The first half of 2022 was reasonably good; the second half was more difficult. Our turnover increased, mainly because we were able to pass on price increases in raw materials and energy to our customers. But we could not pass on personnel costs, which rose dramatically in Belgium.
Our international context plays a big role in only being able to partially pass on price increases. Most costs rose in all countries, but that rise in personnel costs is unique to Belgium. Therefore, there is little understanding on this in other countries. Personnel costs are rising as much as 20% in Belgium over 2.5 years. That is a lot and
has a big impact.
Within Proviron, we worked a lot around safety in 2022. More specifically, we encourage our employees to use their personal protective equipment properly. In
2023, we will put even more effort into this, including an internal campaign to further raise awareness.
From the second half of the year, international competition also gained more prominence. The chaos in international transport and high prices are quietly getting
resolved. Because the EU border with Russia was closed, Russian raw materials now go to China, India, Turkey… And then they came back to Europe via a diversion, processed or not, but at a reduced price. That made the second half of the year much more difficult.
And finally, we also want to give praise to our Chinese colleagues. Despite the very challenging covid times there, our Chinese department has held up well. We respect
them for that.
Because 2021 was such a good year, our customers started a lot of projects. We feared that that was going to come to a halt because of the worsening economic
situation, but that was not the case.
The European Green Deal certainly has a lot to do with that. Companies are saving short term, for sure, but the goal of becoming impact-neutral by 2050 remains. So the
long-term investments under that are certainly not stopping. We are also working further towards 2050.
For example, we are now exploring installing solar panels and expanding our solar mirrors
Chairman of the Board