In 2011 Snam achieved EBIT of €1,958 million, an increase of 5.2% over 2010, which was primarily the result of the increase of revenues from regulated activities and operating cost control. The increase reflects the improved performance recorded by the natural gas distribution (+€104 million; +22.9%) and storage (+€37 million; +17.0%) business segments. EBIT for the transportation business segment (€1,137 million) recorded a reduction compared with the previous year (-€48 million; -4.1%) mainly due to lower volumes of natural gas transported (-6.0%) and to the recording, in 2010, of additional transportation revenue resulting from the recognition by the Electricity and Gas Authority of the additional expenses incurred for the acquisition of fuel gas from 1 October 2008 to 31 December 2009 (€55 million).
Net profit for 2011 of €790 million, -28.6% compared to 2010, was strongly penalised by the government’s fiscal measures for rebalancing public finances and in particular, the extension of the application of additional IRES (‘Robin Hood Tax’) to companies operating in the natural gas transportation and distribution sector. The negative effect on the consolidated income statement of the Robin Hood Tax was €344 million, of which €169 million of greater current taxes and €175 million of greater deferred taxes, associated primarily with the one-off adjustment of deferred taxes as at 31 December 2010. Excluding this adjustment, the adjusted net profit amounted to €978 million, a fall of €128 million or 11.6% compared with 2010.
The significant results from the cost reductions achieved enabled the realisation of the savings target announced for 2012, one year in advance. The accumulated cost savings at the end of 2011 were €81 million, calculated in real terms based on fixed controllable costs of 2008 and like-for-like operations.
The net cash flow from operations (€1,537 million) allowed us to cover almost entirely the outflows associated with net capital expenditure for the period of €1,589 million. The increase in net financial debt, following the payment of the dividend to shareholders of €811 million, amounted to €856 million.
Profit and cash generation made it possible to distribute a dividend, subject to the approval of the Shareholders’ Meeting, of €0.24 per share, of which €0.10 per share was distributed in October 2010 as an interim dividend, and the balance of €0.14 per share will be made payable as of 24 May 2012 (ex-dividend date of 21 May 2012).
Natural gas transportation
An amount of 78.30 billion cubic metres of gas was injected into the transportation network, a reduction of 5.01 billion cubic metres (-6.0%) on 2010. This fall was attributable primarily to the reduction in natural gas demand in Italy (-6.3% compared to 2010), concentrated specifically in the residential and tertiary sector (-8.2%) and in the thermoelectric sector (-6.9%). Adjusted for weather effect, natural gas demand decreased by approximately 3% compared with 2010.
Regasification of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
In 2011, 1.89 billion cubic metres of natural gas were regasified, slightly lower than the 2010 volumes (1.98 billion cubic metres).
Natural gas storage
During 2011, 15.31 billion cubic metres of natural gas were moved through the Snam Rete Gas storage system, essentially in line with volumes handled during 2010.
Available storage capacity at 31 December 2011 was 10.0 billion cubic metres, an increase of 8.7% compared with 2010 due to development and upgrade investments at the Fiume Treste, Minerbio and Settala concessions.
Natural gas distribution
As at 31 December 2011, the number of active meters located at end-user gas resupply points stood at 5.897 million units, 0.8% higher than 31 December 2010.
Investment amounted to €1,585 million (€1,540 million in 2010) of which €1,155 million was through incentives4 (72.9% out of total investments).
4 Including measurement investments. More details on investments in each business segment are given in the section “”.