Message from Management

Our commitment to permanence - which has always been part of our history and is reaffirmed by our Purpose, Life is made to last - proved essential for us to finish 2017 even stronger and more prepared.

Supported by management that prioritizes operational and financial excellence, the good results of our units in Europe, Asia and Africa, Latin America and, especially, North America, minimized the impact of the third consecutive year of declining sales in Brazil. As a result, we were able to maintain a consolidated adjusted Ebitda of R$ 1,762 million, a 26% decrease against the R$ 2,373 million achieved in 2016.

Portfolio diversification was also essential to maintain our commitment to creating value over the long term. We expanded our product offerings in all regions, with new formulations of cement, concrete and mortar that meet specific demands of different types of customers and deliver a lower environmental impact. In addition, we grew our agricultural inputs business in Brazil, where we are market leaders and continue to work to serve a greater number of customers from all regions.

Despite the challenging environment, we continued to invest responsibly. In March, we started our new Sivas operation, in Turkey, where despite the short period of time we have been in operation, we have already reached optimum levels of productivity. Our new Yacuses plant, in Bolivia, completed its first full year of operation.

In the next two years, our focus will be on the expansion project of the Charlevoix unit (United States), scheduled to start in 2018, and the new lines at the Olavarra and San Luis plants, in Argentina, which will start operating in 2018 and 2019.

We sold our operations in Chile, China and the United States (states of Florida and California), thereby fulfilling our strategy of focusing on regions we identify as most promising in terms of value creation.

We work tirelessly to increase the efficiency of our manufacturing and logistics operations, which reduces costs and improves the environmental footprint of our business. We took measures that are aimed at the future, but already have a positive impact on the present. In Brazil, our initiatives on various sources of co-processing are growing, replacing petroleum coke with renewable biomass, such as babassu bagasse and wood chips, to feed cement kilns.

In Europe, Asia and Africa, in addition to co-processing, we have reactivated or installed in some of our plants Waste Heat Recovery systems, which recover heat from our production and turns it into electricity. With these initiatives, we ended the year with 14.6% of the energy we used coming from alternative fuels, in pursuit of our goal of 30% from renewable sources by 2020.

With regard to safety, unfortunately we had fatalities. We had one on-site fatality involving an employee in North America. In addition, we had another eight off-site fatalities (outside our industrial facilities) in Brazil - six with contractors and two with third parties. Safety is our main value and, therefore, we work to ensure a safe working environment for all and to achieve our goal of becoming a zero-injury company. In 2017, we launched the Global Safety Committee, hosted another Global Safety Day and implemented other projects in different units across the Company.

Once again inspired by our Purpose, our interaction and connection with stakeholders also reached milestones in 2017. We started successful collaboration with startups, suppliers and other external players, who have become part of our ecosystem of innovation and are helping us to overcome the daily challenges we face in transforming the company.

We are closer to our customers, which has been made possible in large part by the implementation of our digital strategy, which breaks down physical barriers and makes operations more efficient. We developed smartphone apps that enable our customers to place their orders in a practical and quick way, help construction professionals to optimize their work, and allow drivers to quickly identify freight offerings in our units.

We also remained attentive to the communities around our operations. In 2018, the year when the Votorantim S.A. holding company celebrates 100 years, we will expand the initiatives that aim to leave a legacy to future generations by supporting projects to improve the quality of public education in 27 Brazilian cities in which we operate.

As part of our Empowered People strategic driver, we are also closer to our employees. We continued our professional development programs, encouraged entrepreneurship among our teams, promoted more internal movements and reinforced practices that bring leaders closer to employees and promote Open Dialogue.

We are sure that our permanence depends on the engagement and leadership of our teams, which must be increasingly united to put into practice our purpose, which is summarized by the message that Life is made to last.

Last Update on May 09, 2018

Back Top