installed meters to about 5.1 million, equal to approximately 67.8% of total meters.