A reassuring picture has emerged from first-quarter 2020 results, despite a tough scenario.
The results have been achieved in a context characterised by exceptionally mild winter temperatures and the restrictions imposed to control the Covid-19 outbreak; restrictions that did not prevent Hera from continuing to provide its services.
Shareholders remuneration has been confirmed, with 10 euro cents to be paid on 8 July 2020..
The performance in the first quarter of 2020 shows that Hera continues on the development growth path that has built over the years, by leveraging organic growth and the expansion achieved in its perimeter. This reflects a resilient business model and the M&A deals carried out in the past fiscal year; these two levers succeeded in offsetting the impacts from an exceptionally mild winter season and the Covid-19 emergency measures, which have especially affected the demand of energy and waste services.
Hera’s price remains well below its fair value, despite showing the features of a defensive stock, because of the uncertainties concerning the way Italy will exit the deepest phase of the crisis originated by the pandemic.
When the emergency related to the Covid-19 outbreak first hit Italy, Hera’s share price was at its record high of 4.5 euro, reached on 19 February 2020. The sell-off that generally involved all stock markets led Hera to experience a sharp correction, even though more limited compared to that experienced by the FTSE MIB index and the other multi-utilities.
The strict lockdown adopted in Italy led to a number of changes in marketing and customer-service activities. On the other hand, consumption has also changed.
Hera has put into play the proven experience of Hera Comm to deal with the new situation in such a way as to ensure together the safety of people and the continuity of service.
In these first months of the year Hera’s scope expanded, as a reflection of the deal completed with Ascopiave. The integration of EstEnergy is already bearing fruit.