The shareholders' meeting of Comer Industries Spa, held in Reggiolo, Italy on April 29, approved the consolidated financial statements for the year 2015, ending with a revenue of €327.6 million (361 in 2014), a net financial position of €15.8 million (down by €3.4 million compared to 2014), and a drop in operating income due to increased competition in the markets. Net profit increased due to capital gains from the sale of the electric wheel product line. Netting off this one-off operation, the fall in revenues was 5.6%.
In a sector showing a sharp decline, the reduced sales revenue was actually below the market average for other major global manufacturers of agricultural and industrial machinery, recording double-digit declines in sales, particularly in North and South America.
The negative effect of the economic situation was partially mitigated by Comer’s strategy of global market coverage and diversification over five product lines launched in recent years.
The company performed most notably in the industrial sector, and in the wind market in particular, showing significant growth both in Europe and North America, while the agricultural sector – representing 63% of sales – fell by 12.5% compared to 2014.
Despite the challenging global scenario, Comer Industries continued to invest in industrial processes and new digital technologies to increase efficiency and competitiveness. The introduction of the Comer Business System (CBS), the management system based on the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) model, is leading the company's transformation towards achieving excellent targets.
The year marked the introduction of technological innovations in Operations with renewable energy sources and reductions in energy consumption. In management terms, a group policy on environmental sustainability in accordance with ISO 50001 was established with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, increasing the proportion of energy produced through alternative resources and achieving energy savings of 20% by 2020.
The company will continue with its plan of industrial investment: aimed at greater production rationalization and simplification. Work will soon get underway in Reggiolo to extend and renew the production facilities in Via Magellano 37, creating a new, state-of-the-art, technological machining center. Extension work is also proceeding at the Mechatronics Research Center, increasing the current surface area of 1,500 sq. m by 40% and creating five new test rooms to reduce the time to market for new applications.
In a macroeconomic context characterized by prolonged recession in the sector, Comer Industries is committed to providing its customers with maximum proximity and support, thanks to its new sales organization, the expansion of the offices in Shaoxing, China, and the launch of the production facility in Bangalore, India.
“Difficulties will persist throughout 2016 in the agricultural machinery sector and in other sectors such as oil & gas and mining. Over the following years, we forecast there will be sustained growth primarily in the industrial sector and in the Asia Pacific markets, such as China and India, where we have made significant investments in internationalization,” says CEO Storchi.