Market Italy segment
Overall, prevailing market conditions for Sales in Italy were good in the first six months of 2018, with the gas business in particular able to profit.
The Italian sales network remains stable, with around 600 consultants nationwide. At the beginning of the year a new training course for new agents was launched, and the training programmes for senior consultants and managers were intensified in terms of both products and the planning and designing of activities.
In the course of the first half of 2018 important partnerships with associations and authorities in the industry and service sectors were initiated, with a special emphasis on tourism to drive the EV business forward and promote sales of related products offered by Repower.
Of the various products in Repower Italy’s offering, VAMPA deserves especial mention. VAMPA involves using thermal imaging to detect faults in electrical equipment. In 2018 the product has continued to benefit from efforts to meet the norms and reduce risks at the workplace.
Trading in Milan
Thanks to a high level of volatility on the commodities markets in the first six months of the year, the asset optimisation side of trading in Italy made a good contribution to value creation.
The overhaul of the Teverola plant, originally scheduled for 2017, was begun in the first quarter of 2018. Technical problems meant that the plant was out of action for longer than planned. It has been back on the grid since mid-June. This downtime had a substantial negative impact on half-year results. From Repower’s point of view there is a receivable from the insurance company for lost sales revenues.
The Corleto Perticara wind farm in Basilicata and the Lucera farm in Apulia generated less electricity than in the prior-year period. However, thanks to good market conditions their economic performance came in slightly better than expected. By contrast the volumes generated by the Giunchetto wind farm were below expectations.
In the first half of the year Repower Italy made its debut on social media with HOMO MOBILIS by Repower, its vision of electric transportation, with profiles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter since February 2018. Repower will use social media to share the latest news on its successful products and recent market developments.
Since April 2018 the “Una vita di trainer” television campaign has been run again, this time with the topic of electric vehicles. Once more, the character of a personal trainer for energy plays a main role.
On 14 March 2018 Repower Italy took part in the Fleet Manager Academy in Milan. Experts and representatives of the auto industry met to talk about the latest developments in electric vehicle technology. Particularly interesting were the findings of a survey which showed that many corporate fleet managers are sceptical about electric vehicles primarily because of a lack of available charging stations. Providing an adequate charging infrastructure is the main key to more widespread adoption of electric transportation by companies.
Visitors to the Salone del Mobile 2018 were impressed by Repower’s presentation of its E-LOUNGE multifunctional bench/charging point, as well as by the Nuova Accademia delle Belli Arti, an educational establishment concentrating on art and design with which Repower is collaborating on a joint project on the future of electric transport.
In the first half of 2018 Repower hit the market with an innovation in electric vehicles: a highly advanced remote control system that enables customers choosing a PALINA EV charging station to configure and operate it themselves, also using their smartphone. Repower is one of the first companies to offer a system of this sort.
The new app for EV drivers, which displays the nearest charging points, has got a very good response in the marketplace and close media coverage. Thanks to efforts to continuously refine its functions, the app is highly valued by customers.
The first half of 2018 saw the presentation of the collaboration with the Gaetano Marzotto Prize, the most important start-up initiative at the European level. The 2018 edition features the Premio Speciale Repower, a special prize awarded to the start-up with the most interesting business idea. The winner gets to do a three-month mentoring programme offered and run by Repower.
The Market Italy segment’s contribution to group operating income (EBIT) in the first half of 2018 was CHF 6.8 million (versus CHF 23 million in the first half of 2017).