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Market down by 30 percent, but performance remains solid

Rationalisation and reorganisation to beat the crisis and prepare the ground for recovery

The 2009 recession has hit the world economy hard. In the space of just a few months the financial storm has put the ‘real’ economy on its knees, triggering a domino effect that has spread worldwide. Governments have implemented damage limitation policies by propping up investment and keeping interest rates low. In Italy the situation has had a particularly marked impact on regions with a strong manufacturing base.

Sacmi completed 2009 with total sales of 972 million Euros, 17 less than in 2008. However, given that the market for ceramic-making machines and complete plants shrank by an average of 30% (with some areas losing 50% of business), that figure represents a remarkable capacity to fight back in the face of difficulty. Other key indicators such as Ebit, which reached 57.7 million Euros, and the Group’s net result of 4.3 million, also show remarkable resistance.

Buoyed by Group rationalisation policies that have been in place for some years now, Sacmi has - in order to beat the recession and limit its inevitable effects on business and employment – decided to increase efficiency further and reduce costs as far as possible. The reorganisation process began in 2009 was formally concluded in the first few months of 2010, ranging from the merger (by acquisition) of Niv into Sacmi Verona to the transformation of HPS into a service company (thanks to the absorption of Sinergia). There was also integration of Benco Pack into Sacmi Filling and – more generally – strengthening of a unified managerial set-up in the beverage sector.

Despite the difficulties, 2009 was again a year of new takeovers for Sacmi. The recession has put a lot of companies on the market, some of which were already leaders in their respective fields of business.

One such example is Nuova Fima, with which SACMI established a mutually rewarding agreement (which included its subsidiary, Surface Inspection), resulting in the company being rented with the ultimate aim of purchasing it.

That takeover will prove to be both strategic and synergic for the Inspection System Division already operative in Sacmi Imola. The same synergy and integration logic led to both the merging of all Sacmi companies dealing in moulds and dies and the decision to produce Negri Bossi’s Bi-Power presses in Sacmi.

Finally, internationalisation, with Sacmi continuing its strategy of maintaining a direct presence on international markets and enhancing production flexibility by establishing two new companies in Iran and Egypt. Here, Sacmi has decided to move quickly, setting up the newco Intesa and so entering the promising digital decoration market with a wealth of unique skills. New policies concerning beverage&packaging are also highly future-oriented, with development of the first SBF blower prototypes, robotized palletization systems and the first complete bottle handling systems. Rationalisation, then, but constant and determined innovation to ensure we make the very most of these first signs of recovery and begin growing now in 2010.

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