President and CEO Message
2021 was a difficult year, but it was also made incredibly rewarding by the results we achieved.
This year, we have witnessed digitalization transform consumer and business
habits at a speed that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago.
We are on the cusp of a digital revolution. New needs and new, sizeable
markets are emerging, thanks to technologies such as edge computing, artificial
intelligence (AI), and 5G. An increasing number of devices are becoming
smart, capable of generating data and performing actions with the help
of miniaturized computers, human-machine interfaces, data analytics, and
machine learning. Over time, these new developments will help to improve
the efficiency of industrial processes, safety, and our overall quality of life.
We have been presented with an incredible opportunity for growth: in just
a few years’ time, the market will exceed Euro 500 billion in value and over
10 billion devices will be connected and linked to AI algorithms.
2021 proved to be an eventful yet satisfying year for SECO, and we continued
to accelerate our strategic development, expand, and grow our presence
abroad. In 2021, we reported revenues of over Euro 112 million, up more
than 47% on 2020, with a more than proportional improvement in margins.
Despite difficulties linked to the pandemic and other factors beyond our
control (including the component shortage), the results we achieved this
past year are proof that we are moving in the right direction, thanks in part
to the important strategic decisions we made in 2021.
In May, we successfully listed on the Euronext STAR Milan segment of the
Italian Stock Exchange, raising approximately Euro 100 million and taking
steps towards achieving our long-term goal of becoming a global industry
leader even more quickly than we had anticipated.
SECO Mind draws on the expertise of the companies we acquired in IoT,
data orchestration, and data analytics in recent years to develop software
solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) using AI. At SECO MIND, a team of
over 100 highly specializ ed engineers has used its e xpertise to create CLEA,
an innovative IoT and AI platform that allows customers to extract data from
devices and turn their enormous potential into something concrete. CLEA
users can now analyze data in real time to increase profit margins and launch
new business models based on value-added services.
We have also continued to make investments that will allow us to take full
advantage of opportunities for growth in the coming years. During 2021,
we strengthened our industrial infrastructure and our presence in Europe
(in the DACH area, in particular) by acquiring the Garz & Fricke Group. We
have also improved our ability to penetrate the US market, as well as our
expertise in developing AI algorithms by acquiring ORO Networks (now SECO
Mind USA). In addition, we have continued to invest in industrial processes
at all of our production facilities, guided by the concept of lean production
and the make-to-stock strategy, so that we can provide our customers with
even quicker delivery times.
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. That is why, in 2021, we are continuing to undertake a series
of initiatives to further reduce our impact on the environment, people, and
The process began at our Arezzo and Tregozzano plants, which have been
powered exclusively by renewable energy since 2021. We intend to extend
the practice to all of our facilities around the globe while also redesigning
our production processes so that we can achieve net-zero carbon dioxide
emissions (carbon neutrality).
Over 450 people joined SECO in 2021. We continued to strengthen our senior
management team and roll out performance data collection and reporting
systems so that we can monitor business performance in real time and
introduce performance-based reward schemes for our employees.
Last but not least, we have drafted SECO’s very first Non-Financial Declaration,
which follows the Sustainability Reports we published voluntarily in 2019
and 2020. By doing so, we will be able to express our commitment to ESG
topics even more comprehensively and transparently, with the intention of
making a more decisive contribution.
With an order portfolio that has grown significantly since last year, we are
starting 2022 stronger than ever before, determined to accelerate our growth
and develop AI algorithms using the CLEA platform across several vertical
sectors. This year, we will also be focusing on generating high value-added
solutions for our customers to improve our service levels.
It is truly thrilling to be a part of this project and we would like to take the
opportunity to thank all of our customers, shareholders, and stakeholders
for their unwavering support, and also our employees, who channel their
creativity, passion, and daily commitment into making SECO the successful,
internationally recognised 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
Daniele Conti e Massimo Mauri
(Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer)