President and CEO Message
the year we have just left behind us was a complicated one due to shortages in raw materials and electronic components, which impacted performance in numerous industries and resulted in a significant increase in lead times and in the cost of materials. It has been a challenging year, but one that has also left us feeling proud of what we have achieved.
The growing trend of digitalization is in front of us, sweeping through various sectors and aspects of daily life, including those that have historically been more reluctant to embrace the digital. The constant demand for innovation, smart objects, and real-time data analysis is shaping the behaviour of individuals and businesses at an unprecedented pace. We are in the early days of a vast digital revolution that is expected to last for many years.
In this dynamic landscape, we continued to expand our technology portfolio and grow in size and international presence. Our revenues climbed to Euro 201 million in 2022, increasing organically by more than 40% on 2021, and our Adjusted EBITDA surpassed Euro 44 million.
Despite the shortages we faced, we remained committed to supporting our customers and their business pursuits. By investing more than Euro 25 million in inventory, we were able to ensure the availability of crucial, time-sensitive components, thereby guaranteeing the continuity of our deliveries. Our R&D team re-designed nearly 20 existing products, substituting hard-to-find components with others that had shorter lead times. These measures, together with our business model, which afforded us flexibility and complete control over the production phase, allowed us to prevent disruptions to our production operations and to consistently meet our customer commitments.
At the heart of this year's remarkable achievements are the 800+ individuals employed at SECO. For this reason, we place a strong emphasis on training and professional development, and have continued to invest in these areas this year. Through our Talent Development Program, we support the growth trajectory of some of our highest-potential employees every year, with the intention of developing their managerial and leadership skills through specialized coaching courses. Within our R&D department, we started a project which helped us define structured career paths and strengthen our managerial hierarchy by identifying 13
team leaders. We also introduced a performance appraisal system that promotes transparent communication and feedback within each team, while recognizing the daily commitment our staff make and identifying areas for growth.
We believe that sharing and pooling knowledge creates greater value for all stakeholders, which is why this year, our ecosystem of partners, universities, and research centers has expanded to further enhance our technology portfolio and accelerate the time-to-market of our customer solutions.
Today, more than ever before, business sustainability is closely tied to the impact we have on the planet and the well-being of current and future generations. As a Group, we are committed to doing good, and firmly believe that our solutions can serve as valuable tools for sustainable development in numerous industrial sectors. For this we have identified, also taking into consideration the material environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters with the help of our stakeholders, a set of 20 ESG actions to be implemented in the coming years in order to continue enhancing the structural inclusion of sustainability in both our long-term strategies and our day-to-day operations.
In 2023, we will see strong inflationary pressures and high interest rates. However we also see great opportunities for growth thanks to the strong demand for digital products and solutions. Our customers’ needs are increasingly shifting towards integrated hardware and software solutions for smart, interconnected products and for real-time data analysis using models of artificial intelligence. SECO is perfectly positioned to serve these needs in an efficient, innovative manner.
We are at the start of a new era, and the digital revolution has just begun. We will continue to work with passion and determination to seize the enormous opportunities for growth presented to us by our marketplace. We are convinced that our commitment will contribute generate significant value.
It is truly thrilling to be a part of this project and we would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our Stakeholders for their unwavering support, and also our employees, who channel their creativity, passion, and dedication into making SECO the successful, internationally recognized company that it is today.
The future holds countless exciting opportunities, and we are doing everything in our power to be ready for them: an amazing digital revolution has just begun!
Daniele Conti e Massimo Mauri
(Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer)