Financial Highlights

Acea group financial highlights as at 31 december 2009

Consolidated revenue
Consolidated orerating costs
Profit (loss) from commodity risk management
Net profit/(loss) attributable to the Group
Net invested capital
Net debt
Consolidated shereholders equity

2009 ordinary activities posted a gross operating profit of 563.9 million euros, down 59.5 million euros (-9.6%) compared to 2008 (623.5 million euros).

It is underlined that the 2008 gross operating profit was positively influenced by extraordinary items totalling 26.1 million euros, of which:

  • 16.3 million euros concerning the adjustment for ACEA Ato2 of the carrying amount of liabilities recognised against income deriving from connection fees;

  • 9.8 million euros concerning the effect of the reduction in the liability for charges linked to tariff subsidies granted to employees.

Net of the amount of 26.1 million euros concerning the above-mentioned extraordinary items, the decrease in the gross operating profit was equal to 33.5 million euros.

More specifically, the gross operating profit of the JV decreased by 24.6 million euros (-24.7%, from 99.6 million euros in 2008 to 74.9 million euros in 2009).

The further decrease in the gross operating profit (equal to 8.8 million euros) mainly results from top-management early retirement incentives (6.7 million euros).

The other ACEA industrial areas confirmed the positive results achieved in 2008, despite the major difficulties suffered in a demanding year, such as 2009. These difficulties mainly relate to:

  • external reasons: deterioration of the macroeconomic scenario (see the loss posted by the GDP), with a consequent decrease in all economic sectors which led, among other things, to the fall in the demand for goods, services and energy consumption;
  • internal reasons: top-management early retirement in March 2009 and the difficult negotiation with the shareholder Gas de France Suez, which had a strong impact on the development strategies of the Company.

The following chart shows the contribution to the gross operating profit coming from ACEA’s industrial areas:

 Gross oparating profit

*adjustment for Acea ATO2 of the carrying amount of liabilities recognised against income deriving from connection fees.

The net operating profit totalled 185.9 million euros,down 199.1 million euros (-51.7%) compared to 2008 (385.0 million euros).

The net operating profit was influenced by both the decrease in the gross operating profit and the increase of 139.7 million euros due to amortisation/depreciation, impairment charges and provisions required by the unpredictable effects resulting from previous years’ management (from 238.4 million euros in 2008 to 378.1 million euros in 2009).

More specifically, the following amounts have been taken into account:

  • 21.6 million euros for higher amortisation/depreciation (230.6 million euros compared to 208.9 million euros in 2008), also resulting from the increase in investments carried out in 2009, equal to 518 million euros (+100 million euros compared to 2008). Most of these investments had been postponed from 2008 and were necessary in order to comply with tariff increases;

  • 15.9 million euros for higher impairment of receivables (38.8 million euros in 2009 compared to 22.9 million euros in 2008); more specifically: AceaElectrabel Elettricità +5.7 million euros; ATO2 +6.5 million euros; ATO5 +0.9 million euros; Gori +0.6 million euros;

  • 102.1 million euros for higher provisions (108.7 million euros compared to 6.6 million euros in 2008), of which 75.9 million euros required in order to correctly evaluate unexpected risks resulting from previous financial years:

    • 36.0 million euros concerning the official report of the Italian Inland Revenue dated 17 February 2009 for the 2005 and 2006 tax years. According to this report, the tax-avoidance character – pursuant to Article 37-bis of Presidential Decree 600/73 – of the 2004 reorganisation transaction was disputed, according to which the Parent Company transferred 50% of the ACEA Distribuzione’s share packet to Acea RSE;

    • 25.0 million euros for any possible impact on the credit obligations of Acea ATO5, resulting from the allocation of the contingent liability from the legitimacy issue of ACEA Ato5 tariffs due to the cancellation of the 2007 tariff review resolution approved by means of resolution no. 5 of 21 December 2009 by the Mayors' Conference of the Area Authority 5. This resolution was appealed before the Regional Administrative Court of Latina;

    • 3.9 million euros concerning uncertainties of interpretation on the specific  qualisation booked in 2008;

    • 4.0 million euros for tender and supply risks concerning previous years and for the transaction with the Municipality of Fiumicino;

    • 3.9 million euros for higher legal risks related to previous years’ transactions;

    • 3.1 million euros for contribution issues, litigations, etc..

The profit/(loss) before tax totalled 100.9 million euros, down 194.7 million euros (-65.9%) compared to 2008 (295.6 million euros).

Taxation totalled 147.8 million euros, mainly due to the payment of 110 million euros for the “tax deferment”.

Consequently, given that the gross operating profit amounted to 563.9 million euros, and especially following extraordinary taxation (110 million euros for the “tax deferment”) and tax provisions (36.0 million euros for the 2005-2006 tax transparency regime), the Group net profit/(loss) for the period is negative for 52.5 million euros.

To sum up, 2009 results were affected by:

  • the negative performance of the energy market (-24.6 million euros);
  • huge outlays for the “tax deferment” (110 million euros);
  • he provision for the 2005-2006 tax assessment (36 million euros);
  • further operations that required the provision of an additional amount of 39.9 million euros.

The net debt as at 31 December 2009 totalled approximately 2,177 million euros (2,108 million euros as at 30 September 2009; 1,633 million euros as at 31 December 2008).

The change compared to 31 December 2008 was due, among other things, to:

  •   the change in the basis of consolidation (9 million euros for Nuova Acque);
  •   the outlay for the so-called “tax deferment” (110 million euros);
  •   the increasing borrowing requirements linked to investments (+100 million euros);
  •   the payment of 2008 dividends (140 million euros).