On Saturday 18th May 2019 the SACMI Imola S.C. Shareholders' Meeting approved the Group's consolidated Financial Statement. Once again, 2018 saw revenues exceed 1.4 billion euro (1.44 BLN), with net equity growing further to 668 million euro and a balance sheet profit of 50 million euro.
“The year 2018 produced one of the best results ever in SACMI's history with, compared to 2017, an improvement in net operating margins”, points out the President of SACMI Imola, Paolo Mongardi. That performance is all the more significant when viewed against the international economic backdrop “in which the initial forecast - one of vibrant continuity with previous years, as predicted by economists on all markets - gradually gave way to a substantial weakening of growth indicators”.
With stable export quotas (85% of volumes) and rising investment levels (42 million euro in 2018, over 220 million in 5 years), SACMI ended the year with a larger workforce which, at Group level, now numbers over 4500 employees.
SACMI Imola S.C. parent company sales were largely driven by the Ceramics and Closures, Containers & PET Divisions in 2018; they continue, in fact, to account for about 70% of parent company volumes. Sanitaryware&Tableware produced excellent results while the Tiles area exhibited stability thanks to strong sales of flagship products (e.g. Continua+ and large slab decoration lines), offsetting the relative market slowdown, especially in Europe.
“In terms of volumes Italy is - as regards goods and services supplied to the ceramic industry - easily the leading market. Investment was boosted by 4.0-driven governmental policies and, more specifically, sought to strengthen new, emerging products such as larger, thicker tiles, wall and designer tiles and slabs with through-body veining”, explained SACMI's General Manager, Claudio Marani. Tile-related product sales continue to be driven by the more mature European markets, “thus rewarding the company's decision to maximise plant engineering integration”.
In the Closures field, the launch of new cap manufacturing standards and innovative solutions – such as the new CCM Multilayer which reduces the amount of virgin polypropylene in single-use caps in favour of bio-compatible materials – confirm SACMI's commitment to sustainability. This opens the way towards even closer all-round partnerships between the SACMI Group and the international Beverage industry, where, in 2018, sales were driven by complete plants and labellers. The Metals business continued to grow apace, with SACMI strengthening its Europe-wide leadership in the design of complete powder metal solutions, thanks also to close collaboration with the continent's main industry associations and research facilities.
Completion of the Group governance renewal process - with the establishment of a new Customer Service Division and reorganisation of the food division, now SACMI Packaging&Chocolate – has laid the foundations for more effective market action, characterised by a strong focus on the Group's mission of developing dedicated, personalised solutions to meet the real needs of the market and the reinforcement of long-term partnerships with customers worldwide. Advanced Materials - which brings together the Group's skills in highly specialised sectors such as carbon, lithium battery component development and foamglass - also generated excellent results.
In terms of markets, results for Europe as a whole fell short of initial expectations, but performance in Italy proved to be more than encouraging. A look at the rest of the world highlights a substantial recovery on markets (Russia, Ukraine, Brazil) that had, in previous years, led the way. North America, instead, displayed signs of sluggishness, especially in the USA where trade policies have generated uncertainty among investors. Africa performed well, the overall picture being one of an increasing number of projects and higher investment levels. Asia, alongside a strengthening of SACMI's position in the Indian area, was characterised by the ongoing challenges posed by Chinese competition, to be seen in a broad global geo-political context.
For SACMI - which, this year, prepares to celebrate its centenary - the approval of the 2018 Financial Statement also offered an opportunity to lay the basis for future action by setting ambitious new goals for 2030. “Our objective in the coming years”, points out the President of SACMI Imola, Paolo Mongardi, “is to strengthen skills, processes and facilities and shape the digital changes that will involve products, services and business models. In 2018 our achievements included the completion and inauguration of the new SACMI Innovation Lab and the establishment of a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of Boston (MIT), reinforcing our role as international leaders in applied industrial research”. Continuing along this path, concludes the President, “constitutes a strategy designed to create an even more integrated, efficient, international Group, one characterised by managerial excellence and strong values: achieving this will require us to intercept the new challenges of the circular economy and embrace a culture of sustainability, factors now vital to the well-being of the wider global community”.