Economic performance

€ million 31/12/2021 31/12/2020 Change % change
Revenue from sales and services 3,816.0 3,205.0 611.0 19.1%
Other revenue and proceeds 156.0 173.9 (17.9) (10.3%)
Costs of materials and overhead 2,461.2 1,986.4 474.8 23.9%
Personnel costs 275.8 267.7 8.2 3.1%
Net Income/(Expense) from commodity risk management 0.0 0.3 (0.3) (100.0%)
Profit / (loss) from non-financial equity investments 21.0 30.3 (9.3) (30.6%)
EBITDA 1,256.1 1,155.5 100.6 8.7%
Amortisation, depreciation, provisions and impairment charges 675.0 620.5 54.5 8.8%
Operating profit/(loss) 581.1 535.0 46.1 8.6%
Financial operations (85.9) (88.0) 2.1 (2.4%)
Equity investments 7.8 14.2 (6.4) (45.2%)
Profit/(loss) before tax 503.0 461.2 41.8 9.1%
Income tax 150.7 134.6 16.0 11.9%
Net profit/(loss) 352.3 326.6 25.8 7.9%
Profit/(loss) due to third parties 39.0 41.6 (2.6) (6.2%)
Net profit/(loss) attributable to the Group 313.3 284.9 28.4 10.0%

Compared to 31 December 2020 the following changes occurred in the consolidation scope: 

  • on 22 April 2021, the deed of merger by incorporation of the company BioEcologia into the company Acea Ambiente was signed. As a result of the merger, the share capital will not change and the by-laws will be amended. The full effects of the merger run from the date on which the final registrations required by art. 2504 of the Italian Civil Code take place;
  • on 24 March 2021, an additional 35% stake was acquired in the company Solaria Real Estate, bringing the shareholding to 100%;
  • on 25 March 2021, Crea SpA, placed in liquidation on 8 June 2011, was removed from the Companies Register; 
  • on 19 May 2021, Acea Sun Capital acquired 100% of the shares of the photovoltaic company JB Solar which has two photovoltaic systems located in the province of Lecce, respectively with power of 891 kWp and 521 kWp, for total installed power of 1.4 MW; 
  • on 28 May 2021 Acea Renewable and Acea Green were incorporated by Acea Produzione; 
  • on 15 July 2021 Acea Sun Capital acquired 100% of the company Solarplant, owner of a ground-mounted photovoltaic plant with installed power of 0.99 MWp, located in Collesalvetti (LI) and incentivised under the terms of the Second Energy Account; 
  • on 28 July 2021 Acea Sun Capital acquired 100% of the company PSL to which was contributed the business unit made up of a photovoltaic plant, located in the municipality of Belpasso (CT), with power of 0.99 MWp; 
  • on 3 August 2021 Acea Sun Capital acquired 100% of the company M2D owner of a ground-mounted photovoltaic plant located in the municipality of Leini (TO), with power of 0.994 MWp; 
  • on 14 October 2021 Acea Ambiente acquired 60% of Meg, an operator active in Italy offering professional consultancy for the construction of municipal solid waste packaging treatment plants; 
  • on 30 November 2021 Acea Ambiente acquired 65% of DECO, a waste management company whose activities also include the construction and operation of relevant plants. The company also holds a 21.8% investment in Picena Ambiente and owns 100% of Ecologica Sangro, a company active in the integrated management of solid urban waste in the Frentano and Sangro Aventino district area. The company itself holds a 75% stake in the Ecofrentano consortium; 
  • on 22 December 2021 Acea Ambiente acquired 90% of AS Recycling, a company that is currently inactive but which will become a Corepla affiliated centre for secondary plastic SRF recycling (Breakdown of plastics into the various polymer categories for sorting).

We can note that the merger by incorporation of the companies Brindisi Solar, Acquaviva, Compagnia Solare 2, Compagnia Solare 3 and SPES into the company Solaria Real Estate was carried out on 27 July 2020, while the merger by incorporation of the companies Luna Energia, Sisine Energia, Urbe Cerig, Urbe Solar and Bersolar into the company KT4 was carried out on 26 October 2020. Both mergers have accounting and fiscal effects backdated to 1 January 2020. The installed power with reference to the secondary photovoltaic system is 52 MW.

Lastly, with reference to the 2020 financial year, it should be noted that: 

  • the acquisition by Acea Sun Capital of the photovoltaic companies Euroline3 on 7 May 2020, Energia on 7 May 2020, IFV Energy and PF Power of Future on 4 June 2020 and lastly Belaria on 23 July 2020;
  • the 100% consolidation of the company Fergas Solar, acquired by Acea Solar on 15 April 2020, operating in the field of the development and construction of photovoltaic plants; 
  • the full consolidation of the companies acquired on 22 April 2020 by Acea Ambiente: 60% of the companies Ferrocart, Cavallari and Multigreen (the latter then merged into Cavallari as of 1 January 2021); the companies own a total of four plants with a total authorised capacity of over 145 thousand tonnes per year, operate in the provinces of Terni and Ancona, carrying out sorting and recovery of paper, iron, timber, plastics and metals and are also active in the management of the separate collection of production waste and packaging as well as waste disposal; 
  • the consolidation of SIMAM (Servizi Industriali Manageriali Ambientali) on 7 May 2020; the company is a leader in the design, construction and management of water and waste treatment plants, in environmental works and reclamation, with integrated solutions featuring high technological content; 
  • the consolidation of 100% of the company Electric Drive Italia, acquired by Acea Innovation on 19 May 2020 to promote the development of electric mobility through advanced IT solutions. It should be noted that the company was merged by incorporation into the parent company Acea Innovation as of 1 January 2021; 
  • the line by line consolidation of 51% of Alto Sangro Distribuzione Gas, acquired on 31 August 2020, a company operating in the gas distribution sector, and its subsidiary Notaresco. Note that, on 3 August 2021, Pescara Distribuzione Gas was merged into Alto Sangro, whose name henceforth became Adistribuzionegas. The merger has accounting and tax effects backdated to 1 January 2021.
  • the consolidation of Servizio Idrico Integrato (hereafter SII) after an amendment to the governance structure and the acquisition on 16 November 2020 of an additional 15% stake, thereby arriving at a total stake of 40%; 
  • the establishment on 15 December 2020 of the Consorcio Acea and the Consorcio Acea Lima Norte held by Acea Peru (99%) and Acea Ato2 (1%), the first signed a three-year contact for the management of pumping stations for drinking water in Lima, the second signed a three-year contract for maintenance of the water and sewerage network in the northern zone of Lima.

The table below shows the main impact of the change in the consolidation scope at 31 December 2021 (gross of intercompany adjustments).


€ million Simam Gruppo Ferrocart Cavallari Consorcio Acea, Consorcio Lima Norte, Consorcio Lima Sur Adistribuzionegas e Notaresco SII Meg Deco, Ecologica Sangro, AS Recycling Società Fotovoltaico Totale
Revenues 20.0 13.9 18.0 3.0 36.7 2.8 5.3 2.7 102.3
EBITDA 3.0 2.8 1.0 3.1 11.6 0.5 1.1 2.8 25.9
EBIT 1.3 (0.7) 0.8 0.1 1.7 0.3 0.7 1.3 5.5
EBIT 1.3 (0.7) 0.6 0.2 5.6 0.3 0.8 1.3 9.4

As at 31 December 2021, revenues from sales and services come to € 3,816.0 million, up € 611.0 million (+19.1 %) on the same period of financial year 2020, mainly due to the increase in revenues from electricity sales (+€ 441.3 million) primarily attributable to higher unit prices and higher quantities (+17.5%). The total sale of electricity in the Greater Protection Service was 1,694 GWh, a decrease of 14.3% on an annual basis compared to the previous year; the sale of electricity on the free market amounted to 6,562 GWh, with an increase compared to the same period in the previous year of 29.9 %, primarily related to the B2B segment.

The increase was due also to the following: i) a € 44.0 million increase in gas sale revenues attributable to Acea Energia and due mainly to the higher quantities sold (+49.0 million Scm); ii) revenues from integrated water services (+€ 66.3 million), mainly due to the full consolidation of SII (+€ 34.8 million) and the remainder to Acea Ato2 (+€ 22.3 million) and GORI (+€ 7.2 million); iii) the increase in revenues from waste delivery and landfill management (+€ 18.6 million) is mainly due to the change in the consolidation scope (+€ 16.3 million) and are also attributable to the increase in revenues from the sale of energy due to the price effect; the change is mainly attributable to Acea Ambiente (+€ 5.7 million) and partly offset by Demap (-€ 1.8 million); iv) foreign revenues (+€ 13.5 million) mainly due to the start of new consortia activities (+€ 18.0 million) and partly offset by a € 6.6 million reduction in revenues from Acea Peru; v) the change in inventories (+€ 14.9 million), mainly due to the consolidation of SIMAM (+€ 11.3 million); vi) higher revenues from Acea Innovation for +€ 6.3 million deriving from e-Efficiency projects).

Other revenues saw a 10.3% decrease (€ 17.9 million drop) from the previous year. The change mainly derived from: i) lower overprovisions recorded by Acea Ato2 (€ 28.7 million) due to revenues recognised in 2020 for 2018 and 2019 tariff components recorded in excess of the amount recognised in the respective financial statements; this change was offset by higher revenues related to water disconnections and reconnections (+€ 2.2 million) and insurance reimbursements (+€ 1.6 million); ii) the increase in other revenues recorded by Acea Energia (+€ 1.8 million) mainly due to higher CMOR indemnity claims on the free market; iii) higher other revenues from areti for bonuses relating to resilience measures on the electricity distribution service (+€ 2.2 million), proceeds from the sale of equipment and materials (+€ 0.5 million) and revenues from various claims and EEC sales (+€ 1.1 million); iv) higher revenues for capital grants deriving from the consolidation of SII (+€ 1.9 million) and the increase recorded by Acea Ato2 (+€ 1.2 million), mainly for the 2018-2020 portion of the grant for tackling the drinking water supply crisis in the Lazio Region, awarded to the Company in 2021.

External costs showed an overall increase of € 474.8 million (+23.9%) compared with 31 December 2020; the change was due mainly to: i) higher costs for the procurement of electricity, transport and metering (+€ 390.8 million) in line with the trend in revenues; ii) higher costs for the purchase of materials (+€ 16.4 million), due in part to the change in scope, with particular reference to SIMAM (+€ 10.5 million); iii) higher costs for services (+€ 58.4 million) of which € 31.8 million is attributable to the change in consolidation scope.

Overall, the change in external costs was influenced by the change in scope for € 59.9 million, mainly attributable to SII (+€ 23.0 million), SIMAM (+€ 15.2 million) and the Ferrocart Cavallari Group (+€ 9.2 million).
Personnel costs increased by € 8.2 million compared to the previous year (+3.1%), net of the change in scope (+€ 16.6 million mainly due to foreign companies) they decreased by € 8.4 million also as a consequence of higher capitalised costs (+€ 29.2 million).
The average number of employees was 9,263, an increase of 1,567 over the previous year, mainly due to the change in the foreign area following the start of maintenance on the water and sewerage network in north Lima.


€ million 31/12/2021 31/12/2020 Change % change
Personnel costs including capitalised costs 469.1 431.7 37.4 8.7%
Costs capitalised (193.3) (164.0) (29.2) 17.8%
Personnel costs 275.8 267.7 8.2 3.1%

Income from non-financial equity investments represents the consolidated result according to the equity method included among the components forming the consolidated EBITDA of the strategic companies. The following table also includes the results of SII consolidated at equity until 16 November 2020 equal to € 0.6 million.

€ thousand 31/12/2021 31/12/2020 Change % change
EBITDA 123.6 127.0 (3.3) (2.6%)
Amortisation, depreciation, impairment and provisions (91.9) (81.6) (10.3) 12.6%
Financial operations (2.5) (3.3) (0.8) (24.9%)
Taxes (8.2) (11.7) 3.5 (30.1%)
Income from equity investments of a non-financial nature 21.0 30.3 (9.3) (30.6%)

EBITDA rose from € 1,155.5 million at 31 December 2020 to € 1,256.1 million at 31 December 2021, recording an increase of € 100.6 million or 8.7%.
The change in the consolidation scope accounts for € 25.9 million, due mainly to the full consolidation of SII (+€ 11.6 million), the consolidation of SIMAM (+€ 3.0 million), of the Cavallari, Ferrocart, Deco and Meg (+€ 4.0 million), the photovoltaic companies (+€ 2.8 million) and Adistribuzionegas (+€ 3.1 million).
With the same scope, EBITDA grew by €74.8 million, arising mainly from: i) the generation area (+€ 31.4 million), mainly attributable to Acea Produzione (+€ 25.5 million), since higher hydroelectric production (volumes produced increased by 55.1 GWh) and higher prices (+€ 60.67/MWh) led to an EBITDA increase of almost 80%. An increase was also recorded by Ecogena (+€ 2.5 million), partly due to income deriving from the sale of the Alfasigma cogeneration plant (+€ 0.6 million) and the rest coming from higher revenues from design and permit services for the Acea Group’s mobility plan; ii) the water sector (+€ 26.3 million), mainly in relation to Acea Ato2 (+€ 26.6 million), principally because of greater cost efficiencies (+€ 11 million), higher capitalisation (+€ 8 million) and reduced sludge disposal costs after overcoming the crisis in managing sludge produced by waste treatment plants within the region (+€ 7.2 million); iii) the environment area, which made a positive contribution of € 8.9 million, mainly by Acea Ambiente as a result of higher prices for waste delivery and electricity sales (increase in the Single National Price (PUN); iv) the commercial and trading area due to the increase in energy and gas margins (+€ 8.1 million) and other revenues (+€ 4.0 million) partially offset by a worsening of external costs and labour costs (+€ 14.1 million); v) the energy infrastructures area, which contributed € 4.1 million partly as a result of the margin deriving from the open fibre order (+€ 1.5 million), the effects of the resilience plan (+€ 2.2 million) and lower operating costs (-€ 1.7 million), partly offset by the effects of energy balancing (-€ 2.1 million) and, lastly, the worsening margin of the public lighting area (-€ 1.0 million) mainly due to the lack of authorisations for new constructions; vi) the corporate segment, which finally feel by € 4.7 million due to the combined effect of higher technical and IT services, advice, electricity consumption and costs related to the Covid emergency (vaccine hub), partly offset by higher reversals of costs and services to Group companies.
The other areas recorded results in line with the previous year.

EBIT increased by € 46.1 million compared to the previous year.
This increase was mitigated by growth in depreciation/amortisation (€ 48.4 million compared to 2020), of which € 19.5 million were attributable to the change in scope. Below are details of the items influencing EBIT.


€ million 31/12/2021 31/12/2020 Change % change
Amortisation / depreciation of intangible and tangible assets and impairment 546.6 498.3 48.4 9.7%
Provision for doubtful accounts 86.2 79.4 6.8 8.5%
Provision for risks and charges 42.1 42.8 (0.6) (1.5%)
Amortisation, depreciation, impairment and provisions 675.0 620.5 54.5 8.8%


The increase in depreciation and amortisation is associated, net of the changes in the scope (+€ 19.5 million), mainly with investments in the period in all business areas. The increase in depreciation and amortisation is mainly due to Acea Ato2 (+€ 19.6 million) and Corporate (+€ 7.2 million). The growth in depreciation and amortisation was mitigated by the decrease recorded by Acea Ambiente (-€ 4.1 million) as a result of write-downs in 2020.
The increase in impairment of receivables is mainly attributable to Acea Ato2 (+€ 3.7 million), Acea Ato5 (+€ 3.6 million) and GORI (+€ 3.0 million), partly offset by lower provisions made by areti (-€ 1.9 million) and Aguas de San Pedro (-€ 1.2 million).

Provisions for risks were generally in line with the previous year (-€ 0.6 million) mainly as a result of the opposite effect of the lower provisions recorded by Acea Ato2 (-€ 2.7) and the release of provisions from previous allocations in the water area (-€ 2.0 million), offset by the increase recorded by Acea Energia (+€ 4.3 million) as a result of higher provisions for legal disputes.

Net gains/losses from financial operations showed net expenses of € 85.9 million, down by € 2.1 million compared to the previous year as a result of opposing effects. Worthy of mention are the increased financial income (+€ 1.4 million) mainly attributable to the change in fair value of the derivative contracts hedging AdF’s loan agreement (+€ 1.7 million), the higher income from the effects of invoicing of interest on arrears to water company users (+€ 4,9 million), offset by the lower financial income recorded by GORI as a result of the income from discounting recorded in 2020 as a consequence of the effects of the Framework Amendment, concluded on 23 November 2020, which provided for the postponement of the instalment agreements signed with the Campania Region in 2013 and 2018 (-€ 4.9 million). Financial charges instead recorded a slight reduction (-€ 0.6 million), mainly attributable to the Parent Company; note that the average overall all-in cost of the Acea Group’s debt stood at 1.42% compared to 1.74% in the previous year.

The estimate of fiscal charges amounted to € 150.7 million, compared to € 134.6 million in the previous year. The total increase of € 16.0 million was mainly due to the higher pre-tax profit. The tax rate for 31 December 2021 was 30.0% (29.2% at 31 December 2020).

The net profit attributable to the Group was € 313.3 million and showed an increase of € 28.4 million compared to the previous year.