• Consolidated revenues in the first half of 2020 reached € 35.5 million (vs. € 32.5 million in the first half of 2019, +9.4%)
    In particular, there was significant growth in the biostimulants business to € 21.7 million (vs. € 18.2 million in 1H 2019, +19.4%); a slight contraction in the retardants business (to € 8.5 million – vs. € 8.7 million in 1H 2019, -2.1%) and the animal fat business (to € 3.38 million – vs. € 3.41 million in 1H 2019, -1.0%), both slowed down by the Covid emergency, especially in the second quarter
    All the main geographical areas grew significantly: Europe (including Italy) at € 19.5 million (vs. € 18.9 million in 1H 2019, +3.2%); Asia-Pacific at € 9.2 million (vs. € 7.9 million in 1H 2019, +16.4%); Americas at € 4.3 million (vs. € 3.0 million in 1H 2019, +42.3%). Only the Middle East and African market bucked the trend, at € 0.87 million (vs. € 0.9 million in 1H 2019, -2.9%)

SICIT Group‘s Board of Directors today today took note of the consolidated revenues for the period January 1 – June 30, 2020 which, if compared to the same period of 2019, recorded an overall increase of about € 3 million (+9.4%).

The growth result concerns almost all geographical areas: from Europe (including Italy, +3.2%; of which Italy +1.2% and other countries in Europe +4.6%), to APAC (+16.4%) and Americas (+42.3%). The only geography in countertrend is the Rest of the World (Middle East and Africa, -2.9%).

This result benefited from the growth in the biostimulant business for agriculture (+19.4%), which continues to achieve sustained demand; while both retardants for the plaster industry (-2.1%) and animal fat for biofuel production (-1.0%) decline slightly, as did revenues from withdrawals of animal by-products and tanning waste, essentially due to the more severe effects of the Covid emergency.

In fact, after a very good first quarter in which the Company recorded a strong increase in sales, also due to an advance on purchases in order to prevent a possible “shortage effect” from Covid, the second quarter was characterized: with regard to retardants, by the temporary closure of some plants of client companies for the production of plasterboard, as well as by a general slowdown in the construction industry; with regard to animal fat, by a reduction in residues withdrawn from Vicenza tanneries, due to lockdown, between the end of March and that of April, followed by a slow restart of all tanning activity, which is still ongoing.

Massimo Neresini, CEO of SICIT Group, said: “In light of the health emergency, we can only be satisfied. Confident that we have left the worst phase of the emergency behind us, we enter the second half of the year with a 9.4% increase in the first half: a particularly brilliant result, considering the times we are living. The level of appeal of our products remains generally very good, especially with regard to biostimulants. Our industrial investment plan is proceeding as planned, towards very promising objectives. Although the general economic environment remains unfavourable, the feedback we receive on a daily basis support us about the possibility of continuing the growth path we have undertaken“.

SICIT has been included in the portfolio of Italian Corporates for Sustainability (mid/small selection) in the latest report dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility published by Equita SIM.

The portfolio selection includes those companies combining appealing fundamentals with the highest contribution to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the report, SICIT is exposed to government’s initiatives aimed at fostering precision farming (UN SDG #2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) as 55% of its revenues stem from biostimulants produced through the recycling of waste from the tanning industry.

 

 

  • As expected, the innovative production process developed by the Company will improve Arzignano’s plant overall capacity by 33%, equal to an increase in production of 4,000 tons/year of animal by-products protein hydrolysate, bringing the total to approx. 16,000 tons/year, compared to approx. 12,000 tons/year in 2019
  • The operation will increase the characteristic value of biostimulants organic nitrogen, further qualifying SICIT’s offer on world agricultural markets
  • The recent plant will contribute to the evolution of plaster retardant’s offer, further expanding the markets covered by the Company

SICIT has completed the production of animal hair protein hydrolysate, remaining from the Vicenza tanning business, at the Arzignano plant.

Animal hair is a product rich in keratin, an important protein suitable for producing agriculture biostimulants.

The innovative production process, developed internally by the Company, guarantees the complete safety of the operations and the possibility to obtain different types of final hydrolysate. A special system of reactors and grinding mixers (an exclusive SICIT’s technology) guarantees the complete hydrolysis of keratin, following the necessary hydrolysis treatment, as required by Regulation (EC) no 1069/2009, allowing to obtain an extremely safe and proven-effective product.
All keratin-based products have largely passed the tests: both in vitro, under controlled laboratory conditions, and according to randomized protocols in open field, allowing to assist clients with essential information to use these new formulations in the most effective way possible.

The production capacity of the new plant is approx. 40 – 60 tons/day of processed hair, for a total of over 10,000 tons/year, as originally planned. This will result in an additional production of about 4,000 tons/year of protein hydrolysates, bringing the total produced by SICIT Group at the Arzignano plant to approx. 16,000 tons/year, compared to 12,000 tons/year in 2019. Overall, therefore, the process innovation will increase the production capacity of animal by-products protein hydrolysate by 33%.

Moreover, thanks to this initiative, the Company expects: i) an increase in the characteristic value of organic nitrogen in biostimulants, which will further qualify SICIT Group’s offer on world agricultural markets; and ii) the evolution of plaster retardant industrial products, making SICIT Group’s technical offer even more performing and competitive.

Massimo Neresini, CEO of SICIT Group, said: “The circular economy has always led SICIT’s action: this plant makes it possible to implement a further recovery of a residue from the tanning industry, providing a fundamental service for an extremely-important area for the economy of our country. SICIT is constantly working to guarantee high standards of agronomic performance in all the protein hydrolysates it produces, using the most advanced screening techniques“.

Trading began today on the Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA – STAR Segment) of Borsa Italiana for SICIT Group’s ordinary shares and warrants which, at the same time, were excluded from AIM Italia.

Massimo Neresini, CEO of SICIT Group, said: “The translisting on the MTA is an important showcase to reach a wider audience of investors and accelerate the path of growth and internationalization undertaken, in a medium-long term perspective. Granting the STAR qualification by Borsa Italiana is a further recognition of the quality and the resilience of SICIT which, even in a complicated period, has never stopped, consolidating its leadership in the circular economy“.

Ordinary shares and warrants maintain the same ISIN code: IT0005372344 and IT0005275034.

Also effective from today are the new articles of association of SICIT, which comply with the regulations for companies with shares listed on regulated markets; and some amendments aimed at strengthening the Company’s governance, in line with the regulations applicable to listed companies and the Code of Conduct of Borsa Italiana.

  • Consolidated revenues of approx. € 19.7 million (vs. € 15.7 million in the first quarter of 2019, +25.6%)
  • Adjusted consolidated EBITDA of approx. € 8.0 million and equal to 40.4% of revenues (compared to € 5.4 million in Q1 2019)
  • Consolidated net cash available at 31 March 2019 of approx. € 29.6 million (€ 29.3 million at 31 December 2019)
  • Further resolutions taken for the listing on the MTA, STAR segment
The Board of Directors of SICIT Group approved the operating results as at 31 March 2020.

 

The Group’s consolidated revenues in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to € 19.7 million, up by € 4.0 million compared to the first quarter of 2019 (equal to € 15.7 million, +25.6%).

 

The growth concerned all the Group’s main areas of business: from biostimulants for agriculture (+29.9%), to retardants for the plaster industry (+19.6%), to animal fat for the production of biofuels (+27.3%).

 

Similarly, growth concerned almost all geographical areas: from Europe (including Italy, +25.1%, of which Italy +3.5% and other European countries +41%), to APAC (40.2%) and Americas (+13.9%). The only areas in countertrend are the Middle East and Africa (-8.1%).

 

Adjusted consolidated EBITDA at 31 March 2020 amounted to approximately € 8.0 million (+ € 2.6 million, +47.3% compared to Q1 2019).

 

This increase is mainly due to (i) higher revenues in the first quarter of 2020, as well as stable structural costs, and (ii) the consolidation of SICIT Chemitech S.p.A. which contributed with € 0.6 million in Q1 2020 (the subsidiary was not included in the scope of consolidation in Q1 2019).

 

The consolidated EBITDA margin adjusted (the ratio of adjusted consolidated EBITDA and consolidated revenues) increased from 34.4% in Q1 2019 to 40.4% in Q1 2020 mainly due to improved operating leverage and the consolidation of SICIT Chemitech S.p.A..

 

Non-recurring costs (excluded from adjusted consolidated EBITDA) amounted to approx. € 0.4 million in Q1 2020, mainly for advisory services related to the listing process on the MTA market, STAR segment, and approx. € 0.3 million in Q1 2019, mainly for advisory services related to the Business Combination between SICIT 2000 S.p.A. and SprintItaly S.p.A. and the listing on the AIM market.

 

Consolidated net cash available at 31 March 2020 amounted to € 29.6 million (€ 29.3 million at 31 December 2019). The cash generated during the period was also enough to finance investments and net working capital for the quarter.

 

With reference to the emergency linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company, following what had already been communicated on 23 March 2020, specifies that, starting from the middle of last April, an increasing number of Vicenza tanneries – as provided by the Decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (so-called “DPCM” by the Italian Prime Minister) of 22 March and 10 April 2020 – with a communication to the Prefect of Vicenza, have started to collect fresh bovine leather again and operate the so-called first tanning process, in order to prevent the interruption of the fundamental beef slaughtering chain. As a result, SICIT, in turn, has also started to collect animal by-products again. Subsequently, starting from the end of April 2020, some tanning production started again with the production of shavings and trimmings, following the first tanning processing and, therefore, the Company’s collecting of the waste already tanned. Finally, pursuant to the DPCM of 26 April 2020, tanneries were also authorised to operate as part of the activities listed in Annex 3 (sub-code ATECO 15 “manufacture of leather and similar articles”) of the same decree, so from 4 May 2020 it is permitted to carry out the activities. All flows of raw materials to SICIT must therefore be understood as re-established and continuous, even if for reduced volumes compared to the volumes recorded during the periods prior to the emergency.

 

Further resolutions of the Board functional to the listing on the MTA (Italian Equities Market):

 

  • Appointment of the Head of Internal Audit: in compliance with the Corporate Governance Code of Borsa Italiana, appointed Massimiliano Rigo (partner of Key Advisory S.r.l.) as Head of the Company’s internal audit function, to whom this function has been outsourced.
  • 2020-2022 Incentive Plan: executive resolutions of the Company’s “2020-2022 Incentive Plan”, also based on financial instruments and approved by the Shareholders’ Meeting held on 20 April 2020, including the adoption of the related Regulations and the identification of the related beneficiaries, including the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Consolidated revenues in the first quarter reached € 19.7 million (vs. € 15.7 million in Q1 2019, +25.6%)
  • All of the company’s main businesses are showing significant growth: biostimulants up to € 12.1 million (vs. € 9.3 million in Q1 2019, +29.9%); retardants up to € 4.3 million (vs. € 3.6 million in Q1 2019, +19.6%); animal fat up to € 2.1 million (vs. €1.7 million in Q1 2019, +27.3%)
  • All the main geographical areas grew significantly: Europe (including Italy) up to € 12.1 million (vs. € 9.7 million in Q1 2019, +25.1%); Asia-Pacific up to € 4.5 million (vs. € 3.2 million in Q1 2019, +40.2%); Americas up to € 1.7 million (vs. € 1.5 million in Q1 2019, +13.9%)

SICIT Group announces that consolidated revenues in Q1 2020, compared to the same period of 2019, recorded an overall increase of over € 4 million (+25.6%). This growth result concerned all the main areas of business: from biostimulants for agriculture (+29.9%) to retardants for the plaster industry (+19.6%), to animal fat for the production of biofuels (+27.3%).

Similarly, growth concerned almost all geographical areas: from Europe (including Italy, +25.1%, of which Italy +3.5% and other European countries +41%) to APAC (40.2%) and Americas (+13.9%). The only area in countertrend is the Rest of the World (i.e., Middle East and Africa, -8.1%).

Alessandro Paterniani, Chief Commercial Officer of SICIT Group, commented: “we are very satisfied. Although part of the increase can be reasonably attributed to an advance on purchases to prevent a possible ‘shortage effect’ from COVID-19, we believe that the level of interest in our products is still in a substantially positive trend, especially with regard to biostimulants. Despite the uncertainty of the economic environment, our client’s feedback comforts us on the possibility of achieving the economic and financial targets set for 2020“.

SICIT Group is doing its part to help the Italian health system and territories to deal with the Coronavirus emergency. Yesterday, the Board of Directors of the Company approved two donations: the first in favour of a hospital in Vicenza, which will be identified among the ongoing projects, for the strengthening of intensive care units; the second in favour of the new Fiera Milano Hospital.

The amount approved by the Board of Directors is equal to Euro 500,000 and will be allocated in the same proportion to the two health facilities. In addition, the Company’s Directors decided to waive their basic compensation (Euro 220,000), which will be donated in the same proportion to the hospitals in Vicenza and Milan.

Valter Peretti, Chairman of SICIT Group, said: “at such a difficult time for the entire country, it is important that Italian industrial system plays its part. This is why we have decided to make our small but significant contribution: a concrete gesture to help all those people who every day, within the hospitals of two of the most affected areas of Italy, face the Coronavirus emergency“.

Massimo Neresini, CEO of SICIT Group, added: “we have always been very attentive and close to the needs of the areas in which we operate. Today, more than ever, it was essential to act, reaffirming our social commitment, since those territories are facing an unprecedented challenge with great dignity: together we will succeed in defeating it“.

With reference to the Decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (so-called “DPCM” by the Italian Prime Minister) of March 22nd, 2020, containing new measures to stem the Covid-19 epidemic, including the closure, throughout Italy, “of all non-essential businesses”, SICIT GROUP informs that its activities are included in the list among those considered essential, and will therefore continue as usual.

The Company’s activity falls under the ATECO – code 20 (i.e. manufacture of chemical products) which has been included by the Decree in the list of businesses considered essential. The same applies to the activity of the subsidiary Sicit Chemitech (ATECO – code 72: scientific research and development).

It is also pointed out that the Group’s business – besides serving, in large part, the agri-food chain and energy production (activities that the decree included among the essential ones) – is essential for the first stage of the tanning industry processing, treating waste and by-product to obtain stable (and recyclable) materials. In this sense, SICIT Group believes it is obliged to process the tanning’s waste, also from a health point of view.

On the basis of the indications provided by the World Health Organization and by the Italian Government, SICIT Group has implemented specific policies to protect the health of its employees, clients and partners, while ensuring the business continuity. In particular, as the situation evolves, SICIT has asked employees involved in non-essential production functions to work from home, organizing dedicated smart working procedures. In the same way, the Company is adopting all the required solutions to ensure the health of its employees in its Italian production sites. SICIT has highly automated production plants that allow a limited use of staff directly involved in the production process.

SICIT Group and Syngenta strengthened their collaboration to promote an even more sustainable agriculture. The agreement provides for, on the one hand, a 15-year exclusive supply contract for ISABION and HICURE biostimulants and, on the other, for the further development of collagen-based biostimulants.

As natural and eco-compatible products that make it possible to optimise the use of crop protection products and chemical fertilisers, the use of biostimulants in the agricultural sector is growing rapidly. The benefits of their use are many and range from increased tolerance to abiotic stresses to improved nutrient assimilation, thus leading to an increase in yield and crop quality, while favouring a more efficient use of water.

With a global presence of over 20 years, ISABION is one of the leading products in the biostimulants market and helps plants mitigate the impact of abiotic stresses like cold, heat and transplant shock. ISABION delivers consistent results as well as a high return on investment for vegetable, fruit and specialty crop growers in different geographies and growing conditions. ISABION also helps growers to minimize the impact of climate change, fulfilling increased demands of high quality yields.

Alessandro Paterniani, Chief Commercial Officer of SICIT Group, commented: “We are proud to strengthen our long term collaboration with a market leader. Thanks to this agreement, Sicit will improve farmers’ access to its innovative solutions for sustainable farming“.

Corey Huck, Head Global Biologicals of Syngenta, said: “With this agreement, Syngenta secures access to the industry leading capabilities in the area of collagen based biostimulants, to further build our strong biological portfolio”.

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