Creating economic value for our shareholders, our staff and for all our stakeholders in over 30 countries, in which we operate around the world, is of vital importance for us. The financial operators’ appreciation of the strategic decisions made by the Enel Group represents a fundamental value, which enables us to reinforce our role as a reference point for the global energy market.
The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, in an announcement issued on 6 December, upgraded our Group’s long-term rating to “BBB+” from its previous rating of “BBB”. The agency also confirmed Enel’s short-term rating of “A-2”. The outlook is stable.
The rating upgrade follows the presentation of the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan on 21 November in London. The plan’s context was much appreciated by S&P Global Ratings in assessing the Enel’s credit rating. In particular, the ratings agency expressed its appreciation of the Group’s intention to focus investments on the sector of networks and renewables, in addition to the efforts to further simplify the structure of the Group and the expected cost optimisation derived from the digitalisation of assets.
Moreover, the analysts of S&P Global Ratings predict that we will be able to structurally improve the Group’s debt ratio on a consolidated basis to just over 22% during the period 2018-2020, thanks to the increase in EBITDA and the stabilisation of debt.
Standard & Poor’s noted that our Group boasts a significant track record in achieving the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan, in addition to the management of debt and liquidity.
The upgrading of the rating takes into account the fact that the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan establishes that more than 75% of overall investments will be made in the mature markets of Europe and North and Central America, with a subsequent reduction in the related risk profile.
The positive evaluation expressed by S&P Global Ratings, which already in mid-November, in light of the publication of the accounts for the third quarter of 2017, had confirmed its recommendation of Enel shares as a “strong buy”, encourages our Group to continue its commitment to implement the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan. This growth strategy, inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, aims to establish a tangible direction that is sustainable both on an environmental and social level and on an economic-financial level, towards the decarbonisation of the energy mix.
It is an objective built on the digitalisation of our infrastructure assets, the development of renewables and on innovation: three pillars on which to construct economic and sustainable value for us and for our stakeholders.