Milan, 30 October 2020 – Chief Executive Officer Paolo Gallo is today presenting to analysts and investors the Italgas Group's Strategic Plan for the 2020-2026 period, which was approved yesterday by the Board of Directors chaired by Alberto Dell’Acqua. The new Plan provides for an investment programme of 7.5 billion euros with an increase of 1.1 billion euros compared to the previous one, further strengthens the Group's leadership at Italian and European level and opens up new perspectives for development and growth. The Plan integrates environmental, social and governance factors to strengthen the strategic role of the gas distribution sector in the energy transition process towards a decarbonised economy. The new 2020-2026 Plan is structured along four main guidelines: (i) development of the core business through organic growth (extension and maintenance of the network and increase in the redelivery points served), M&A, gas tenders and opportunities abroad; (ii) digital transformation and technological innovation that will enable Italgas to play a key role in the energy transition; (iii) new development opportunities by exploiting the Group's expertise in the water and energy efficiency sectors; (iv) a solid and efficient financial structure to support growth opportunities and continue to ensure an appropriate return for shareholders.
· Total investment plan of 7.5 billion euros, of which about 2 billion euros dedicated to gas tenders;· Due to the tenders already concluded, incremental investment opportunities of 600 million euros (in addition to the 300 million euros already provided for in the previous plan);· Over 1 billion euros for the digitization of networks, processes and people reskilling;· Investments in new business opportunities for 240 million euros;· Dividend policy for the next four years increasing based on a 65% pay out and with DPS minimum equal to that distributed in 2020 increased by 4% per year. Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, commented: “The core of our Plan remains the digital transformation. A process that, in just three years since its start-up, has already profoundly changed the Group's DNA, making it a reference model in Italy and Europe to which other operators - also from different sectors - are inspired to formulate their strategies. We wanted to invest more resources in innovation to generate further benefits and create the new generation of infrastructure that will enable our networks, already strategic today in terms of capillarity and level of penetration, to play a key role in the energy transition process.With 7.5 billion euros of investments, of which 2 billion euros to be allocated to the tenders process, we will give a new, strong boost to Italgas' growth path, further improving the quality of service through our digital networks and making a real contribution to the economic and social development of the areas in which we operate.The efficiency with which we have guaranteed continuity of service during the lockdown and the speed with which we resumed site activities at the end of the lockdown are proof of the effectiveness of the choices made.In the light of the results achieved in recent years and the growth and development activities undertaken, this Plan establishes a new dividend policy aimed at guaranteeing shareholders a growing and sustainable remuneration and the Company an appropriate level of own resources with which to face the challenges ahead”.