Hera achieved significant half-yearly growth in terms of both size and quality.
A more favourable scenario than that of the first part of 2020, with regard to the effects of the pandemic and the climate, only partly explains the 10.4% progress in EBITDA: organic growth continued indeed, together with that driven by M&A. Comparison with pre-Covid levels of the first half of 2019 indicates even greater progress, in the order of 13.2%.
In liberalised areas, Hera has proven its ability in leveraging higher volumes as well as the incentives for energy efficiency included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, achieving significant returns, also in terms of sustainability.
First-half 2021 results confirm that Hera is following the path indicated in the Business Plan, while consistently implementing a circular economy model and pursuing its commitment – attested by STBi – to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The strong growth that the Group achieved in 1H 2021 EBITDA derives more than 54% from the contribution of the Energy area, which sees a return to more normal operating conditions compared to the first half of 2020, as a result of less severe anti-Covid restrictions and more favourable weather conditions.
Hera’s share price has performed well since the beginning of 2021, also compared to the performance of benchmark indices.
Equity markets have maintained a positive tone even after the start of the normalisation of monetary policy that the Fed announced on 16 June, despite the volatility induced by inflationary fears and, more recently, by the growing infections due to variants of the virus.
In the last few months, Hera has strengthened its equity story in terms of sustainability, also leveraging on prestigious external recognition: after 2020’s inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World, the score obtained with the ESG Evaluation by S&P Global Ratings on 21 July 2021 places the Company among the top 15 utilities internationally.
The findings from the 2020 survey indicate that clients are generally “delighted” with the services they receive from Hera. Even in a difficult year, marked by the pandemic, Hera has found ways to interpret and anticipate the expectations of its customers. The digitalization has continuously enriched the customer experience, while new offers have paid increasing attention to the environment and the specific individual needs.
The good image that Hera has built over time – through the development of customer-centric offers – leads to high levels of satisfaction, favouring a virtuous circle. This promotes cross-selling, word of mouth and loyalty.