On the whole, market conditions for sales in Italy were good in the first half of 2017. Sales of gas went particularly well. Sales of electricity benefited from a decline in electricity imports from France and the resulting increase in prices.
The Italian distribution network now comprises more than 600 agents operating all over the country. In the first six months Repower continued to strengthen its distribution structures with recruitment and training measures. The goal is to always have access to a network of consultants in proportion to growth in the sales business. Repower has the strategic intention of further stepping up the sale of electricity and gas, including value-added services (VASs) in Italy, in the next few years.
In recent years it has already launched numerous additional services for SME customers: VAMPA, a product that uses heat imaging to detect faults in electrical equipment; eFFettiva, a service designed to analyse and improve energy efficiency at SMEs; FOCUS and FOCUS click, an energy audit for business customers; and DIODA, a service for setting up equipment with LED lighting.
In the first half of 2017 Repower also successfully initiated a partnership with MINI (owned by the BMW Group) in connection with the launch of the marqueʼs first plug-in hybrid model. The kick-off of the partnership was marked by various communications measures and events. Repower produced six specially designed PALINA charging stations with the graphic “Repower X MINI”, which were presented at events including the Triennale in Milan. Repower was also present with MINI at the Parco Valentino motor show in Turin.
Trading in Milan
Trading generated particularly good results with gas. The reasons were low transport costs, high demand and good price forecasts that boosted business.
The Teverola combined-cycle gas turbine plant in Campania delivered very good generation figures and thus good margins in the first half of 2017. Demand for balancing energy on the ancillary services market was better than expected. Repowerʼs wind farms – Lucera in Apulia, Corleto Perticara in Basilicata and Giunchetto in Sicily – also performed well thanks to high prices. However, refurbishment work is scheduled at the Teverola plant in the second half of the year. Added to seasonal factors, this means that the good results of the first six months will not be reflected in the year as a whole.
In the first half of 2017 further progress was made on Ricarica 101, a project to set up a network of charging points for electric vehicles. The aim is to banish so-called range anxiety, driversʼ worry that they wonʼt find a station to recharge their vehicle. Already 170 customers from all over Italy have opted to install a PALINA BURRASCA to enable stress-free travel by electric vehicle throughout the country. The network is run by recognised premium establishments such as hotels, restaurants, golf resorts and others. Given the success of Ricarica 101 and the great interest it has engendered, Repower is already working to make the network denser and more extensive.
The Market Italy segmentʼs contribution to group operating income (EBIT) in the first half of 2017 was CHF 23 million (versus
CHF 28 million in the first half of 2016).