- Consolidated revenues of approx. € 48.2 million (approx. € 43.2 million in the first nine months of 2019, +11.5%)
- Adjusted consolidated EBITDA of approx. € 18.7mn and 38.7% of revenues (€ 16.1mn in 9M 2019, +16.2%)
- Adjusted consolidated net profit of approx. € 11.4mn (€ 9.4mn in 9M 2019, +22.5%)
- Consolidated NFP/available funds at 30 September 2020 approx. € 21.2mn (€ 29.3mn at 31 December 2019)
SICIT Group‘s BoD approved the additional consolidated periodic financial information at 30 September 2020.
Massimo Neresini, CEO of SICIT, commented: “In the first nine months of the year we recorded double-digit growth in revenues, EBITDA and net profit. Very satisfactory results, in light of the health emergency that began in the first half of the year and strongly re-emerged in the third quarter. The data tells us that the construction industry, and consequently our plaster retardants, are suffering the impact of the Coronavirus. At the moment, this decline is more than offset by our main business area, related to biostimulants for agriculture, which continues to show robust (current and expected) growth trends. The other two areas, related to animal fat for biofuels and tanning waste collection services, have fully recovered from the previously recorded declines. The resilience of SICIT is also confirmed by a growth in revenues in almost all geographical areas. We have set a solid path, as proved by the production and commercial continuity; the continuation of the industrial investment plan and the expansion of the laboratories; we are continuing to develop innovative, efficient and tailor-made solutions. The worsening of the pandemic and the restrictive measures makes it very difficult to make any predictions for the current year, but the efforts made and the results achieved so far comfort us regarding the possibility of essentially achieving the 2020 economic-financial goals“.
In the first nine months of 2020 SICIT generated revenues of € 48.2 million, an increase of € 5 million (+11.5%) compared to the first nine months of 2019 (€ 43.2 million). The exchange rate effect was not significant.
This increase was mainly generated by the growth in products for agriculture (+ € 5.8 million, +25%), which continues to record sustained demand, and by animal fat for the production of biofuels (+8.4%), which recovered the slight decrease recorded in the first half of 2020 (-1%), caused by the slowdown in the supply of raw materials. Plaster retardants confirmed their slowdown (- € 1.1 million, -8.8%) mainly due to the effects of the Covid emergency on the world construction market and the temporary closure of some customers (plaster factories). Finally, revenues from the collection of animal by-products and tanning waste (+0.1%) recovered the delay recorded in the first half of 2020 (-6.8%), due to the lock-down of tanneries last spring.
Growth affected almost all geographical areas: from Europe (including Italy, +5.1%; of which Italy +8.6% and other countries in Europe +2.7%), to APAC (+21.6%), North America (+2%) and Latam (+50.2%), and Rest of the World (Middle East and Africa, +8.3%). The growth of Europe, APAC and Latam was mainly driven by agricultural products, partially offset by the decline in plaster retardants. North American growth is entirely attributable to retardant products.
Adjusted consolidated EBITDA
Adjusted consolidated EBITDA amounted to € 18.7 million as at 30 September 2020 (38.7% of revenues), up by € 2.6 million (+16.2%) compared to the first nine months of 2019 (€ 16.1 million, 37.1% of revenues).
The increase in absolute value is mainly due to the growth in revenues and the related industrial margin, partially offset by the higher fixed costs linked to the translisting to the STAR (on the Italian Equities Market) and the adjustment of the post-listing governance structure, as well as higher production costs (employees and amortisations) partly incurred to ensure business continuity to customers even during the lock-down. Adjusted EBITDA increased as a percentage of revenues (38.7%) compared to the first nine months of 2019 (37.1%), mainly due to higher sales volumes, which allowed a better absorption of fixed costs and to the activities for production efficiency (which continued in 2020) which offset the slight increase in some of the above costs.
Adjusted EBITDA as a % of revenues also increased significantly compared to the first half of 2020 (37.2%). This increase is due, in addition to higher sales volumes, also to:
- higher production volumes which, in the third quarter of 2020, substantially offset the drastic drop recorded in the second quarter of the year, when problems related to COVID-19 had affected SICIT’s suppliers and interruptions in the supply of raw materials had led to the temporary interruption of production of semi-finished base products (hydrolyzed proteins); and
- greater efficiencies in production processes that allowed the optimization of production costs.
Adjusted EBITDA does not include non-recurring costs of € 1.9 million in the first nine months of 2020 for non-recurring taxes for the translisting from the AIM Italia to the STAR (€ 1.2 million, of which € 1.0 million for advice services and € 0.2 million for non-recurring bonuses to employees and directors), sanitization and safety costs following the health crisis linked to COVID-19 (€ 0.1 million) and non-recurring donations to health facilities linked to COVID-19 (€ 0.6 million). In the first nine months of 2019 non-recurring costs amounted to € 10.8 million, of which € 0.6 million for non-recurring advice for the merger of SICIT 2000 S.p.A. into SprintItaly S.p.A. and listing at AIM Italia, and € 10.2 million as listing cost from the record of the merger of SICIT 2000 S.p.A. into SprintItaly S.p.A. as a “reverse acquisition” operation, in compliance with IFRS 2 (non-monetary imputed costs and not relevant for tax purposes).
Adjusted consolidated net result
The adjusted consolidated net profit grew substantially in line with adjusted EBITDA (+ € 2.1 million, +22.5%) and amounted to € 11.4 million at 30 September 2020 (€ 9.3 million in the first nine months of 2019).
Consolidated NFP/available funds
Consolidated NFP/available funds at 30 September 2020 amounted to € 21.2 million (€ 29.3 million at 31 December 2019). Operating cash flow, in the first nine months of 2020, was positive for € 14.2 million before outflows for net investments of € 8.6 million (€ 11.1 million investments net of the change in payables for investments for € 2.5 million), income tax of € 4, 2 million, of which € 3.7 million from the substitute tax on the greater carrying amount allocated to the Plastretard trademark and goodwill arising from the merger deficit following the merger by incorporation of Sicit 2000 S.p.A. in SprintItaly S.p.A. SICIT also paid dividends worth about € 8.8 million and purchased treasury shares for a total value of about € 0.9 million.
Similarly with previous years, during the first nine months of 2020, SICIT continued its investment activities in order to improve processes and products and expand production capacity. The main investments related to:
- Expanding the agronomic, chemical and quality control laboratories at the Arzignano site, to improve and strengthen the research and development of new products, and quality control together with its customers;
- Expanding the storage tanks and the new warehouses at the Arzignano site to ensure greater flexibility and effectiveness in responding to growing customer demand;
- Completing the plant for the production of protein hydrolysate from animal hair treatment;
- The new plant for refining and re-esterification of animal fat in order to obtain a high quality biofuel;
- The start-up, during the third quarter of 2020, of the investment for the new plant for the production of granules and tablets solutions.
Foreseeable evolution of the management
The seriousness of the current scenario linked to the economic and social effects of COVID-19 and the uncertainty about future developments in Italy and in the countries where the Group operates make it difficult to forecast the impact of the pandemic on the 2020 financial year.
Despite the recent deterioration of the operating scenario due to the new wave of the pandemic, the feedback received from customers supports SICIT on the possibility of essentially achieving the 2020 economic and financial targets, as the management believes that the level of interest in SICIT’s products has shown a positive trend during the period, especially with regard to biostimulants for agriculture.
However, the management is well aware that the uncertainty about the timing of the end of the pandemic emergency and the seriousness of the related consequences on the major world economies is still high. A possible renewal or extension of the restrictive measures applicable to Italian tanneries could trigger negative effects on the supply of input raw materials and, consequently, on their production capacity and commercial activity. Similarly, any tightening of the lock-down in the countries where the Group sells its products could weaken demand, particularly in the construction sector, in which retardants are used (agriculture, on the other hand, seems to be much less affected by emergency dynamics).
Notwithstanding the foregoing with regard to the uncertainties linked to the impact of COVID-19, the performance recorded by the Group as at 30 September 2020 shows a growth in revenues of 11.5% (compared to the first nine months of 2019), substantially in line with expectations, albeit with a different mix of agricultural/industrial/fat sectors.
The results recorded are significantly positive considering the continuing difficulties and uncertainties that remain in the main world economies in deep recession due to the continuing difficulties linked to COVID-19.
The Company will continue its investment plan in the fourth quarter of 2020 with the progress of activities aimed at completing the industrial and technical expansion in Arzignano and in particular the new warehouse, the storage tanks, the new laboratories, the plant for fat re-esterification and the plant for granules and tablets.
The Group confirms its intention to accelerate the growth process by investing, in the short term, in strengthening the commercial structure dedicated to foreign markets, and in the medium term, with (i) the strengthening, both quantitative and qualitative, of production capacity at the Arzignano and Chiampo sites; and (ii) the opening of a production plant in China, to be even closer to its international customers. However, considering that there have been slowdowns in the planning of this new production plant due to the health crisis, the planning and/or implementation of this plant could be further delayed, in case of further restrictive measures should be adopted in the future and/or a further worsening of the health emergency situation.
In order to pursue this development policy, the Group may turn to potential external acquisitions or partnerships with other industrial groups.
The Group will also continue its strategy of developing new products in close collaboration with its customers, in order to respond adequately to the different needs of the agricultural and industrial sectors.
Approval of the 2019 Sustainability Report
The Company informs that today’s Board of Directors approved the “Sustainability Report of SICIT Group as at December 31, 2019” (the “Sustainability Report”). The Sustainability Report has been prepared in accordance with the “GRI Standards”, on a voluntary basis, considering the interest and attention of the Group, since its foundation, to issues related to sustainability.
Moreover, in order to increase the degree of transparency and reliability of the information contained in the non-financial reporting, the Sustainability Report is currently being reviewed by Deloitte & Touche S.p.A., an independent third party specifically appointed for this purpose.