What should we remember about this year 2022?
After an exceptional year in 2021, the animal health market saw its growth slow down considerably in 2022. Despite a less buoyant environment, we have managed to achieve a remarkable performance with growth close to 10%.
How do you explain these results?
We anticipated this slowdown and focused on our key products and markets with a targeted geographic expansion strategy. With the exception of Chile, all the subsidiaries in our top 10 contributed to these good results, with growth of over 20% in Australia and Brazil.
Anticipating to manage economic risks?
Yes, even though no one had foreseen the war in Ukraine and the generalized inflation it caused. Countering its deleterious effects on our costs and therefore our results required constant mobilization of our teams. Our ability to increase our prices, optimize our product offering, negotiate with our partners, as well as ensure a strict control of expenses, enabled us to slightly increase our current operating income before R&D.
Any other highlights this year?
We have increased our R&D investments in order to develop a rich and promising project portfolio over the long term. This represents an increase in our R&D expenditure of more than 20% (about 1 point as a ratio to sales). We have also continued to deploy our Capex investment plan in order to modernize our industrial facilities to increase our production capacity competitively and digitalize some of our key processes.
What is the roadmap for 2023?
All these factors, together with a sharp increase in working capital requirements, have weighed on our ability to generate cash in 2022. Despite this, our cash position remains positive and our financial structure particularly sound. This allows us to continue to plan the development of our activities and future acquisitions with confidence.