2019 was a significant year for the Ferretti Group in many ways: we delivered our strongest financial results in recent years, with revenues of Euro 649.3 million (+6.5% on 2018), Adjusted EBITDA of Euro 62.2 million (+16.3% on 2018), while the EBITDA margin hit 9.6% (8.8% in 2018). The Ferretti family has grown to about 1,500 employees and we took our first steps onto the world financial markets through the listing process - though this is temporarily on hold.
These changes have heightened our awareness of the array of stakeholders who look to and interact with us. They have also highlighted the ways in which the needs and expectations of these stakeholders contribute to our success, and therefore the importance of considering them as we set out our strategy.
It is crystal clear that these needs include understanding the economic, environmental and social impacts of our operations on the region in which we are based, in addition to our daily actions to manage and offset these impacts. For these reasons - and considering the growing demand for transparency in non-financial reporting - we have decided to formalise our commitment in this area. The result is this, our first Sustainability Report, which comes in addition to our obligations and responsibilities in undertaking business in the region.
For Ferretti, sustainability starts with the quality, excellence and luxury which are the hallmarks of our yachts, and continues with constant innovation and the development of new products and solutions. In recent years, purely technological progress has given way to a broader concept of innovation, which encompasses the need to consider the environmental and social impacts that are linked to our products and our production processes.
The main environmental challenges we face on a daily basis relate to the use of materials and reduced energy consumption, which in turn lead to a reduction in GHG emissions, both at product and process levels. In terms of materials, we seek to marry durability and quality with the quest for more sustainable materials. In furnishings and fittings, for example, our impacts can be reduced by selecting certified wood from responsibly managed forests.
With regard to energy consumption, on the other hand, we are exploring solutions to mitigate both the environmental impact of our products - in particular with research into hybrid engines and new technologies to reduce the weight of hulls - and those related to processes, implementing measures to increase efficiency and optimise work at our shipyards. In this area, the ISO 14001 certification on environmental management systems obtained for the La Spezia site is the starting point for integrated management of the environmental impacts of all our production processes, as is the IMO Tier III certification obtained by CRN for a megayacht of 62 metres, the first shipyard in Italy to receive such certification.
From a social point of view, we focus on developing the Group’s real engine, the motor which has driven us forward for more than fifty years: our employees. It would be impossible for us to tackle the challenges ahead without the wonderful Ferretti family and without the synergy and collaboration we enjoy with the area in which we operate. Over 85% of our 1,500 direct employees (which grows to over 4,000 including all those involved in the supply chain) are located in Italy, which helps create the passion and sense of belonging which have always set us apart.
Finally, a word on the events of recent months, the difficulties arising from the COVID-19 virus and the consequent health and financial crisis. Ferretti has always been on the front line in ensuring the safety of our workers and the best possible workplace health conditions. During this emergency we have supported our workers and their families with specific insurance policies for those contracting the virus, as well as ongoing health checks carried out through a campaign of free virus testing for the entire company population.
As a result of the measures introduced, the Group has obtained the RINA Biosafety Trust Certification, the first voluntary certification for the prevention and control of infection. These elements combine in enabling us to design and build dream yachts as we help develop both individuals at the company and the local economy, all while respecting the environment which provides us with the resources to operate. They combine, too, in meeting our ultimate objective: to fully satisfy our customers, who always remain at the centre of our daily work.
Alberto Galassi, CEO