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Relations with investors and financial analysts

Since it is impossible to access all information necessary to assess an investment opportunity with full knowledge, the relationship between company and investors must necessarily be based on esteem and confidence in the management of the company. The Hera Group considers shareholders' trust and confidence to be very important, because a fair evaluation by the market promotes growth development and value creation through growth through external acquisitions.
For this reason, the Investor Relations Department was established at the time of listing, specifically dedicated to providing information to shareholders and financial operators. These activities have become crucial in a period of crisis such as the current one, which featured extremely volatile financial markets.
Hera's primary communication tool is its institutional website, easily accessed by all stakeholders (private and professional shareholders, bondholders and financial analysts). The Investor Relations section is continuously updated in real time and contains detailed information and analyses on the main issues of interest to shareholders (financial statements, plans and strategies, financial analysts' opinions).
In 2011 too, communication to private investors was aimed at full disclosure with the quarterly publication of a newsletter on the Group website which illustrated the financial results, the significant initiatives carried out by the Group and an analysis both of the performance of the shares on the stock market and of the opinions expressed by independent financial analysts. Additionally, direct relations were maintained with the investors who contacted the company through the different instruments made available on the website.
Web-based communications pursued the objective of increasing the usability of information also for private shareholders, introducing new tools such as the accessible version of the financial statements, (including the half-yearly report), an interactive description of the company's governance, a simple analysis of the historical trend in the share price and the opinions of independent financial analysts. To provide stakeholders with an additional information support, a weekly chat line was opened which enables the users to interact with the company in real time.

Hera's 3rd place in the Webranking standings by Halvarsson & Halvarsson

For the third consecutive year, Hera's on-line financial communication took its place on the podium, confirming disclosure quality in line with the main capitalised companies on the Italian market.
With its 85.5 points, Hera was behind Telecom Italia (winner with 89 points) and Eni (87 points) in the KWD Webranking standings for 2011 prepared by the prestigious consulting firm Halvarsson & Halvarsson in collaboration with Corriere della Sera. Behind Hera were such Italian stock market giants as Piaggio (81.5 points), Pirelli & C. (80.25 points), the Unicredit Group (77.25 points) and Edison (76 points). The other Italian multi-utilities were far behind.
The Webranking analysis, which this year reached the tenth Italian edition, assesses the quality of online communication of the 100 Italian companies with the highest market capitalisation listed on the Milan Stock Market and, in this field, it is the most thorough research in Europe. The subjects of the analysis are the financial and institutional information and functionalities published in the English-language version of the websites.

In addition to organising specific meetings upon request of individual investors, Hera promotes meetings each year between the Group's top management and Italian and international financial market operators. In 2011, Hera counted 330 contacts with investors, comprising direct meetings, company and plant visits, conference calls, and videoconferences (webcast) which involved Italian and foreign investors (mainly British, French, American, Swiss, German and Scandinavian). The intense relations also maintained made it possible to fuel a constant exchange of information with shareholders and to respond to the growing sense of uncertainty perceived by stakeholders in the recessive environment.
As has become tradition, Hera participated in the Oddo Environment Forum which takes place each year in Paris, an occasion for meeting with over 20 SRI investors to whom the Group's sustainable policies were illustrated. During the institutional road shows organised by Hera, around 10 SRI investors were also met, including the leaders in the category in Europe.
During 2012, the intention is to offer private investors communication instruments designed ad hoc and occasions for discussion with Hera top management, intensifying collaboration with the Private Banking facilities of banks, international and otherwise, setting up new occasions for dialogue with the private investors and/or their financial consultants.