Hera Group’s Business Plan for period 2017-2021 period shows growing economic results achieved with strong and constant attention to the compliance with economic, financial, environmental and social sustainability logics.
In this regard, in 2016 the Group introduced shared value reporting, i.e. that part of marginality generated by projects that bring benefits for the company and, at the same time, contribute to attaining the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda (at least 10 of the 17 goals indicated). In the years of the Plan, this share will become more important thanks to the actions taken by Hera to respond to the three drivers of change (smart use of energy, efficient use of resources, innovation and contribution to development), thus reaching 40% of total marginality in 2021.
In line with the past, the Group’s strategy is based on five well-established strategic levers that are shared with all Organisational Units and act as a reference for the development of the respective projects.
Agility will continue to be the response to the dynamic external context, which has become a structural feature of the competitive scene and requires the rapid transition from learning into action (agile learning organization).
Organisational units have included the key role of innovation in their planning, accelerating the contribution we expect from it. Innovation is also a factor that enables us to reach a strategy based on the opportunities of the Circular Economy and Utility 4.0, through the increasing digitalisation of processes, data collection and analysis, and the dissemination of “smart” infrastructures.
Efficiency is confirmed as being a fundamental lever to safeguard current margins and respond to tenders in regulated services, recovering productivity through particular emphasis on limiting costs, improving internal organisation and optimising operating activities. The projects already identified will make it possible to achieve a contribution of almost 80 million Euro in 2021 compared to 2016 figures.
Growth has been a key aspect in Hera’s history and has always been characterised by a balanced mix of measures implemented along the company’s internal and external lines. The internal growth underlying the new Business Plan will be fuelled both by typical business line activities, and by the margin linked to the tenders for gas distribution in the sectors and areas in which the company already plays a significant role. As regards external growth, the Group proposes itself, as in the past, as a natural candidate for the role of aggregator in a national context for utilities which is still very fragmented. The Business Plan envisages aggregation activities with other companies of the sector always in keeping with the Group’s financial sustainability.
The 2017-2021 Business Plan was drawn up in compliance with relevant guidelines and will allow the Group to reach the goal of Euro 1,135 million in 2021, rising by almost Euro 220 million compared to the 2016, with a total of Euro 573 million of average annual investments (compared to the yearly average of Euro 353 million of the last five years) two thirds of which will focus on Shared Value projects. However, our increased financial commitment will not have any impact on the ratio between net debt and EBITDA which will always remain below 3.0x (2.9x in 2021).