After succeeding Mart Tiismann and becoming the CEO of the Sidel Group at the beginning of 2016 I have been immediately impressed by the strong expertise and passion of my new colleagues. On all sites, in all teams, everyone has a very clear passion for what we do, and a passion also to make the Sidel Group a successful one. Our people are engaged and ready to strengthen our group’s performance.
I have also met with key customers. They are very aware of the current period of transition for Sidel, as we build and implement our new organisation to better serve them, while at the same time the whole packaging industry is adapting to new and tougher market conditions. It also became very clear to me that our customers view Sidel as an important partner for their future success, not the least for our long history and competence within the PET business.
My vision for the future is to build on our strengths and take the company to a leading position in the market. Our focus will be to offer complete line solutions, comprising world-class equipment and services, strengthened with leading packaging expertise. We have to strengthen our complete line packaging offering to enable the right output and the best productivity for customers at all times.
An important part of the journey ahead of us is to mitigate our shortcomings and handle the challenges to help better serve our customers. We are addressing this by implementing a new organisation with fewer management layers and clearer accountabilities. It will then be simpler to support lower total cost of ownership, TCO, which for our customers’ operation is increasingly a determining factor for market competition. Finding the right balance between capital expenditures and operating expenditures will continue to be of key interest for our customers. We will keep focus on creating value for them with our solutions, helping ensure production is running in a reliable and at the same time flexible way, with top performance over the lifetime of the line.
We are now facing markets with very different expectations and conditions. Although China will probably continue to report relatively strong GDP growth numbers, from our narrower industrial perspective, the situation there looks like a classical recession. This is likely to have knock-on effects and we believe the downturn we have already seen in 2015 could worsen to a more general global recession, at least in equipment demand, during 2016. On the positive side, the market in South East Asia Pacific is growing with a steady demand from customers. There are also opportunities on the European market which we will focus on, in particular to serve a large installed base, beside new equipment order intake.
An important focus of 2016 will be to continue to roll out the Sidel Matrix™ offering, including Sidel Matrix eHR for hot filling applications and Sidel Matrix Predis for aseptic applications for juices, dairy and sports drinks. Other Sidel Matrix innovations to be introduced in 2016 include Sidel Matrix PH preferential heating for flat bottles used in home and personal care markets.
We will also improve our current equipment and services offering to enable customers to operate more efficiently and improve their productivity and performance. For example, our packaging offering will provide customers with the flexibility and brand differentiation they require. We will also see our web services evolve as we continue to innovate by using current services and making these online and easily available.
Finally, the Gebo Cermex business for the glass and can markets are expected to grow, despite a general downturn, by continued cross-fertilisation of product strengths and market presence. We will be working more closely with Gebo Cermex to offer world class complete line solutions. Novembal, with its North American focus, is likely to continue doing well and we hope to generate some new offerings to meet the expected growth of our major customers.
All in all, 2016 should be a successful year for the Sidel Group with a strong product offering, a new organisation, devoted employees and strong relationship with our customers. This is an incredibly strong platform for future success. The group has a long history, but history is always behind us. The future is different. It is ours to create. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues in the Sidel Group and our customers worldwide to create a stronger future for us all.