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Development of the shareholding structure and remuneration of shareholders

The public shareholding structure has mainly developed as a result of the admittance (through reserved capital increases) of new public shareholders following various mergers.

Today, public shareholders are represented by 188 reference territory municipalities and they hold approximately 61% of Hera’s share capital of ordinary shares, made up of 1,115,013,752 ordinary shares.



The team has a significant presence (approximately 16.2%) of international investors and is denoted by the presence (approximately 3.5%) of private investors (around 10 thousand people) resident in the reference territory (and therefore Hera customers) who were involved in the Group’s placement on the Stock Exchange.

Since 2006, Hera has conducted a share buy-back plan with a maximum of 25 million shares, for a total amount of €40 million. This plan aims to finance any opportunities to buy small companies and to rectify any unusual movement in the Group’s share price compared with its major domestic competitors. The Shareholders' Meeting on 27 April 2012 renewed the plan for the purchase of treasury shares for a further 18 months, up to a maximum total amount of €60 million. Hera held approximately 12.8 million treasury shares in its portfolio as at 31 December 2011.

Over the course of the ten years, remuneration for shareholders has always involved constant or increasing dividends, even at the most delicate times following mergers or during the macroeconomic crisis of recent years.

Total dividends (m€)

Total dividends

*To be approved b the Shareholders' Meeting of April 2012

The dividend per share has gone, in the period under consideration, from €3.5 to 9.0 cents and the Board of Director’s proposed dividend for 2011 confirms that of 2010.

Dividendi deliberati (ml€)27.642.
DPS (€)0.0350.0530.0570.0700.0800.0800.0800.0800.0900.090
PayOut ratio (su Utile Cons.)83%85%60%70%90%85%87%125%85%96%

* Proposta del Consiglio di Amministrazione da sottoporre all'approvazione dell'Assemblea degli Azionisti di aprile 2012

The share price over the six months period is illustrated in the graph below.

Performance of Hera share as at 30th June 2012

Performance of Hera share as at 30th June 2012

The graph shows the Hera share performance as the best on the market for local utilities. This is due to the sound annual results announced at the end of March, which supported the stock until the date the dividends were paid. Compared with other local utilities, Hera’s performance is very different and far more positive, mainly due to the difficult situation in which the other businesses in the industry find themselves in. Since its listing, the Group has promoted and improved relations with financial analysts. In 2002 stock coverage was represented by four studies, only one of which was issued by an international broker. In spite of the financial crisis in these years having caused major restructuring in banks, Hera still enjoys extensive coverage from 12 independent studies, half of them international: Alpha Value, Banca Akros, Banca Aletti, Banca IMI, Centrobanca, Cheuvreux, Deutsche Bank, Equita, Intermonte, Kepler, CITI and Mediobanca. The analysts from Banca IMI, Cheuvreux, Kepler and Deutsche Bank include Hera stock among the best investment opportunities for 2011. In June, Citigroup began coverage of Hera stock with a “Buy” rating. At the end of the half-year, Hera will include eight “Buy”/“Outperform” ratings, three “Hold/Neutral” opinions and no negative judgments. The 12-18 month average stock target price, expressed by analyst evaluations, is €1.4 per share.

Hera stock is included in many SRI indices: it has been part of the Kempen SNS Smaller Europe SRI Index for many years. In 2008 it was also included in the ECPI Ethical Index Euro. In 2009 it was included in the ECPI Ethical Index EMU, made up of 105 companies featuring sustainability consistent with the ECPI SRI method and listed on the EU money market.

The Group’s main means of communication with shareholders and stakeholders is undoubtedly its website www.gruppohera.it. Over the course of the ten-year period the section dedicated to shareholders/financial operators (Investor Relations) has been continuously improved, with the implementation of interactive tools, timely updates and publication in real time of price sensitive releases and company documents. For the third consecutive year Hera’s online financial communication has been recognised by the Hallvarsson & Halvarsson webranking in the national class among the major domestic listed companies: in 2011 the Group’s website took third place, ahead of many larger Italian organisations.

Also, on 1 May 2012, IR Global Rankings awarded Hera a prize, at the NASDAQ offices in New York, as one of the top 5 best practices in Europe for financial communication for the investor relations section of its website.

Since its establishment in 2002, Hera has placed special emphasis on direct communication with investors, culminating in a Road Show introducing the stock in Italy and abroad (United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the United States). Thanks to the positive feedback and the interest shown by foreign investors, meetings were also arranged, from 2005 onwards, with Finish, Swedish and Danish investors. In 2011 Hera intensified its dialogue with European and American investors, with an average of 350 contacts per year. Timeliness of reports and transparency in communication has been improved further, also in response to the growing sense of uncertainty felt by stakeholders at this time of deep disruption.