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Analysis of the Gas Area

In the first six months of 2009, the importance of the Gas segment, which includes methane gas and LPG sales and distribution activities, district heating and heat management services, increased, when compared with the same period last year, by approximately three percentage points in terms of margin contribution.

The importance of this business segment with respect to total Group activities is illustrated below:

(Euro millions)30-jun-0830-jun-09Abs. ChangeChange %
Area EBITDA 77.9 90.9 +13.0 +16.7%
Group EBITDA 257.6 271.3 +13.7 +5.3%
Percentage 30.3% 33.5%+3.2 p.p.  

The first six months of 2009, compared to the same period of the previous year, were influenced by the effects of AEEG resolution 159/08, which established that the gas year of application of the tariffs is to correspond with the solar year, in actual fact bringing the economic competence of the fixed rates to the first half of the year as compared to the previous system.

The following table reports the main quantitative indicators in the segment:

Quantitative data30-jun-0830-jun-09Abs. ChangeChange %
Gas volumes distributed (millions of m3)1,360.71,349.6-11.1-0.8%
Gas volumes sold (millions of m3) 1,478.2 1,483.7 +5.5 +0.4%
- of which Trading volumes 182.1 230.2 +48.2 +26.4%
Heat volumes delivered (Gwht) 255.0 271.7 +16.8 +6.6%

Distributed volumes dropped from 1,360.7 million cubic metres in the first half of 2008 to 1349.6 million in the same period 2009, with a 0.8% decrease. On the other hand, sold volumes rose from 1,478.2 million cubic meters in 2008 to 1,483.7 million cubic meters in 2009, with an increase of 0.4%. The heat volumes delivered rose from 255.0 Gwht in 2008 to 271.7 in 2009, marking a 6.6% increase.

The substantial stability of these values is the result of two negative effects: on the one hand, average temperatures in 2009 were lower than in 2008; and on the other, average unitary consumption was lower due to the economic crisis being experienced.

These factors contributed to the financial results summarised below:

Income Statement                                   (Euro millions)30-jun-08Inc.%30-jun-09Inc%Abs. ChangeChange %
Revenues 625.4   756.6   +131.2 +21.0%
Operating costs (551.1) -88.1% (665.9) -88.0% +114.8 +20.8%
Personnel costs (25.9) -4.1% (28.0) -3.7% +2.1 +8.1%
Capitalised costs 29.6 4.7% 28.2 3.7% -1.4 -4.8%

The revenues from the Gas Area rose by 21.0%, from Euro 625.4 million in 2008 to Euro 756.6 million in 2009, mainly as regards the higher unit price of raw material, which weighs in for more than Euro 110 million, affecting operating costs in the opposite way.

The lower capitalised costs regard the reduced investments planned on Group networks and the higher personnel cost is linked to the higher sales costs.

Compared with the previous year, the Group registered an increase of the EBITDA in this area equal to Euro 13.0 million, from Euro 77.9 million to Euro 90.9 million, with a slight decrease of the percentage profit, which falls from 12.5% in 2008 to 12.0% in 2009, due to the higher weight of raw material. About one-third of this result is connected with the sales activity and the remainder with the distribution activity.

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