The opening words of this message are dedicated to all our employees, in France and worldwide. We have them to thank for our performance this year. Our results are in line with the budget, and even slightly ahead of our forecasts, despite a particularly tough economic backdrop of hyperinflation and volatility. I must underline what an achievement this is, and highlight how the tenacity and proactiveness of our employees have made it possible. In the name of the governance bodies of VIVESCIA Cooperative and VIVESCIA Industries, I would like to thank all the staff, together with Olivier Miaux and the operational management teams at each of our businesses, for pressing ahead and keeping us on track. I am fully conscious of the effort and commitment this has demanded of each one of you, especially coming, as it has, hard on the heels of the pandemic.
The 2021-2022 financial year was unprecedented for our Malteurop subsidiary first and foremost, which has been directly impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and since 24 February has had to adapt to operating in a country at war. I know that we are all thinking of our colleagues in these regions and their families who, since the invasion, have seen their living and working conditions thrown tragically into disarray.
The past year has also been unprecedented across all our businesses due to the brutal inflation shock that hit costs across the board simultaneously – energy, transport, packaging, and ingredients. Our external costs have risen by a total of €400 million, almost three times our EBITDA. This figure demonstrates just how extraordinary the current situation is, and underlines the need for us all to pull together to overcome the challenges while continuing to implement our reforms and development programmes.
Looking ahead, we have a sense of déjà vu, as the new financial year which began on 1 July seems to be mirroring the previous one. The impact of hyperinflation on VIVESCIA Industries’ costs continues, on a par with or perhaps even topping 2021-2022. Agricultural commodities markets are still in turmoil and highly volatile. We are going to see, if you will forgive me for such a trivial expression the “3 Rs” come into play: Reduced economic activity, Recession, Recovery. In fact, initial signs of reduced activity and a global economic slowdown already seem to be appearing. Consequently, there are plenty more challenges ahead. During this time, it is essential that we continue pushing on with the same drive, so that we are ready when the recovery comes in 2024. But over the last three years we have proved our resilience, and our collective ability to bounce back, to adapt, to innovate, and to conquer new markets… I know that our teams at VIVESCIA Industries are moving forward, with a positive attitude and the will to succeed. This shines through in our annual report and this newsletter. Grands Moulins de Paris is proudly defending its position as France’s leading miller. Francine, our iconic brand, continues to grow. Délifrance’s results are on an upward trend, and it has launched new projects in food service. And of course, it has kept up the flow of product innovations for which it receives regular praise from the industry right across Europe.
Having appointed a new Managing Director this year, Malteurop is looking to fresh long-term horizons, without losing the focus on its upcoming launch in Mexico. Kalizea and Nealia continue to fight their corners admirably. Last but certainly not least, ARD, our research and biotechnology gem, is thriving. Our businesses have robust progress plans. Numerous development projects will come to fruition across all of them in 2023, in particular to increase production and logistics capacity and to promote innovation in products and services.
Preparing for the future also means looking at ways to make our performance sustainable – and especially how to decarbonate our value chain. At the end of the first quarter of 2023, we will be sharing our climate strategy and our roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with all our stakeholders. This was one of the key focuses of LINK, the sustainable development policy we launched last June. In total, 20 commitments – and as many targets and improvement programmes cultivating links to the Planet, to People and to our Value Chain and Regions – now flow through all our businesses. I believe this is something to be proud of.
With VIVESCIA Industries’ results this year, the continued enthusiasm and commitment of all our teams, our LINK policy, and our current and forthcoming projects, there is no shortage of reasons to be confident. The four Rs (Reduced economic activity, Recession, Recovery and the carbon Revolution) are indeed on the horizon, and we must adjust our interpretation and plans for both this year and subsequent ones accordingly. The goal is to overcome the challenges and be ready to up the pace in 2024, with strategies in place for the carbon revolution. Full steam ahead, we’re setting a course for 2030!
President of Sicom*
President of Sicom*
* VIVESCIA INDUSTRIES’ GENERAL PARTNER.