Letter from the Chairman
Inspiring People through Innovative and Sustainable Spaces.
However we view our organisation’s performance in 2020, it is necessary to build on the unprecedented event that marked the lives of people, companies and countries in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the outset, Cosentino launched a health emergency monitoring plan, setting up a crisis committee to constantly evaluate the data and information available in order to make the most appropriate decisions. We set three priorities in our action plan. Firstly, we made the safety and integrity of the employees in our factories and offices our principle value to protect. Secondly, we ensured the sustainability of the business by guaranteeing the production of our plants, demonstrating the essential nature of this activity, as we are dedicated to supplying construction projects internationally on several continents. And thirdly, our aim was to work with health authorities to provide large quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, covers, etc, and also to put our logistical capabilities and supply sources at the service of the general public.
Looking back, and with the knowledge provided by the data on the impact of the pandemic among our employees, I must once again recognise the exemplary, courageous and supportive conduct of the workers at Cosentino’s various factories The responsibility of the works council during those difficult months must also receive my gratitude and recognition. The commitment of all members of the Cosentino team during 2020 led us to decide on a special bonus for the entire workforce, amounting to more than four million euros, thus demonstrating our recognition and gratitude to them.
Now that we are reporting on our achievements in 2020, I must acknowledge my admiration for the economic and financial results we achieved, with sales of 1,078 million euros, which is very close to the previous year’s figure, something that was very difficult to imagine in the first months of the pandemic. Similarly, we reported an Ebitda of more than 214.2 million euros, which demonstrates a management marked by the containment of all types of costs, the maintenance of income, as well as the precedent of a greater contribution of new market segments that we have been investing in for some time without losing our focus, which is retail: kitchen and bathroom marketing.
Despite all conceivable difficulties during 2020, we have managed to invest over 120 million euros in product innovation and development, industrial and environmental management to ensure that the Company is based on sustainability and a long-term vision. In addition, we have increased our Silestone® production capacity by more than 30%, following the automation and digitalisation of our production plants. At the same time, we have achieved milestones through innovation such as the launch of HybriQ® and HybriQ+® technology, which have once again made Silestone the world’s leading brand of its category, thanks to a new formulation that brings greater safety for those who produce it throughout the value chain. This is a milestone in our commitment to ensure that the occupational safety of our employees comes before any other objective.
As part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, I would like to highlight one tangible step this year and that is the certification of Dekton as a carbon neutral product. Furthermore, in 2020, the Company invested 22 million euros worldwide in environmental and safety assets, such as new extraction and emission cleaning systems, equipment for the confined storage and transport of raw materials, and the expansion of water treatment systems for full water recovery.
Although this year has been affected by the adverse effects of the pandemic, Cosentino has continued its commitment to quality employment, raising the rate of permanent contracts to 83%. We ended 2020 with a workforce of 4,740 people across the globe, comprising professionals from 70 different nationalities and with 16.5% of our management team being women. This diversity enriches our vision when making decisions and paves the way for our leadership.
To conclude this summary vision of the year 2020, I must highlight the great progress Cosentino has made in the digital transformation process. This year we have reached over 50,000 active professionals on e-Cosentino, our digital platform. More than 80% of orders have been processed on e-Cosentino. Furthermore, the digitalisation of processes continued, strengthening the architecture of the technological infrastructure and improving both internal communication tools and customer contact channels at a collaborative and commercial level. Cosentino is rapidly implementing the vision set out in 2018 to be the leading company in the digital transformation of its industry.
Finally, I wish to stress that we have reached 155 business and commercial units across the five continents, of which 119 are Centres and 15 Cities, in addition to 4 distribution hubs, and 5 logistics operators, which together with the 12 processing workshops located in the United States, consolidate Cosentino’s global leadership within the stone industry of innovative surfaces for architecture and design, so that our purpose of inspiring people through innovative and sustainable spaces, is a long-term vision to which we are all committed.