·EUR 128.6 million in revenues, up 7.8%
·EBITDA amounted to EUR 19 million, representing 14.8% of revenues
·EBIT amounted to EUR 11.15 million, representing 8.7% of revenues.
·Net financial position improves by EUR 8 million from 31 December 2016.
·The Board of Directors will propose distribution of a dividend of 0.35 EUR per share at the Shareholders' meeting
Revenues at 31 December 2017 were EUR 128,639 thousand, an increase of 8.4% over 2016 (EUR 119,330 thousand).
The geographic breakdown of revenues reveals that growth is distributed evenly over all areas, though most marked in Asia (+14.6%), South America (+13.1%), Italy (+8%), and non-EU Europe (+7.9%).
The breakdown of revenues by business area reveals particularly significant growth over the same period in 2016 in sensors (EUR 8,368 thousand, +16.7%) and in automation components (EUR 3,308 thousand, +10.2%). The drives business closed the year with lower revenues than in the previous year, by EUR 1,542 thousand (-3.8%), but though this shrinkage characterised the year, it was significantly mitigated in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Gross Operating Margin (EBITDA) of the year 2017 is therefore positive by EUR 19,039 thousand (EUR 11,324 thousand on 31 December 2016), equal to 14.8% of revenues (9.5% in 2016), EUR 7,715 thousand higher in absolute terms and 5.3 percentage points higher than in 2016.
EBIT was positive at EUR 11,149 thousand as of 31 December 2017 (8.7% of revenues), compared with a negative EBIT of EUR 5,115 thousand in December 2016.
Group net profit was EUR 6,864 thousand in 2017, compared with EUR 3,948 thousand in 2016, an improvement of EUR 2,916 thousand.
Shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2017 was EUR 69,911 thousand, compared with EUR 66,908 thousand at 31 December 2016. The increase is a result of the positive result of the year, EUR 6,864 thousand, partially absorbed by distribution of dividends on profits made in 2016 totalling EUR 3,600 thousand.
Net financial position at 31 December 2017 was EUR 4,780 thousand, EUR 8,138 thousand better than 31 December 2016.
Gefran Chief Executive Officer Alberto Bartoli comments: The 2017 closed with excellent results: Gefran was able to capture the effects of a positive economic outlook and the first weeks of the new financial year confirm the trend. In the remainder of the year a growth will come especially from the motion control business, while the sensors and components business will consolidate their position.
For 2018 we expect revenues to increase with marginality in slight decrease, because of the aforementioned market trends and because of an ambitious three-year investment plan with technical and commercial projects that we launched to inc