In 2012, Snam achieved EBIT of €2,111 million, an increase of €153 million, or 7.8%, over 2011, due primarily to higher revenue from regulated activities and to operating-cost control. The increase reflects the improved performance recorded by the natural gas distribution3 (+€138 million; +24.7%) and storage (+€15 million; +5.9%) business segments. EBIT from the transportation business (€1,135 million) was broadly in line (-€2 million; -0.2%) with the previous year.
Reported net profit in 2012 was €779 million, down by 1.4% on 2011. The fall was due to higher net financial expense (-€481 million), owing mainly to the charges (-€335 million) arising from the termination of interest rate hedging derivatives between Snam and its subsidiaries and eni pursuant to contractual agreements in the event of eni losing control of Snam, and to costs (-€41 million) relating to the early extinguishment of bank bridge loans taken out as part of the debt refinancing programme, made possible by the success of recent bond issues. These elements were partly offset by lower income taxes (+€313 million), owing to higher expense for one-off adjustments made in 2011 and to lower pre-tax profit.
Adjusted net profit, which excludes special items, was €992 million, up by 1.4% on 2011. In 2012, the income components excluded from adjusted net profit were the financial charges (-€213 million, net of tax effect) arising from the early termination of 12 interest rate swaps (IRSs) between Snam and its subsidiaries and eni4.
The increase in adjusted net profit was due mainly to higher EBIT (+€153 million), which was partly offset by higher net financial expense (-€146 million), primarily as a result of debt refinancing costs, higher average borrowing costs and higher average debt for the period.
The positive net cash flow from operations (€961 million) allowed us to cover part of the borrowing costs associated with net investments for the period of €1,351 million. The net financial debt of €12,398 million5, after the payment to shareholders of the dividend of €811 million, increased by €1,201 million compared with 31 December 2011.
Shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2012, totalling €5,930 million, includes the negative effect of the early termination of IRS contracts (-€213 million), which was recorded in the income statement. At 31 December 2011, the expenses of €170 million related to these contracts were charged to net equity.
Our healthy results and solid business fundamentals allow us to propose to the Shareholders’ Meeting a dividend of €0.25 per share (€0.24 per share in 2011), of which €0.10 per share was paid in October 2012 as an interim dividend and the balance of €0.15 per share will be paid from 23 May 2013, confirming our commitment to an attractive and sustainable remuneration of shareholders.
Natural gas transportation
Some 75.78 billion cubic metres were injected into the transportation network in 2012, down by 2.52 billion cubic metres (-3.2%) on 2011. The fall was due mainly to lower natural gas demand in Italy (-3.9% on 2011), primarily as a result of lower consumption in the thermoelectric sector (-11.1%), which was offset only partly by higher consumption in the residential and tertiary sector (+1.2%).
Regasification of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
In 2012, 1.12 billion cubic metres of LNG were regasified, down by 0.77 billion cubic metres on 2011.
Natural gas storage
Some 15.63 billion cubic metres of gas were moved through the storage system in 2012, up by 0.32 billion cubic metres, or 2.1%, on 2011. The increase was due mainly to higher injections to replenish stocks (+8.4%) as a result of the serious weather conditions in the first quarter of 2012, offset partly by lower withdrawals (-4.4%).
Available storage capacity at 31 December 2012 was 10.7 billion cubic metres, an increase of 0.7 billion cubic metres (+7.0%) compared with 31 December 2011. The rise was due mainly to investments in upgrades and development at the Fiume Treste concession.
Natural gas distribution
Investments amounted to €1,300 million (€1,585 million in 2011), of which €880 million was with incentives6 (67.7% of the total).
3 EBIT for the natural gas distribution segment includes the positive effect of the consolidation adjustment relating to provisions for environmental expenses (€71 million) that eni repaid, net of tax effect, to Snam pursuant to contractual agreements entered into when completing the acquisition of Italgas.
5 This excludes €141 million of financial liabilities corresponding to the outstanding debt arising from the early termination of the hedging derivatives, including interest accrued on the payment extension. More information can be found in the “” section.
6 Including investments in metering. Notes on investments by business segment are provided in the “” section.