2018-2020 Plan, Enel steps up digitalisation and customer focus


More efficient, with new services offered to customers and an attractive remuneration. This was the profile of Enel outlined in the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan presented in London to the business community on 21 November. With new investments of 5.3 billion euros in projects for the advanced digitalisation of assets, activities and processes (600 million euros higher than the previous year), the Plan was characterised by a focus on providing the technological innovation necessary to continue on the pathway of digital transformation.

The Plan for digitalisation will generate a further increase in investments in the sectors of networks and retail through the new business line e-Solutions, that will concern mainly smart meters, remote control systems and system connectivity, in addition to investments in the digitalisation of customer engagement and the promotion of a workforce that is more digital-oriented.

The second emphasis, on customer focus, is highlighted in the financial target of generating 3.3 billion euros in EBITDA in 2020 (+32% compared with 2017). In the sector of gas and electricity retail EBITDA should increase by 21% to 2.9 billion euros, compared with 2.4 billion euros in 2017, increasing overall sales volumes by over 30%.

Since 2015,” observed Enel CEO and General Manager, Francesco Starace, “Enel has become a much more efficient company, with a well-defined pathway towards industrial growth that, together with disciplined capital management and asset rotation that has been faster than expected, has substantially increased the generation of cash flows and the profitability of the Group. Consequently, we have managed to increase the dividend for the financial year 2017 by 44% compared with the payout for the financial year 2015.”

 “The improvement in the financial targets, also with the introduction of a minimum dividend of 0,28 euro per share on results for 2018 (an increase of 33% compared with the minimum target presented last year for 2017), reinforces the faith with which we look to the future and the role of Enel, today and in the years to come,” continued the CEO.

By 2020 Enel aims to achieve an installed capacity of 48 GW (+7.8GW) of renewable energy and 39 GW from traditional thermal power, which today contributes 46.6GW. Such a turnaround will enable significant reductions in CO2 emissions, which will reduce even further if the goal of phasing out coal by 2025 can be achieved.

In order to progress on the road towards the decarbonisation of the production mix, the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan includes 8.3 billion euros of investments to boost production from renewables, one third of the 25 billion overall, in order to enable the creation of a total extra capacity of 7.8 GW over the next three years.

Our company is “at the forefront of the global energy transition,” added Starace, especially “in macro areas that are fundamental for sustainable growth such as renewables and digitalized distribution networks. We can obtain value from the trend for urbanisation, the electrification of demand and the profound decarbonisation that will result, while seizing the opportunities that derive from the radical changes that are revolutionising the entire energy sector. Today the Group is a profitable, efficient and sustainable organisation.”

Capital Markets Day in London also included the official presentation to the financial community of the Global Business Line e-Solutions, established in May 2017 and led by Francesco Venturini. The new division, which from 2018 will operate on the global market with the new brand identity Enel X, which was launched in London the evening before Capital Markets Day, proposes a series of integrated digital solutions with the aim of transforming electric energy into innovative services to meet the needs of customers that are increasingly connected and digital. A strategic aim of the new division is to bring into being a New Energy Economy, which through digitalisation, electrification and customer focus, aims to offer flexible and innovative solutions across four specific lines: e-Industry, e-Mobility, e-Home and e-City. These operative sectors will be developed through investments and partnerships to encourage the growth of electric mobility, through offers to install recharging stations for electric cars and self-production from renewable sources, smart lighting solutions for public lighting and fibre-optic connections. All of this will be achieved by providing products and solutions that are flexible and adaptable to every type of customer, from sizeable companies to SMEs to retail customers.

 “We must begin with the idea that there are different types of customers,” concluded Starace, “so in the first two years of the Strategic we will focus mainly on business clients. We aim to constantly improve our understanding of the type of services that they ask of us in order to be able to fully satisfy their requirements. Towards the middle of the three years, however, we will concentrate on the B2C sector which should be demonstrating its potential by the end of the period.”

 “We are no longer just suppliers,” explained Head of e-Solutions and CEO of Enel X Francesco Venturini, “the customer is no longer simply a consumer, but we cohabit in an ecosystem in which together we can create new ways to generate, manage and consume energy, producing value and reciprocal benefits.”

 “Enel X,” explained Ryan O’Keeffe, Director of Communications at Enel, during the official presentation of the new brand, “is a completely new approach to energy, which we no longer want to perceive as a raw material, but rather as a service.”

With the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan our Group is speeding up the process of digitalising its assets in order to make them more flexible and tailored to the customers’ needs, which are set to become the fulcrum and the engine of growth.