In previous strategic periods named Be ONE and Be MORE, the Viscofan Group transformed itself, adjusting to macroeconomic and market environments in order to create long-term value, with a clear focus on developing competitiveness in cost and then improve its technological capacity.
The transformation of the Viscofan Group is not unconnected with the transformation of today’s world, which has also affected our customer´s needs, market possibilities and the new world cost and funding structure.
In such a demanding environment, the Viscofan Group bolstered its position of leadership in the sector while continuing to develop the activities included in its MORE TO BE 2016-2020 strategic plan, a natural evolution in the context of the transformation of Viscofan and the environment, focused on leading in all the main casings market in terms of service, cost, and technology.
The current strategy means a step further in the track record that began with the Be ONE (2009-2011) strategic plan. After the acquisitions carried out, this strategic plan decided to restructure operations, perform a management plan to improve economies of scale, which the Viscofan Group didn’t have before. This approach made Viscofan become a very efficient company, which gave cost optimisation the greater weight of management.
Once that goal was accomplished, Be MORE (2012-2015) strategic plan committed to greater development. The best technological improvements introduced, without giving up competitive cost advantage, gave us a more global presence in collagen and in other families, enabling us to reach other markets and a new scale.
But if we really want to be a global leader, we have to lead our key markets. In order to reach that, we need to continue progressing in our costs, our technology and, of course, going a step forward in our level of service.
And that is exactly what guided the Viscofan Group towards its new vision: Become an authentic global leader.
This triple leadership arises with the conviction that a global leader creates value when it is productive for its stakeholders, and at the same time sustainable, in the long term. In order to achieve this, the Viscofan Group performs multiple initiatives that can be grouped in three strategic pillars and throughout all organisational departments:
This axis groups all initiatives aimed at offering solutions to meet needs, and addressable with a greater range of products, greater proximity, better assistance, greater adaptability, etc.
An example of the initiatives aimed at improving the service axis are: the development of new products for the market; the investment on the new plant in Spain, where fibrous technology has been installed in order to better meet the needs of our European customers, among others; and the acquisitions of plastic technologies to have a bigger range of products and greater proximity to the customer.
Our productive process is based on proprietary technology where know-how of people is essential. This continuous improvement production model is based on Excellence Centres and technology transfer to other centres.
In 2017 the following was carried out: fibrous technology production improvements in North America, acquisition of plastic companies with added-value plastic technology, productive improvements in large calibre collagen technology and tests and investments to implement new technologies in cellulose casings.
In 2017 steps have been taken to launch projects aimed at improving costs, seeking to save money with the accreditation of new suppliers, improved productivity in plants, most notably the plants of Latin America and Europe, capacity increases that have enabled economies of scale, especially in China, and the development of more efficient technologies in production.
From this angle, we can confidently face 2018, during which we expect to keep seeking growth in our key financial indicators while moving forward with our projects defined for the MORE TO BE 2016-2020 strategic period.
As in the previous strategic plans, the first phase requires intense operating activity. In the “MORE TO BE” plan this higher operating activity is accompanied by new increased investment to continue to improve commitment to the market. If investments in 2017 reached €107 million, in 2018 we expect an investment volume of around €75 million. From these investments, we can highlight investment expected for the deployment of new technology machinery at the Cáseda plant. Therefore, close to 16% of total investments will be assigned to increase production capacity, 62% to process improvements, 10% to EHS projects to improve environmental, health, and safety matters, and 12% to other recurring investments.
As a result of this commitment, the key position of Viscofan in a market with solid growing perspectives and multiple projects, lead the Group to expect revenue growth of between 4% and 6%, growth in EBITDA of between 2% and 5%, and 2% to 5% in Net Profit. The baseline hypothesis for these objectives involves an average exchange rate scenario of 1.25US$/€.
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