With revenues from sales and services at 1.4 billion euro – about 40 million more than in 2015 – and a net worth of 642 million euro, SACMI has produced, for the third year running, one of the best results in the Cooperative's history. These outstanding figures were illustrated at the Shareholders’ Meeting of Friday 19th May, held in SACMI Imola's brand new Auditorium.
“As with the parent company, SACMI Imola, the Group's consolidated financial statement", points out President Paolo Mongardi, “is a decided improvement on both the budget forecast and the previous year's performance: sales are rising and the consolidated net result - higher than in 2015 - stands at about 34,5 million euro”.
These results are being driven by the excellent performance of the Ceramics and Closures & Containers Divisions. In 2016 the former – which represents about 70% of the volumes generated by SACMI Imola – strengthened the growth patterns established in previous years. “Highly positive results were achieved”, explains Mongardi, “on both Italian and European markets, a sign of Italian firms' renewed willingness to invest and the success of SACMI's continuing focus on product innovation, efficiency and plant automation”.
Particularly noteworthy were SACMI's Industry 4.0 projects, part of a broad policy encompassing all the Cooperative's Divisions and Businesses. Alongside Ceramics – where the success of the CONTINUA+ line and the new EKO kilns has been combined with large slab storage and handling systems developed by Toyota Handling Italia – recent developments by SACMI in the Beverage industry have focused on total integration of production lines, from cap to preform, from filling and labelling to secondary packaging.
“In 2016", observed SACMI's president, “Italy confirmed its status as the Group's main market with sales in excess of 200 million euro – that's about 15% of overall volumes – and a higher specific weight in both absolute terms and with respect to the high innovation content of most projects. A clear sign, then, that Italy and, more generally, Europe, beginning with the long-standing Spanish market, have resumed heavy investment in the industry”.
The positive performance is also reflected in the employment figures: the Group as a whole now has 4,239 employees (almost 60 more than the previous year), over 2,900 of whom work in Italian facilities (hardly a foregone conclusion for an industrial Group that continues to generate a good 85% of volumes on foreign markets).
Key successes on the Packaging-Beverage front in 2016 included the new KUBE labeller range, manufactured by SACMI Verona, and the takeover of Defranceschi Italia. The latter was described by SACMI's president as “an operation of both strategic and ethical importance” as the swift buyout of the failing company ensured the preservation of unique local know-how and skills”.
Alongside the takeovers and the inauguration of new headquarters (e.g. Gaiotto's in Piacenza, right next to the university campus, the Verona-based Cosmec headquarters that heads the SACMI Heavy Clay Business Unit and the new SACMI branch in Tennessee, USA, which provides support for investments made in the area by leading Italian ceramic firms), “service companies” that handle transport and logistics (Italiansped), provide manufacturing support (Protesa) and supply IT and administration services are playing an ever-greater role in the Group.
Note also the investments made by Carle&Montanari, the SACMI company that operates in the Food sector; they've successfully extended operations beyond their core chocolate business to include biscuits and bakery products.
In his sum-up, President Paolo Mongardi stated that the coming challenges will include further internal reorganisation, starting with a “focus on younger personnel to prepare them for key roles in Group companies: an approach crucial to the future success of our Group, which seeks to continue on a global, inter-generational path”.