Feb 25, 2022
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Record growth despite a challenging year
We faced serious disruptions of the global supply chain. Across the world, demand, production, and prices fluctuated wildly. Yet, we rose to the challenge and our teams worked tirelessly to ensure that supply to our customers was maintained.
Piet van der Slikke, CEO
When we look back at 2021, we see a year still overshadowed by the pandemic whilst we had hoped to enter a less volatile phase of recovery. Our priority has been and will be to ensure that working conditions remain as safe as possible.
Business conditions in 2021 also remained challenging: we faced serious disruptions of the global supply chain. Across the world, demand, production, and prices fluctuated wildly.
Yet we rose to the challenge and our teams worked tirelessly to ensure that supply to our customers was maintained. Indeed, in an exceptionally demanding period for business, we recorded record growth last year across all our markets. I could not be prouder of our collective response.
Our work at IMCD is all about relationships. We depend on our interactions with suppliers, customers, communities and, of course, each other. These partnerships have been built up over many years and sometimes decades.
A fundamental part of our business model is to support our partners also in difficult times. This past year, we strengthened our long-standing partnerships and made new ones as we worked closely together to overcome the challenges of product shortages and supply chain issues.
Amid the turmoil, we continued to expand, innovate, improve, and invest. Sustainability is a major priority for our organisation. Our Sustainable Solutions service offering, powered by our Advanced Materials business, is helping our partners make themselves – and our planet – greener, and more sustainable. Our Food and Nutrition business group has been busy developing healthier and more sustainable foods, introducing for example a complete vegan burger prototype, the Clean & Green Meat Free Burger. We will continue to assist our customers to formulate their products through our large product offering and global lab network.
We have also strengthened our efforts to ensure all our supply chain partners meet our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. A shared commitment towards these standards commitments is crucial for us. Sustainability is not something that IMCD can tackle alone; close cooperation with our business partners is needed to reduce our environmental impact and reduce (scope 3) emissions. I’m proud that our efforts on sustainability management in 2021 were recently recognised with a Gold rating from EcoVadis.
For all of us at IMCD, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a heartfelt opportunity to make an impact in the communities that we are part of across the globe. Last year, as we celebrated our 25th anniversary, we created the IMCD Cares Fund, which is based on supporting projects in three pillars: education, the environment and well-being. I encourage you to check out our projects, including Eco Conquista, an IMCD Cares initiative, that impacts 25,000 residents of Diadema, a favela in São Paulo, Brazil.
IMCD Brasil - Eco Conquista, an IMCD Cares initiative
When it comes to new businesses, our horizons continue to expand into new sectors and new territories. This has been one of our most active years when it comes to acquiring entities. We moved further into Latin America, purchasing Mexican speciality chemicals distributor Maquimex and Colombian distributor Siliconas y Químicos. Another Latin American acquisition, Andes Chemical Corp, expanded our presence in Central America and the Caribbean. Andes also contributed an innovation laboratory in Miami that provides product and formulatory support to some of IMCD’s core markets.
In China, we acquired Shanghai Yuanhe Chemicals, Aquatech and Syntec. We bought Indonesian pharmaceutical and personal care distributor PT Megasetia, Australian supplier RPL Trading and Austria’s POLYchem Group. All these companies offer complementary services, enhancing IMCD’s portfolio and reinforcing our position as a global company with local networks.
Digitalisation is here to stay in chemical distribution and IMCD is on track to make full use of the benefits this development brings. Throughout 2021 continued its digital transformation across systems, applications, and projects. Digital transformation is a business transformation that involves people: customers, employees, suppliers, and partners. Digital tools are enablers, enhancing our connectivity with our partners. The pandemic has already shifted more collaboration to digital tools, channels, and platforms. Our mission is to use digitalisation with our partners to grow our businesses together.
We remain vigilant about the challenges ahead and diligent about our responsibilities. While we live in more uncertain times than usual, we are confident that our outlook looks bright. We will keep things moving.