Net working capital

Working capital amounted to 73 million euros at the end of the year, down by 56.3 million euros compared to 31 December 2009. The reduction is linked, on one hand, to the increase in receivables of 132.9 million euros (11.2%) and inventories totalling 19.6 million euros (29.5%) and, on the other, the increase in current payables (+74.5 million euros, equal to 7.2%) and other current liabilities (+ 70.2 million euros, equal to 21.3%).

As regards the breakdown of receivables, an increase was recorded in end users and customers of 116.6 million euros, equal to 11%, and trade receivables due from Roma Capitale totalling 21.6 million euros. It should be noted that receivables due from the Municipality of Rome, including financial receivables generated by the public lighting service, increased by 77.6 million euros (see comments on the performance in the period shown below).

As regards the breakdown:

Receivables due from end users and customers

Receivables due from end users and customers amounted to 1,170.9 million euros and, as already stated, recorded an increase of 115.6 million euros. This change, related to a rise in turnover of around 11%, is the result of contrasting phenomena:

  • Arse recorded an increase of 22.1 million euros in receivables, in line with the rise in revenues from the sale of panels,
  • AceaElectrabel Trading and AceaElectrabel Elettricità contributed 69.8 million euros and 79.6 million euros respectively to the increase in consolidated receivables (83 million euros also including the other investee sales companies): in this case too, the increase in revenues explains the variation,
  • Gori also contributed to the increase (12.6 million euros), as a result of the authorisation timescales of the corrective tariff measures, which involve the deferment of the terms of actual billing and the resultant collection of receivables,
  • ACEA Ato2, Acque and Publiacqua recorded an opposite trend, registering decreases of 58 million euros, 3.1 million euros and 7.8 million euros respectively; as regards the Roman company, this was result of the recovery actions carried out, including revolving and spot factoring, which will be discussed later, and also higher write-downs carried out during the year,
  • The Parent Company reduced its receivables by 10.9 million euros, mainly due to the collection, through factoring in 2010, of receivables due from the Municipality of Naples regarding the first contract.

The other Group companies recorded an overall decrease of 11.4 million euros. The Environment and Energy areas are worthy of mention, which contributed 1.1 million euros to the growth in total receivables; this variation was shaped by the growth in the receivables of SAO (4.3 million euros), Kiklos (1 million euros), EALL (1 million euros), offset by the decrease in Terni Ena receivables (4.7 million euros) due to the shutdown of the plant for revamping.

As mentioned previously, revolving and spot factoring was carried out in 2010.

The former, carried out mainly on a monthly basis, concerns AceaElectrabel Elettricità and ACEA Ato2 and involved bills issued to private entities; the contract envisages the possibility of also factoring bills not issued and this opportunity is only exploited by electricity sales companies. The outstanding amount of bills factored and not collected at the end of the year totalled 118 million euros.

The second type of factoring concerns said Group companies and involves receivables due from Public Administration: receivables totalling 42 million euros were factored as at the close of the year.

At 31.12.10 the ratio of receivables (including bills to be issued) to revenues from end users is as follows:

Total Energy area 2010 2009 Increase / (Decrease)
Receivables 322,718 229,453 93,265
Revenues 1,395,030 1,240,988 154,042
Receivables/Revenues 23.1% 18.5% 4.6%
Total Water area


Receivables 486,832 543,712 (56,880)
Revenues 667,328 644,956 22,372
Receivables/Revenues 73.0% 84.3% (11.3%)
Group total


Receivables 809,549 773,165 36,384
Revenues 2,062,358 1,885,945 176,413
Receivables/Revenues 39.3% 41.0% (1.7%)
Amounts in millions of euros

Crediti (e i debiti) verso Roma Capitale

As regards amounts due from and to the Roma Capitale (including financial items) net receivables of 113.7 million euros due to the Group from the Municipality of Rome were recorded, up 121 million euros from the end of the previous year, in which the ACEA Group recorded net payables of 7.3 million euros.

The following tables detail the breakdown of Group receivables and payables due to and from the Municipality of Rome.

Amounts due from the Municipality of Rome (€000) 31.12.2010 31.12.09 Restated Increase/ (Decrease)
Utility receivables 35.8 24.4 11.4
Contract work 37.0 30.4 6.6
Services 5.6 2.0 3.6
Other 1.5 1.5 0.0
Total services billed 80.0 58.3 21.7
Grants due 14.1 14.5 (0.4)
Surcharges 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total services requested 94.1 72.8 21.3
Total services to be billed 17.3 17.5 (0.2)
New regulations for street cables 2.2 1.7 0.5
Total trade receivables 113.6 92.0 21.6
Loans 98.5 42.6 55.9
Total 212.1 134.6 77.5

Amounts due to the Municipality of Rome (€000) 31.12.2010 31.12.2009 Increase/ (Decrease)
Sewerage and water treatment 32.7 71.8 (39.1)
Vatican City disputed amounts 20.5 20.5 0.0
Electricity surtax 24.2 20.0 4.2
Other 1.5 1.5 0.0
New regulations for street cables 1.2 2.3 (1.1)
Charges for the occupation of public space 0.4 0.4 0.0
Charges for rental of company offices 0.0 0.0 0.0
Concession fees 15.7 23.1 (7.4)
Total trade payables 96.2 139.6 (43.4)
Financial liabilities (including dividends) 2.2 2.2 0.0
Total 98.4 141.8 (43.4)
NET 113.7 (7.3) 121.0

There has been an increase in receivables and a decrease in payables compared with the end of the previous year.

The change in receivables for bills issued (+ 21.3 million euros) is due to (i) the increase in utility receivables (up 11.4 million euros) which is attributable essentially to the increase in the amount of ACEA Ato2 (+ 9.8 million euros) and AceaElectrabel Elettricità (+ 1.4 million euros) receivables and (ii) the increase in contract work receivables (6.6 million euros). Amounts due for services to be billed fell by 0.2 million euros.

Financial receivables (98.5 million euros) include assets generated by the management of public lighting with particular reference to the lump-sum contribution and its developments on the basis of the 10-year contract in force (1 June 2005 – 31 May 2015); these receivables also include interest, legal and default, accrued on the basis of said contract.

Please refer to the information on related parties shown in the Notes to the 2010 Consolidated Financial Statements for details on the draft supplementary agreement resolved by ACEA’s Board of Directors on 1 February 2011.

The decrease in trade payables (totalling 43.4 million euros) is a result of the fall in electricity surtax payables (1.7 million euros), the decrease in ACEA Ato2 concession fees (7.4 million euros) and lower amounts due in treatment and sewerage fees (39.1 million euros). The decrease is the result of administrative offsetting carried out during the year.

Receivables totalling 80.5 million euros, of which 21.4 million euros for works and services and 59.1 million euros for the sale of electricity and water, were collected in the year, also through administrative offsetting.

Receivables relating to the management of public lighting collected in the reference period amounted to 18.9 million euros.

ACEA Ato2 paid dividends to the Municipality of Rome of 1.4 million euros for the year 2009.

Inventories

Inventories, standing at 86 million euros, increased by 19.6 million euros; a breakdown by Industrial Area is shown below:

  • the Networks segment recorded an increase of 14.3 million euros, mainly due to the higher stocks of materials for the installation and sale of photovoltaic panels by Arse (+ 12 million euros).
  • the Energy segment registered an increase of 3.1 million euros, attributed primarily to the increase in the gas stored in the AceaElectrabel Trading warehouse,
  • the Water segment recorded an increase of 1.8 million euros, due mainly to the increase in the inventories of ACEA Ato2 Group companies and Acque.

Other current assets

Other current assets, amounting to 166.2 million euros, fell by 64.1 million euros and are composed as follows (i) 71.8 million euros for current tax assets (- 30.2 million euros) and (ii) 94.4 million euros by other receivables (- 33.9 million euros).

Current tax assets decreased mainly as a result of the cancellation of tax credits recorded in 2009 equal to the amount not covered in the previous year’s balance.

Other receivables fell by 8.1 million euros due to the decrease in assets generated by the fair value measurement of energy and gas commodity contracts (amounting to 9.5 million euros at the end of 2010) and by 29.4 million euros in relation to the following items:

  • 15.2 million euros relating to current accruals and deferrals (+ 3.6 million euros),
  • 10.9 million euros for receivables due from AceaElectrabel Elettricità for repayment of the amount ACEA Distribuzione – in its own name and on behalf of AceaElectrabel Elettricità – will pay the Equalisation Fund,
  • 21.3 million euros are the share of receivables relating to the specific equalisation for 2009 and 2010, of which 17 million euros transferred under recourse factoring. Without recourse factoring of these types of receivables totalling 58.2 million euros was also carried out during the year,
  • 8.4 million euros for receivables of the subsidiary Gori from the ATO municipalities for provisions pursuant to article 14 Law 36/1994,
  • 0.3 million euros for the recognition of repayment to Terni Ena of the portion of costs regarding purchase of the CO2 rights for 2009,
  • 10.2 million euros deriving from the sale of the property which housed the company’s car fleet,
  • 3.4 million euros regarding guarantee deposits paid to suppliers and amounts due from various social security agencies following the advance payment of contributions;
  • 1.4 million euros recorded by Tirreno Power, pursuant to resolutions ARG/elt 77/08 and ARG/elt 117/10 of the Italian Authority for Electricity and Gas and Law decree no.72 of 20/05/2010, relating to receivables for ETS quotas for so-called new entrant plants for which operators did not receive free Co2 quotas.

Current payables

In relation to current payables, standing at 1,103.1 million euros, the increase of 74.5 million euros reflects:

  • the 124.1 million euro increase in trade payables which stand at 986.5 million euros: this performance characterises all Industrial Segments and ACEA with the exception of the Environment and Energy segment. The change is due to both the increase in costs related to the significant rise in revenues and the payment terms adopted by the Group,
  • the decrease in amounts due to the Roma Capitale (- 43.4 million euros), already detailed under receivables,
  • the increase of 70.2 million euros (equal to 21.3%) in other current liabilities, which totalled 400.5 million euros. The main items comprising the balance and the increases/decreases with respect to the same period of the previous year are analysed below:
    • 128.6 million euros relating to tax payables: this item increased by 59 million euros compared to 31 December 2009, due to the recording of taxes for the period and of payables resulting from tax settlement proposals, in relation to the tax inspections carried out on ACEA (36.5 million euros) and AceaElectrabel Elettricità (5 million euros),
    • 56.5 million euros in amounts due to various Municipalities (+ 4.7 million euros compared to 31 December 2009) predominantly relating to concession fees due to the Area Authority,
    • 51.9 million euros for payables due to the Equalisation Fund (down 17.1 million euros compared with 31 December 2009),
    • 36 million euros for amounts owed to staff (+ 6.8 million euros compared with 31 December 2009),
    • 18.8 million euros for amounts due to social security agencies,
    • 14.7 million euros relating to collections from end users which, as per normal, are in the process of being allocated or reimbursed,
    • 14.4 million euros relating to the fair value on energy and gas commodities (+ 3.2 million euros compared to 2009),
    • current accruals and deferrals for 9.4 million euros (up 2.3 million euros compared to 31 December 2009).
    • 4.5 million euros relating to amounts due to end users for tariff restrictions.