Market context and guidance

We operate in rapidly evolving sectors, influenced by certain global dynamics as well as by regulatory aspects. 

Within a scenario marked by long-term trends associated with the ecological transition and by global events, we are constantly monitoring the reference situations, intercepting and analysing factors that are potentially important for our operations and strategies.


The year 2023 was marked by a continuation of geopolitical turbulence in Eastern Europe and tension in the Middle East.
During 2023 there was a considerable relaxation of energy market stress, with electricity and gas prices gradually decreasing until halfway through the year, reaching mid-2021 levels. The international turmoil that occurred during the second half of the year nevertheless prevented further reductions.

Global scenario

The grounding of investments envisaged by the 2024-2028 Business Plan requires a profound understanding of scenario developments. 

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The energy transition “trilemma” is about the need for operators to guarantee resource availability and quality, whilst respecting sustainability criteria.

The new technologies affect the management of assets, the role of the workforce and customer relationships. New skills are therefore required, with particular reference to engineers, technicians and STEM specialists.

The scenario also highlights situations of scarcity, both in terms of primary natural resources, such as water and natural gas, and at financial level (high cost of money) with a consequent rise in the price of production factors.

Italian scenario: need for investments and technological development

infografica investimenti e sviluppo tecnologico

Evolution of the regulatory model

We operate in heavily regulated sectors. The reference regulatory framework is broad and articulated, according to the specific nature of the businesses managed (water, energy and environment).

Water sector

The action taken by the Authority is directed towards ensuring uniform accessibility and distribution of services throughout the entire national territory, establishing acceptable service quality levels, setting up tariff systems that are clear, transparent and based on predefined criteria, promoting the protection of user and consumer interests.
Among the changes during 2023, we mention the entry into force of Legislative Decree dated 23 February 2023, implementing the European Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption. The regulation lays down the conditions under which water intended for human consumption may be considered “healthy and clean”: reviewing and introducing new limits for substances hazardous to health (including PFAS, chromium and chlorates), undertaking a risk-based approach, with a view to guaranteeing the safety of water intended for human consumption and improving fair access for everyone to safe drinking water.
ARERA has also approved the rules for the fourth regulatory period, effective from 2024. These establish incentive mechanisms to promote the efficiency of operators also by assigning greater importance to activities associated with environmental sustainability, particularly those aimed at combatting the impact of ongoing climate change, safeguarding water resources, encouraging decarbonisation of energy consumption and making infrastructure more resilient under conditions of stress.
Lastly, insofar as concerns market developments, we intend to consider and participate in the new tenders launched by the various contracting authorities (Regions, Municipalities, Area Entities) for the concession of Integrated Water Services across Italy.

During the course of COP28, which was held in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023, the parties drafted an agreement for accelerating global transition, promoting the "transition away" formula and setting out a roadmap for drastically reducing the use of coal, oil and gas. For the first time, the agreement includes explicit reference to a phasing out of fossil fuels to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and defines objectives aimed at tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency measures.

The market context in this area shows a high “potential demand”, for example as regards landfill disposal, waste-to-energy, composting, biogas generation, the treatment of sludge and liquid waste, mixed material recycling and the production of “Secondary Raw Materials”.
The sector is also favoured by the trend in the Italian regulatory framework, which provides for incentive forms and “revenue cap” mechanisms, together with the European Union guidelines regarding the Circular Economy ("Closing the Loop") aimed at the recycling and recovery of materials, facilitating the development of a new plant engineering in order to recover the infrastructure gap, particularly in the treatment of organic waste.
As regards Italy, in 2022 the National Programme for Waste Management (PNGR) was approved; this is a strategic tool to guide the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces in the planning of waste management, which establishes macro-objectives, macro-actions, targets and strategic guidelines to be followed in the preparation of Regional Plans for Waste Management (PRGR).
The PNGR covers a period of six years (2022-2028) and seeks to bridge the plant engineering gap, increasing the separate collection and recycling rate with a view to developing new supply chains for secondary raw materials from waste recycling, to replace the traditional chains, and contribute to the energy transition, based on national reconnaissance of existing systems.
Lastly, we mention that the sector offers growth opportunities also due to the availability of new technologies (for example composting) and the potential industrial integrations with other operators. The situation is therefore propitious for our growth strategy, also via acquisitions and with a view to positioning the Group as major operator in the treatment and recycling of paper, plastic, metal and wood.

Business and financial outlook in 2023

The results for 2023 have maintained a positive trend. We have continued to pay more careful attention to managing costs and investments and have set up a timely revision of procurement procedures with a view to enhancing competitive processes, enabling a prompt reduction in costs and optimisation of investments and work orders. Lines of action have also been defined to contain credit risk through prevention and customer portfolio management.

The Group will proceed in the coming months with its strategy to focus on the development of sustainable infrastructures in regulated markets, with the aim of maintaining a solid financial structure and continuing to generate a positive impact on operating and financial performances.

2024 Guidance

FY2023 results report “over-delivery” with a strong improvement in EBITDA and NFP/EBITDA


2023 Guidance

2023 Results 


€1 bn

€1.1 bn





< 3.8x


We anticipate a strong growth in investments and EBITDA already in 2024, the first year of the plan.



2024 Guidance

- Total
- Net contributions

€1.5 bn
€1.1 bn







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