The year 2017 was a momentous year in the recent history of our company. In fact, we believe that there is a before and an after.
On the one hand, the first quarter was marked by the decision and implementation to centre all industrial activity in one single plant in Burgos and not to continue with the Itziar plant. This decision entailed exceptional costs to pay compensation to workers who chose not to move and many other less obvious costs which together negatively affected the profit and loss account of 2017.
In spite of all this, the efficiency of the activity in a single plant became evident in the course of the year. This fact, coupled with a growing number of orders led us to the end of the year with an order book of 23 million euros, compared to the 16 million at the end of 2016.
From the point of view of the product we decided to discontinue some models and to launch another one with much more up-to-date technology, in addition to the UDX head that was presented at the EMO in Hanover as a world first. Therefore, and having already completed the amortisation of financial Goodwill, there is good reason to face 2018 with optimism, and I am convinced that our company will be able to achieve the objectives set out in the Business Plan. Besides, we can count on increasing and positive contributions from our three industrial subsidiaries.
At the last Board meeting of the year and at the proposal of the Appointments and Remuneration Committee, Mrs. Carmen Pinto Fuertes was unanimously appointed CEO of the Company, in recognition of her good work to date.
We must also point out that at the end of the year an agreement was reached with Doosan Machine Tools to repurchase the 10% stake they acquired in June 2015.
To conclude, we would like to express our gratitude for the confidence shown in our company, which made the value of our shares rise from €1.75 to €3.20 over the year.
Mr. José Nicolás-Correa Barragán