IMMERGAS: “GREENER AND MORE DIGITAL”
The 2020 consolidated financial statements of Immerfin, the Italian holding company that controls the firm from Brescello (RE), positions the group among the leaders in innovation aimed at sustainability and energy saving in home climate systems: turnover of Euro 283 million and over 1,000 employees worldwide, with exports accounting for 54% of its activities. Alfredo Amadei announces new investments aimed at saving energy and using alternative energy sources, such as biogas and hydrogen in hybrid systems. 2021 is expected to see a double-digit increase in turnover both in Italy and abroad.
Brescello, 28th July 2021 - Over the coming years, home climate systems, which for decades have consisted simply of boilers for heating and air conditioning for cooling, will undergo a genuine revolution based on renewable energy sources and the digitalisation of integrated systems capable of opening up new horizons. “We are living through and will continue to live through rapid changes and we are faced with so many opportunities, which Immergas is committed to grasping, as it has always done for almost 60 years, in order to provide the utmost comfort to houses the world over”, said Alfredo Amadei, Chairman of Immergas. “We have chosen to continue investing in innovation and Italian-made products, and we are ready to tackle new challenges. Our integrated hybrid systems (boiler, heat pump, increasingly digitalised smart systems for regulation and control) are at the heart of our future. The way forward is clear: The Hybrid Change - Chance. This is a big change and a great opportunity that the terrible pandemic year has only accelerated further. The new European and other climate regulations constitute a historic challenge for the entire thermotechnology sector. In the coming years, Immergas will become greener and more digital. Starting as early as 2022, our investment plan will push the group towards new frontiers, as outlined by the European Green New Deal, involving the use of biogas and hydrogen with solutions tailored to home climate control”.
The holding company's capital strength allowed it to survive 2020, which will be remembered as the year of the pandemic, reaching a production value of Euro 283 million, of which 54% was generated on foreign markets, in line with that achieved in 2019. The main profitability indicators were maintained at levels capable of sustaining the group’s investment plan and operational management: return on equity (ROE) was 9.16%, compared with 9.93% in 2019, while net profit amounted to Euro 28 million, compared with Euro 27.5 million in 2019.
“All the companies that form part of the Immerfin group”, Mr Amadei added, “have proven able to react to the difficulties of the first half of 2020 thanks to targeted commercial actions which, together with the launch of new products, have guided and incentivised the national and foreign sales force to achieve developmental objectives that will be even more evident this year and in 2022. The first half of 2021 went well both in Italy, thanks partly to incentives, and abroad, and we are expecting to close 2021 with double-digit growth in turnover, despite the global difficulties in procurement of raw materials and the pandemic-related risks still present”.
The Immergas brand has confirmed its position as the leader in Italy in the condensing-boiler and hybrid-system segment, whereas abroad, the home climate solutions market saw varying trends in 2020 depending on geographical area and geopolitical context.
“The Immerfin group”, Mr Amadei commented, “has guaranteed continued employment for over one thousand employees worldwide. We are continuing to build our vision around policies aimed at valuing our human resources, with a focus on training and maintaining a high level of operating safety. We have gradually reopened our headquarters in Brescello to training activities aimed at professionals in the thermotechnology sector, who continue to represent one of our strengths. Sales of gas boilers in the markets in which we are present and well-established through our network of commercial branches (14 in total) were more or less in line with the previous financial year. Specifically: volumes increased by 23% in Romania, 11% in the United Kingdom and Slovakia, 7% in Bulgaria, 5.5% in Hungary and 6% in Poland, and remained more or less unchanged in Italy and Greece. In the coming months we will bring all our international partners together in Milan to trace the post-pandemic roadmap and confirm our worldwide development plans, starting with the upgrading (doubling) of our plant in Iran, together with ongoing investment in all the group's other production facilities”.
Research and development will continue to be strategic, with a Brescello-based team dedicated to new technological challenges, in terms of both the application of biogas and hydrogen and the increasingly significant introduction of digital technologies during the design and production phases and in individual products and systems.
A total of 34 new products entered into production in 2020, including boilers, hybrid systems and heat pumps, with eight new boiler models for foreign markets and as many as 21 new hybrid/non-gas product codes.
“At the product level”, said Mr Amadei, “our decision in recent years to focus on integrated hybrid systems is proving to be an adequate strategy for tackling the new challenges imposed by the 2030 targets on emissions and energy efficiency, as well as the subsequent targets aimed at achieving energy neutrality by 2050. Proof that the investment in the new Research Centre, Laboratorium (inaugurated in 2018), and in new solutions orientated towards sustainability and energy saving is paying off can be found in the market data: in the top segment, with the highest technological content and where digitalisation is coming into force (hybrid systems), sales of all brands of the Immerfin group, and particularly of Immergas and Alpha Heating Innovation (which has been active in the United Kingdom for 20 years), were up considerably in 2020 (+22%). The beginning of 2021 saw confirmation of the signs of recovery that began in the second half of 2020, thanks in part to investments in business continuity, such as the tax breaks introduced by the Italian government (110% bonus and invoice discounting)”.
In this complex economic scenario, all of the Immerfin group’s companies recorded an increase in turnover in the first half of 2021, compared with both the previous year and the forecasts, both in Italy and abroad; however, the recovery of the home climate system sector as a whole is being hindered by the global shortage of raw materials, which is a genuine emergency that is affecting business continuity.
“Ours is a long-term horizon, looking 10-15 years ahead”, concluded Mr Amadei, adding “the increases in turnover we have seen in the first half of 2021 are certainly the result of ongoing investment in hybrid systems that we have had in place for several years now. Our training programmes for installers do not merely cover the technical and technological aspects, but also deal with 360° consultancy for the end customer. In this role, Immergas wishes to continue to be, as in the past, a visible and concrete point of reference and a partner for designers, installers and the entire sales network, both in Italy and abroad. Furthermore, incentives have also had a positive influence In Italy, together with the active role played by Immergas in making the change sustainable”.
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