President and CEO Message
in the most difficult moments great opportunities arise. This is SECO's 2020 summary: a year at the same time complicated by the advent of COVID-19 and full of positive events.
The continuous development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G has progressively pushed the digital transformation of objects, production lines and business models. This trend, already underway for some years, has had a further acceleration with the spread of the pandemic.
Despite a profound macroeconomic crisis, we closed 2020 with growth rates well above the double digits and an important improvement in margins. Net Sales for the year were 76.1 million euros, up by over 15 percentage points compared to 2019, and Adjusted EBITDA for the year was Euro 15.9 million, over 20% of Net Sales. We have won numerous projects with new customers and increased our workforce by over 70 people: this allows us to look with confidence and optimism at the future of the company, its financial stability and the ability to maintain current employment levels.
These results are derived above all thanks to an important organic growth: we have continued to add value to our customers' products, creating ever more complete and integrated solutions, significantly increasing the breadth of our customer base, our international exposure and presence in sectors such as the medical and defense sectors.
In March, we moved quickly, making the company a safe place to come to work and encouraging smart working wherever possible. We faced enormous difficulties and were able to turn them into opportunities thanks to the commitment of all our people.
In April SECO started an industrial collaboration with IBD Biomedical, of which we are particularly proud, to create Biorespira, an innovative non-invasive pulmonary ventilator designed to specifically treat patients affected by COVID-19.
During the year, we continued to invest in research and development, in new production technologies and in qualified personnel. During the year we launched over 20 new products, increased our workforce to over 400 people, with a direct presence in 9 countries around the world.
At all locations we have accelerated investments in production processes based on the principles of lean production and make-to-stock, to guarantee our customers ever shorter delivery times.
In 2020, we also continued the management path of the group. For the management of the various business areas, we have implemented systems for detecting and reporting performance data that will allow us to monitor business performance in real time and to introduce rewarding models for our staff based on meritocracy.
At SECO, the future is a component of daily work: in 2020 we acquired Ispirata and Hopenly, two Italian companies that deal with data orchestration and artificial intelligence and which, together with Aidilab, represent the skills with which our model of business: from module to system and from system to data analysis to add more and more value for our customers.
In February 2020, the path to listing SECO shares on the MTA (Mercato Telematico Azionario), organized and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A., began, which we expect to successfully conclude in the first half of 2021, thus making a historic transition for the company, raising important financial resources in capital increases to continue investing. growing and developing.
We want to be a leading company, looking to the future, a point of reference in the field of high technology worldwide and that is why we are increasingly focused on the sustainability of our business model.
In fact, we believe that, in the future, digital technologies will increasingly be the enabling factor for the relaunch and sustainable restart of the economy, to build more inclusive and less impactful development models. In this context, we want to be a Group strongly committed to environmental sustainability, the reduction of emissions, presence and dialogue with the territory. We want to be a Group that guarantees and welcomes all forms of diversity, protects equal opportunities and encourages the development of its talents.
All together, we can look to the future with confidence: here at SECO, we build it every day with Respect, Dynamism, Passion.
Let's build our future together
Daniele Conti e Massimo Mauri
(President and CEO)