You can download the full report via this link:
Proviron Annual Report 2017 (pdf)
2017 was another good year for Proviron. The operating result has slightly improved compared to the impressive performance in 2016, despite considerable investment in all areas. From the setting up of a compressed air supply system, through to new plant installations and offices, to the group's shareholders, Proviron is full of confidence for the future. The right steps were taken in key development projects and clear choices have been made.
In 2017 we achieved a satisfying turnover growth of 9%. As the year progressed, raw material prices and exchange rates increased and thus the margin remained virtually unchanged. In the animal feed business, we changed the name of our Business Unit to Animal Health. Our continued development of these products has paid off. Both Optigut and Porcestin have made a significant difference with their respective turnovers having doubled within one year.
Strong family business
A number of investors and former senior managers transferred their shares to the family as shareholder. Proviron is now 97% family-owned again, which also changed the composition of the Board of Directors. We sought and welcomed two strong independent directors with a reputation and experience that add value to the company. From now on, they will be involved in determining policy and taking strategic decisions in order to grow and further enhance our international profile. In 2017, we completed the divestment of Ostend Basic Chemicals. Proviron Functional Chemicals continues to provide the site services as the largest employer with 178 employees in Ostend. Together with our colleagues in Hemiksem, Friendly and Hangzhou, our team of 230 Proviron employees are at your disposal.
In Hemiksem, we expanded the capacity of our brake fluids and in Ostend we built a new product purification plant. These major investments have been operational since the end of 2017 and anticipate the growth and the high quality requirements of our customers. In the US and China, our colleagues benefited from new offices. We also invested significantly at our main site in Ostend. where we replaced an old compressed air system with two new compressors. We also completely renewed the existing water connection. The ProviplastiX project came to an end in 2017 as we did not expect to see any return on this project in the long run. The micro-algae project, on the other hand, is in full swing. We have ceased outdoor production in order to ensure greater operational safety under LED lighting.
The safety figures were comparable with those of previous years but are still not good enough to satisfy our expectations. This is mainly due to small incidents and spills that could have been prevented with greater attention. We are working hard to prevent more incidents of this nature. In short, 2017 was a good year operationally with a considerable amount of investment but the incident figures need to be improved. The traditional or legacy products such as Animal Health and Microalgae developments are running smoothly. We are looking forward to the future with a fresh outlook and a greater attention to our safety figures.