Itema Group, the leading global provider of advanced weaving solutions, including best-in-class weaving machines, spare parts and integrated services, has registered excellent working results for the first quarter of 2018, once again confirming the group’s constant growth over the past few years.
The turnover amounted to €80.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, increasing by +15% compared to the same period last year. A special mention goes to the company’s core business, manufacturing and marketing of best-in-class weaving machines, which registered unprecedented sales results over the same period of 2017 – an exceptional leap for Itema weaving machines which increasingly represent the preferred choice and continue to receive the appreciation of weavers in the main textile markets such as China, Turkey and India.
The turnover shows the Group’s strong international presence with 92% of the total resulting from foreign markets. The Italian market achieved good results as well, with the positive trend registered in sales of weaving machines demonstrating the good market performance of the “Made in Italy” premium quality fabrics producers.
But weaving machines were not alone in providing satisfaction for Itema. In 2017 the Group launched a diversification strategy, “Project Galaxy”, that led as its first successful operation to the acquisition of a majority interest (61%) in Lamiflex, a leading supplier of technical composite products for textile, aeronautical and medical industries whose turnover increased by 6% YOY in the first quarter of 2018.
Itema, although conscious of operating in a highly volatile market subject to sudden slowdowns due to the fragile macro-economic conditions of certain textile markets, will face the rest of the year relying on the momentum and confidence ensured by a well-filled order book for the upcoming months.
Carlo Rogora, Itema Group CEO, commented: “The excellent results achieved in this first part of 2018 are the result of two crucial strategic decisions taken by the Group: our positioning as a technological leader in the sector and our dedication to international growth. Since 2012 Itema succeeded in more than doubling the sales of its weaving machines collecting constantly increasing profits, thanks to our tireless and steady commitment to continuous innovation which led us to develop breakthrough and smart weaving solutions, enabling our Group to become the industry technological benchmark. Research and innovation, in which the Group invests 3% of its turnover every year, will continue to be our growth driver.”
As a real proof of its focus on innovation, the company recently launched at the ITM 2018 exhibition held in Istanbul in April the new R95002 denim rapier weaving machine, the second generation of the weaving machine specifically designed and developed to excel in denim weaving which features numerous advancements and a breakthrough innovation.
With iSAVER, developed by the advanced innovation department ItemaLab, the company pushes the boundaries of innovation in the weaving industry. For the first time since the launch of the industrial weaving machine Itema introduced a breakthrough innovation which can completely eliminate the waste selvedge on the fabric left side leading to substantial savings for denim weavers. Economic saving is not its unique outstanding benefit, since iSAVER sets a new benchmark in sustainable weaving, significantly reducing raw material waste.
The Group confirms its firm determination in strengthening its leadership and growing not only organically but also through targeted acquisitions (“Project Galaxy”), thus creating significant synergies along the respective supply chains to grow not only in the textile machinery sector but also to expand into new, highly innovative industries. In this scenario it finds its place in the acquisition of majority stakes in Lamiflex, the first in a series of important operations meant to ultimately accelerate the continued expansion and secure the long-term profitability of Itema by diversifying into complementary, high-growth markets through stakes in innovation-driven companies.
“With this precise objective in mind Itema also recently considered a listing on the stock market, with an IPO which passed all the tests for obtaining the admission to the Italian Stock Exchange but did not arrive at completion solely due to the sudden changes in the equity market conditions that held back the investor momentum. Our decision is an objective assessment of what we see as the best for Itema at this specific moment, particularly taking into account that our positive net financial position and our excellent market results enable us to continue autonomously along our growth path. With our shareholders’ full-fledged support we will therefore proceed in building an even more solid and competitive Group at a global level and in concentrating our extensive R&D efforts on offering better, smarter, faster solutions, reduced consumption and enhanced user-friendliness,” Rogora concluded.