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Board of Directors approves the first half 2019 results

 
Strong increase in traffic managed with high levels of punctuality and quality of service
 
  • En-route and terminal traffic increased 7.4% and 5.4% YoY respectively, in terms of service units
  • Consolidated Net Revenue reached 417.3 million euro (+1.5% YoY) driven by 2.9% increase in Revenue from operations to 429.2 million euro
  • Consolidated EBITDA grew 3.2% YoY to 115 million euro
  • Consolidated Net Profit of 34.1 million euro, up 3.4% YoY
Rome, August 6, 2019 - The ENAV SpA Board of Directors, held today under the chairmanship of Nicola Maione, approved the 2019 First Half Financial Report.
 
CEO Roberta Neri stated: the first half of 2019 confirms the strong trend of air traffic in Italy witnessed in the first quarter of the year, with a higher growth rate than that of the other major European countries. Despite the solid growth of air traffic, our employees’ professionalism and our investments in technology have enabled us to manage these volumes with a high level of punctuality while providing, once again, one of the best operating performances at European level with a constant focus on the long term sustainability of our business.
 
En-route air traffic in Italy, in terms of service units, in the first half of 2019, grew 7.4% over the first half of 2018, also driven by the excellent results in terms of punctuality and quality of service provided by ENAV.         
In the first half of the year Italy was once again the country with the highest growth rate of air traffic among the major European countries: France +4.5%, Germany +2.6%, Great Britain +3.3%, Spain +6.3%.
The first six months of the year witnessed a remarkable increase of 9.5% in overflight traffic (flights that do not take off or land in the country), as well as the confirmation of a strong performance in international air traffic, both in flights between European countries and towards non-EU countries. In addition, in the first semester of 2019 there was a rebound in domestic traffic, and, in particular, in flights connecting northern and southern Italy, which are less affected by the competition of high-speed rail.         
In general, the period saw a positive trend concerning air traffic volumes and flows to and from strategic geographical areas which cross Italian airspace, including North-Western Europe (Spain, Germany, France, Great Britain) and the area of the countries in the Mediterranean Basin (Turkey, Malta, Israel, Egypt and Tunisia).
 
Terminal traffic in the first half of 2019 grew by 5.4% in terms of service units compared with the same period in 2018, driven by the overall positive trend on all Italian airports.
 
 
FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
 
The total consolidated net revenue, in the first half of 2019, reached 417.3 million euro, up 1.5% over the same period of 2018. Revenue from operations in the first half of 2019 reached 429.2 million euro, with a 2.9% increase. In more detail, en-route revenue reached 310.1 million euro, increasing 2.9% year on year, as a result of the strong increase in service units generated in this period, partially offset by the 4% reduction in the regulated tariff. Terminal revenue grew by 5.8% to 108.8 million euro driven by the increase in service units generated in all three charging zones, which more than compensated for the reduction in tariffs of the second and third charging zones. The non-regulated revenue stood at 4.1 million euro.
 
The balance component had a negative effect of 29.8 million euro on total revenue, a higher negative amount of 5.8 million euro compared to the first half year 2018, mainly due to the 2.4% higher en-route traffic compared with that estimated in the performance plan. The difference that falls above the +/-2% dead band of traffic variation, in accordance with European regulation, is returned to the carriers for 70%. The terminal balance of the second charging zone was also negative having recorded more service units compared with the forecasts of the Performance Plan. The 2019 tariff includes the impact of the balance reversal for 25.4 million euro.
 
Operating costs stood at 302.3 million euro, showing a 0.9% increase compared with the first half of 2018.    
External costs declined by 6.9% compared with the first half of 2018, to 66.4 million euro, owing to a reduction in telecommunications expenses, due to the use of the E-NET network, and a lower recourse to external services and consultancies. The reduction was also partly due to the effects related to the application of IFRS 16 concerning leasing and rental costs.
Personnel costs increased by 1.9% to 248.9 million euro due to the effects of the contract renewal and the adoption by the subsidiary Techno Sky of the air transport collective agreement with effect as of January 1, 2019. Personnel costs were also affected by the increase in operational overtime driven by the increase in air traffic, which were necessary to maintain high levels of service quality, as well as a reduction in headcount of 118 employees on average and 116 actual employees compared with the first half of 2018.
 
The above trends contributed to the 3.2% increase in EBITDA, compared with the first half of 2018, to 115 million euro, with an EBITDA margin of 27.6%, slightly higher compared with the same period in 2018. 
 
EBIT grew by 2.7%, compared with the first half of 2018, to 49.6 million euro.
 
Consolidated Net Profit for the first half of 2019 reached 34.1 million euro, with a 3.4% increase over the previous year.
 
The net financial position was negative for 38.5 million euro, with an increase of 36.6 million euro compared to December 31, 2018 due to a combination of effects. In particular, in the first half of the year, operating activities generated a positive cash flow of 107 million euro, including the net cash-in related to European and PON financed projects, and the cash-in of the VAT credit refund, in addition to the positive cash flow of 6.6 million euro related to the share capital increase underwritten by the partners of d-flight.
 
These positive effects were offset by the payment of dividends for 108 million euro, the cash absorption for investments of 32 million euro and the negative effect of the IFRS 16 adoption for approximately 9.9 million euro.
 
Guidance for 2019
For 2019 the Company confirms the guidance communicated in March 2019 with net revenue growth expected to be flat to ‘low-single digit’, as a result of the decrease in the performance plan regulated tariff compensated by growth in traffic, and an EBITDA margin around 32%. In terms of Capex, the Company plans to invest approximately 115-120 million euro, lower than the guidance of 125 million euro provided previously, mainly due to better economic terms obtained on purchases. ENAV also confirms the guidance to increase its dividend by 4% year on year in 2020, relative to the 2019 financial year, in line with its dividend policy.
 
 
SUBSEQUENT EVENTS
 
On July 18, 2019 ENAV finalised the acquisition of 100% of the Air Navigation Division of IDS – Ingegneria dei Sistemi S.p.A. for an amount of 41 million euro, equivalent to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 5.5x based on the 2018 EBITDA of 8.9 million euro.
Following the closing of the acquisition, 150 IDS Air Navigation Division employees joined the ENAV Group. Concurrently with the closing, the parties signed an agreement whereby ENAV has the option to purchase, within June 2020, the activities of IDS Air Navigation Division currently carried out by IDS North America and IDS Australasia, subject to the positive outcome of the due diligence. The new company, named IDS AirNav, will continue to focus on the development of software solutions for aeronautical information management and air traffic management, currently utilized by approximately 100 clients in Italy, Europe and extra-European countries.