2Mila’s 2020: balance and prospects
An interview with our CEO Virginio Ceccolini
2020 is drawing to a close, a year that was decidedly unusual in many respects. How did it go, not so much compared to the forecasts for the end of 2019, as to the revisions that have certainly been made to your plans and objectives? What strategies have been put in place to best address the situation?
Even before COVID, in the second half of 2019, the large plastics market started sending out negative signals.
This reaction was partly due to the implementation of US tariffs on China, but also to the start of domestic production/petrochemicals activities in the Asian country combined with a generalised drop in their domestic consumption. In short: CHINA, CHINA, CHINA.
A situation that worsened with the expansion of the COVID problem throughout the Asian market.
During this period, we have strengthened and consolidated our distribution and trading relationship with our Russian partner Kazanorgsintez, focusing on developing sales of Polycarbonate and HDPE.
Which supply markets have proved to be the most interesting in 2020? And what about the outlet markets?
The generalised decline in industrial activities in the first half of 2020 has meant that the supply sources have had to be scaled down, thus less trade in plastics linked to recycling and basically aimed at compounding.
The greatest interest was recorded in the distribution of PC and HDPE, respectively in the sheet, profile, modular honeycomb systems and compact sheet extrusion sectors; as well as in the extrusion of high-pressure pipes for water and gas.
Have there been any significant changes in the products/services offered to customers?
We have focused and acted significantly on the logistics side, with the implementation of activities aimed at effectively organising the direct import service from Russia. At the same time, we developed important initiatives to streamline DEBAGGING operations in order to have efficient “bulk handling” in line with customer needs, especially HDPE.
Still on the organisation front, we have completed the process to obtain ISO9001-2015 quality certification.
Which application sectors have given you the most satisfactory results?
Unfortunately, the dramatic drop in production recorded by the Automotive sector had a negative impact on compound sales. There was also a certain cooling of interest in high performance BIODEGRADABLE materials, particularly in the semi-durable goods sectors.
On the other hand, we recorded an increase in sales in the industrial segments mentioned above, which grew exponentially, but left an undisputed decrease in margins on the negotiating table.
As difficult as it is to predict for 2021, what plans will you make for the new year? What initiatives are you planning in order to resume and continue your business with momentum and to help your clients recover?
The contracts already signed guarantee the continuity of supplies from Russia and this, in anticipation of a generalised industrial and economic recovery, gives us hope for further growth in turnover. But, above all, for an improvement in margins.
The ISO 9001 certification we obtained last November 2020 confirms our commitment and validates the efforts made in the direction of service efficiency. This, we are sure, will give a further boost to the company’s image on foreign markets where we have been operating for several years.
We believe that the resumption of interest in technical BIODEGRADABLE and COMPOSTABLE products, will lead to new application developments that will have tangible results in the short to medium term, particularly in the cosmetics and packaging sectors, not only food.
The firm European intention to reorganise the activities linked to the recycling and reuse of post-consumer plastics, in the direction of their SECOND LIFE, is a field that we have been well known and supervised for some time now, thanks to our IQ Technical Compounds.
We are therefore convinced that we can make a substantial contribution to the trend of sustainability and reduction of CO2 emissions.