All of the Group’s business areas benefited from this growth in 2019.
Asia has confirmed its leading position with 44.2% of turnover, an increase of 15.2%. While India and China remain the heavyweights (+29% and +16.6%), Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia have also seen strong growth. Europe, with 41.3% of sales, is the second pillar, with significant growth in France (+16.2%), Spain (+56.8%) and Poland (+29.5%). The Americas and Africa/Middle East regions strengthened their positions (+2.7% and +21.1%) with very good successes in Colombia, Egypt and Morocco.
The Group’s three divisions – Ambient, Emissions and Process – have all contributed to this growth, and particularly in the field of Industrial Emissions monitoring (+13.3%), driven by new regulations.
Sales outside France accounted for 81.4% of revenue and services for 27.9%.
A more aggressive pricing policy in Asia accelerated the development of the Group’s market share, resulting in a 1 point (100 basis points) decline in gross margin to 63.9% of revenue. This strategy involves controlling fixed costs as well as increasing productivity (personnel costs decreased by 3 points), thereby increasing the Group’s profitability, with operating income up 1.7 points to 14.7% of revenue (+23.5% compared to 2018).
It should be noted that certain non-recurring costs such as the implementation of a global ERP, which is ongoing within the Group (to be completed by the end of 2021) and whose associated amount is impacting fixed costs for approximately € 200 K per year. In addition, the Indian subsidiary suffered severe flooding in June 2019, resulting in the loss of 20% of its stock at a cost of €300K.
The Group’s R&D expenditure remained stable at €5.9M (6% of sales) with the continued aim of strengthening its technological lead and its product and innovative solution offerings, some of which are expected to be achieved in the 2020 financial year.
The profitability of shareholders’ equity over 2019 amounts to 16.2% and ENVEA’s financial liabilities amount to 7.9 M€ (compared to 10.7 M€ in 2018). Net gearing remains negative at 11.7 M€ (-7.8 M€ compared to 2018, gearing -15.6%).
Confirming a healthy and solid financial situation, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of € 0.95 per share to the General Meeting of 30 June 2020 called to approve the 2019 financial statements.