2017 Year in Review
Our promise to you is simple. We champion people by
delivering energy that inspires. This promise guides us
in everything we do, from how we upgrade infrastructure
to how we knock on a customer’s door.
And it’s a commitment that grows in sync with our goals.
In 2017, our gas companies united under one name and one
to become Spire. Because we believe that by bringing together
the talent of our teams, everything is possible.
We delivered strong performance in fiscal 2017.
Whether it’s solid financial and operating performance, or our commitment to organic growth and investment in our business, this strong foundation makes it possible to keep our promises to our shareholders, customers, communities and employees.
Because we’re growing in all the ways we said we would,
we continued to drive strong earnings growth.
We continue to raise the bar on operating performance, including safety and overall system performance, as part of our ongoing efforts to serve our customers even better.
earnings per share growth
Net economic earnings in fiscal 2017 were $3.56 per diluted share, representing growth of 4.1 percent, consistent with our plan for the year and our long-term annual earnings growth target of 4 to 6 percent.
Net economic earnings
$ per share by fiscal year
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
total shareholder return
Reflecting our strong financial and operational performance, a robust stock market and Spire’s common stock dividend, we delivered a total return of nearly 21 percent to shareholders in fiscal 2017.
The dividend was raised by 7.1 percent for 2018, supported by our long-term earnings growth targets and conservative payout ratio targeted at 55 to 65 percent. We’ve paid a dividend for 73 continuous years, and we increased our dividend to shareholders for the 15th consecutive year.
$ per share by fiscal year
At the end of fiscal 2017, we had a well-balanced long-term capital structure consisting of 48.7 percent equity and 51.3 percent debt.
$ millions by fiscal year
Spire completed a new $975 million revolving credit facility and launched a commercial paper program to support working capital financing for Spire and our gas companies.
We decreased the number of leaks per 1,000 miles of main by 30 percent on average. Fiscal 2016 showed significant progress in lowering our employee injury rate, and we improved an additional 7 percent in fiscal 2017, demonstrating our commitment to continuous improvement.
We further improved our leak response time to 27.4 minutes on average for our Alabama and Missouri gas companies, reflecting a 5 percent improvement over the prior year.
Read next chapter: Invest to grow ⟶
We delivered on our promise to grow by investing
in infrastructure upgrades, technology and our
people to make sure we meet our customers’
needs today and for years to come.
We continued to increase our capital investment in infrastructure, technology and new business to bring even better service to more communities.
total capital invested
In fiscal 2017, we invested a total of $438 million in capital, nearly 50 percent more than last year, including $413 million for our gas companies and $25 million for the Spire STL Pipeline.
$ millions by fiscal year
We increased our capital expenditure forecast for the five-year period 2017 to 2021 to $2.3 billion, up from $2.0 billion for 2016 to 2020, reflecting gas company infrastructure upgrades and new business investment.
Capital expenditures forecast
$ millions by fiscal year
Part of redefining how we serve our customers means deploying new technology to support our business. This year we launched a multi-year effort to standardize and enhance our information technology platform companywide.
million invested in
for our gas companies
in fiscal 2017.
Modernizing our gas infrastructure across all our operations assures we can continue to deliver safe, reliable energy that warms homes, grows businesses and moves our communities forward.
miles of pipeline
We replaced 324 miles of pipeline across Alabama and Missouri in fiscal 2017, a 20 percent increase over 2016, and more than 200 miles more than was replaced five years ago. We expect our replacement program to extend over the next 15 to 20 years.
Miles of pipeline replaced
We achieved customer growth for the third straight year. By focusing on the combined strength of our people, technology and processes, we’re advancing our plan to bring our energy, not just to existing customers, but to every home and business in the communities we serve.
Gas company customers
millions by fiscal year
Note: Rolling 12-month average customers for all gas utilities for period of Spire’s ownership and average customers of acquired utilities for period of ownership in the year of acquisition
Executive Vice President
Chief Operating Officer of Distribution Operations and Gas Utilities
invested in new business
In fiscal 2017, we invested $58 million in new business to bring energy to more homes and businesses, a 26 percent increase over the prior year.
new meters installed across
Alabama and Missouri,
reflecting a 16 percent
increase over last year.
multi-family housing units
in Alabama and Missouri
were contracted, reflecting
our goal to further serve
this growing market segment.
We’re progressing on plans to bring new energy to St. Louis through the Spire STL Pipeline, which is on track to add new energy resources for our customers in mid-fiscal 2019.
We’re investing $190 million to $210 million in the 65-mile pipeline, which will improve our supply diversity, reliability and resiliency, and bring the benefits of lower-cost natural gas to homes and businesses in the St. Louis region.
Read next chapter: Employees and customers ⟶
We’re connecting our employees with new tools,
better technology and more resources, so they can
work as one team to serve our customers.
And, with a new technology platform, we’re
connecting with customers in ways that are
meaningful to them.
We’re redefining what it means to serve by focusing on better understanding our customers so we can connect them with the energy they need to thrive.
Thanks to our new mobile-
friendly website and My
Account customer portal,
it’s easier than ever for
customers to get in touch
with us and manage
their account on-the-go.
Contact Center Supervisor
We are leveraging the latest technology to improve real-time connectivity with our field teams no matter where they are, helping us to work even more efficiently. We achieved an appointment attainment rate of 96 percent in Missouri and more than 98 percent in Alabama.
Every one of the 3,300 Spire employees participated in workshops where they learned what it means to live our mission, the Spire promise, every day.
Spire’s entire fleet of
vehicles was transformed
with new graphics.
Employees who engage
with our customers in their
homes and businesses are now
more readily recognizable
thanks to new Spire uniforms
and identification badges.
Read next chapter: Advance our communities ⟶
Spire stands for our promise to bring people
and energy together in ways that enrich
lives and advance communities.
Spire Serves, our new enterprise-wide corporate social responsibility program, is one way we are delivering on this promise.
Day for Good is a Spire Serves initiative that encourages employees to spend a day volunteering with an organization whose mission they support. With the launch of the volunteer initiative, 462 employees volunteered 3,528 hours to 130 organizations in July and August alone.
Our employees give generously of their time, talent and financial resources to advance their communities, and Spire partners with them to leverage that investment through matching gifts and organizational support.
Working in partnership with United Way, we created a model for how other
companies throughout the nation can better serve their communities.
This year, Spire invested nearly $5.5 million to enrich the communities we serve, including Spire Foundation grants, matching gifts, sponsorships and civic and association memberships.
Senior Vice President, General Counsel
and Chief Compliance Officer
Spire Foundation President
Spire’s Inspiration Teams, representing employees across the company, organize and inspire local involvement in regional United Way campaigns, company-sponsored walks and annual awards programs that recognize our employee volunteers.
Spire leaders serve on 117
boards and associations
that partner with us to
advance our communities.
More than 3,500 local families stayed warm this year thanks to the generosity of Spire customers who gave $1 or more a month to our DollarHelp program. In 2017, more than $1 million was raised to help keep our neighbors’ homes warm all winter long.
We provided rebate incentives to 10,316 residential customers in Missouri for implementing high-efficiency measures, which was 32 percent more than last year. And we installed 494 commercial high-efficiency measures, a 24 percent increase over the prior year.
Spire’s Hallmark program shows our customers just how much we care. More than 250 contact center agents are using the Hallmark program to connect with customers in the communities we serve through personalized, Spire-branded Hallmark greeting cards.
As a leading provider of cleaner-burning natural gas, Spire’s commitments to environmental and social responsibilities are fundamental to how we operate our company.
Our ongoing investment in infrastructure upgrades has made our distribution system even safer, and more reliable and cost efficient. At the same time, we have achieved an 8 percent reduction in methane emissions over the last five years at our Alabama and Missouri gas companies.