Today, on 30th April 2019, AusNet Services Limited (ASX: AST) announced that its long-serving Managing Director, Nino Ficca, has advised the Board of his intention to retire by the end of 2019 after more than 37 years in the industry, and since listing, the last 14 as the Managing Director of AusNet Services. Mr. Peter Mason, Chairman of the company congratulated Mr. Ficca on his outstanding contribution to AusNet Services and its predecessor companies over his many years in the role.
Mr. Mason stated that Mr. Ficca’s leadership and his contribution to the wider industry has been outstanding. He led AusNet through its initial public listing in 2005, and since that time, has overseen a sustained period of strong performance and returns to the shareholders, with a consistently strong balance sheet. Through Nino’s leadership and commitment, the company has also successfully navigated periods of uncertainty and challenges with high integrity. The Board has valued Nino’s vast industry experience and knowledge as well as his strong safety leadership as demonstrated by the marked improvement in AusNet Services’ safety performance. Nino will be leaving at a time when the energy industry is undergoing a period of significant transformation. With this in mind, he has positioned AusNet Services for sustained performance and ongoing development in both its regulated transmission, distribution and gas networks and with a healthy portfolio of activities and pipeline of growth opportunities in its unregulated Mondo business.
Mr. Ficca expressed his gratitude towards the company and stated that it has been a difficult decision to call time on his executive career. He is confident that AusNet Services is in a very strong position, with excellent future prospects and with a talented and committed team in place that is energised about the future direction of the company and the industry. He also expressed his love towards the company’s people who get up every day with the aim of serving their customers and communities. He had a great opportunity of working with some outstanding people over many years and thank them all for their support. He also appreciated the support of the Board over many years and valued the trust placed in him to lead the company.
The Board has in place a succession planning process, and a global executive search firm is supporting the search for Mr. Ficca's replacement. To facilitate an orderly transition, Mr Ficca will remain as Managing Director of AusNet Services until his successor has commenced.
At the time of writing (on 30th April 2019, AEST 03:15 PM), the stock of AusNet was trading at $1.775, down 1.662% with a market capitalisation of ~$6.59 billion. Its current PE multiple is at 24.2x, and its last EPS was noted at A$0.075. Its annual dividend yield has been noted at 5.25%. Today, it reached day’s high at $1.800 and day’s low at $1.777, with a daily volume of 1,274,586. Its 52 weeks high price stands at $1.830 and 52 weeks low price at $1.505, with an average volume of 4,264,509. Its absolute return for the past five years, one year, six months, and three months are 32.02%, 4.94%, 6.8%, and 8.08%, respectively.
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