A year after record-breaking numbers for Radici Group, a slowdown fueled by U.S.-China tariff battles could lead the company to a different outlook by the end of the year.
With consolidated sales of €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) up 6 percent over 2017, and a net profit that surged 19 percent to €97 million ($109 million), 2018 was an exceptional year for Radici Group.
“The year closed with record-breaking numbers for our group,” said President Angelo Radici.
All the signs point to a different outlook for 2019. The slowdown, which had started to make itself felt toward the end of 2018, has materialized in 2019 accompanied by contracting sales volumes. The drop-off, fueled by the uncertainties caused by the U.S.-China import tariffs battle and by general geopolitical instability and the drop-off has nonetheless not yet affected the margins, according to Radici.
“I think I can safely say that we are going to have a first half with stable margins. … The second half of the current year is going to be a bit tougher,” he said.
He noted that another factor that was impacting business was the slump in the automotive market. In response, Radici is focusing on research and innovation aimed at widening the product portfolio through the addition of materials with low environmental impact and creating new market by answering the needs of the increasingly environmentally aware companies today.
To that end, the company is falling back on its core strategic businesses, such as chemicals for nylon production, engineering polymers and synthetic fibers, to improve its competitive position and achieve an overall balance in geographical markets in which it operates, in order to reduce its dependency on single markets.