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Strategy

The results delivered over the last four years bear witness to the important progress made by the Group, which today has become one of the most important operator in terms of turnover and in terms of capitalisation in the Italian utility sector. In the 2002-2006, period the EBITDA more than doubled with an average growth rate of +22% per year.

This expansion is the result of an efficient strategy which has pursued internal and external growth lines considered ground-breaking for the reference industry.

The Group's internal growth, which has made a significant contribution to the increase in EBITDA (over 50% of total growth), has focused, on the one hand, on expanding the business turnover by offering a greater number of core business services to existing customers - hence favouring both customer loyalty and business profitability - and on the other hand, on raising efficiency levels through cost curbing policies and the reorganisation of operating activities.

Growth via consolidation, achieved by means of mergers and acquisitions of multi-utility companies, began with the incorporation of Hera, established from the aggregation of the 11 utilities companies of the Emilia Romagna region, and continued at a constant pace throughout the first four years of activity, contributing to the increase in EBITDA by almost + 50% compared to the figure posted in 2002.

 
     
Seabo, Area, Unica,Amia
Amir, Taularia,Asc, Amf, Sis e
Team
GeatAgeaMetaAspes

*Hera reached a 49'7% stake of Aspes which has been included in Hera group perimeter starting from 2006

 
Consolidated economic data (/m)20022003200420052006
Revenues10671222149321012312
EBITDA192243293386427
 

In 2006, Hera Group expansion was pursued through the acquisition of minority stakes of multi-utility companies in nearby territories. The Group has acquired 23% stake of Aspes (reaching 49,7% of Aspes share capital) operating in the northern part of Marche region becoming a strategic partner of Aspes which is progressing on a consolidation project to aggregate two multi-utility companies in the surrounding territories.

Further more, Hera acquired a 46,5% stake of SAT, a multi-utility operating in Modena province (in contiguousterritories to those of Meta which was merged by Hera Group at the end of 2005).

This strategy made it possible to enhance the competitive position in all the business areas so as to benefit from a series of concessions in terms of extension of the period for the concessions of all the regulated services (in 2002) and in terms of the best tariff conditions for the gas distribution activities (as from 2005/2006).

Over the last four years, further M&A transactions were carried out on mono-business companies which permitted a significant enhancement of the Group's market positions with regards to waste management and energy services.

With regards to the waste business, mention must be given to the acquisition of the Centro Ecologia Ambiente of Ravenna from the Eni Group, through which a WTE plant dedicated to special waste with Cip 6 authorisation was acquired, as well as the merger of a business unit of Geat (active in the collection and treatment of urban waste in the municipality of Riccione).
These acquisitions has strengthened Hera leadership in the sector completing the range of special waste treatment services maneged by the Group.

Growth in the gas sector has chiefly focused on downstream integration in the value chain through acquisition of small-medium sized companies with a view to gradually completing coverage of the entire reference area.

In 2006, the company Geat Gas, operating in the Riccione area within the territory the Hera Group operates in, was acquired and absorbed.

 
Acquisitions in the gas sectorActivityOwnership
Argile Gas (Bologna)Sales100%
Gasgas (Ferrara)Sales100%
Tecnometano (Ferrara)Distribution100%
TS Distribuzione (Bologna)Distribution100%
TS Energia (Bologna)Sales100%
SGR Servizi (Rimini)Sales20%
Geat Gas (Riccione)Sales & Distribution100%
 
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