04 maggio 2020
The Board of Directors of Estra S.p.A. approved the results of the Consolidated Financial Statements for 2019, a year of sharp growth in terms of financial performance and consolidation of the Group’s financial and capital solidity.
In 2019, in keeping with the strategic approach adopted in previous years, the Group focused on reinforcing its competitive position through commercial development policies and non-organic investment with a focus on regulated businesses and the integrated waste management cycle.
Particularly relevant for Estra’s business activity were the acquisitions finalised in early 2019 of the natural gas distribution business of 2i Rete Gas in Puglia, the Foggia 1-Nord and Bari 2-Sud ATEM areas and 100% of Ecolat, officially marking the Group’s entry into the environmental sector and realising one of its strategic prospects.
Consolidated financial performance highlights
In 2019, the Estra Group delivered very solid results, up significantly on 2018, benefiting from the positive performances of all the Group’s business sectors, several non-recurring income components and the expansion of its scope of consolidation.
In 2019, the Group reported total revenues of €997 million (+18% on €843 million in 2018). Revenue growth was driven mainly by the sale of natural gas and electricity, with an increase in sales volumes.
EBITDA was €97.2 million, up by €26 million (+37%) on 2018 (€71.2 million).
The different accounting treatment of operating leases by lessees required by the new IFRS 16, applied with effect from 1 January 2019, resulted in a €4.7 million increase in EBITDA due to the recognition of lower costs for the use of third party assets.
EBITDA also benefited from non-recurring items with a net positive balance of €10.2 million, including, in particular, the revenues recognised on the reimbursements to which the Group is entitled by virtue of Resolution 32/2019/R/gas of 29 January 2019, in which ARERA (the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity, Gas and Water) established the terms of the settlement of outstanding positions between sellers and end customers for the period 2010-2012, in accordance with the judgement of the Council of State No. 4825/2016.
In addition, EBITDA increased significantly across all the Group's business segments, owing to both their expanded scope and improved performances.
EBIT was €37.8 million, up by €9.8 million (+35%) on 2018 (€28 million). The change was due to the increase in depreciation and amortisation of €10.2 million as a result of the investments and corporate acquisitions undertaken, in addition to the effect of the first time adoption of IFRS 16 (€+4.3 million), non-recurring impairment losses of €2.5 million and greater accruals to the provision for the write-down of receivables of €3.4 million.
Net profit for the year was €16.7 million, up by €9 million (+117%) on 2018 (€7.7 million), due to improved financial result of €2.3 million, greater income taxes of €5.2 million and a net loss on discontinued operations of €0.2 million, compared with a net loss of €2.3 million for the previous year.
Financial position highlights
The Group's equity amounted to €321.8 million at 31 December 2019 (€325.3 million at year-end 2018). The changes during the year were attributable to the net profit for the year and the dividends distributed. Equity accounted for 51.3% of capital raised, compared with 55.3% in 2018.
Net financial debt was €305.6 million (€263.1 in 2018), rising from 44.7% to 48.7% of capital raised due to the use of cash in investing activity. The adoption of IFRS 16 resulted in a €17.1 million euro deterioration of net financial position at year-end 2019.
“The growth results achieved in 2019 show us that we are on the right path and that the business decisions made by the Group are productive in terms of the transversal expansion of Estra’s business,” stated Alessandro Piazzi, Estra’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our main financial performance indicators are rising, a sign of the Group’s solidity and reliability, as well as its ability to be a point of reference for its customers and in the areas in which it operates. Within this scenario, we are determined to continue to pursue our ongoing development projects, in keeping with our industrial plan, while remaining poised to take advantage of opportunities on the energy and environmental market.”
Francesco Macrì, Estra's Chairman, commented: “The strong geographical position established, improved operating performance and expansion achieved through the series of acquisitions lay sound foundations for responding to the current climate of uncertainty created by Covid-19 and its consequences for our business. Since the outset of the health emergency, we have moved promptly to take all necessary measures. Clearly, the impact of the current situation on the reporting year will depend on the length and course of the emergency. At present, its true impact on company performance cannot be determined.”