Record results reinforce new strategy
Interview with Daniel Harari, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (2017 Annual Report).
The year 2017 marked a major milestone in Lectra’s history, in our history.
First of all, we launched the new Lectra 4.0 strategy to become an indispensable player in Industry 4.0.
Requiring the integration of smart solutions and services plus the deployment of connected production tools, Industry 4.0 is an unprecedented opportunity for us. In light of this, in 2017 we started to implement our 2017-2019 roadmap. This is the first step in Lectra’s evolution over the coming decade; it will ultimately enable us to significantly increase the value of our offer in order to reinforce our premium positioning and stay ahead of our competitors.
The Lectra 4.0 strategy has received a very positive welcome from customers and is already bearing fruit. Each day confirms the relevance of the four mega-trends that underpin our strategy – new expectations from millennials, the transformation of China’s market, the digitalization of companies, the emergence of Industry 4.0 – and the magnitude of their impact across our customers’ different sectors of activity.
Thanks to major advances, 2017 also lived up to our ambitions.
We firmly maintained our focus, with a remarkable performance across all our group activities; we enhanced our leadership and presence in all regions of the world; and we increased substantially our investments in research and innovation. In parallel, we continued to develop and test our new offers for Industry 4.0: initial feedback from customers is very encouraging.
With robust growth in revenues and income, Lectra's performance was fully aligned with our stated objectives, and established new records – despite geopolitical, macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary uncertainties that continue to weigh on our customers’ investment decisions. This success is due notably to the exceptional sales dynamic for Vector, our flagship product, with 468 units sold; strong growth in our activity in China, as well as in PLM; and a landmark year for Versalis – its adoption by a growing number of automotive sub-contractors heralds a significant increase in sales in years to come.
The sharp rise in our share price clearly reflects these successes, demonstrating our shareholders' confidence in our strategy – which is founded on innovation, value creation and customer experience – and its unparalleled execution.
Lastly, 2017 was the year André Harari decided to retire, after committing over forty years to Lectra.
After taking a stake in the company in 1976, André did a tremendous job in shaping our group's development. Most significantly, he supported Lectra when it went public in 1987, and took over the company's management with me in 1991 to turn the group around and then transform it into a global leader. Throughout all those years, André ensured Lectra had a vision and a clear strategy, solid financial fundamentals, great resilience and a strong company culture, ensuring best practice for corporate governance and financial transparency.
“On the occasion of André Harari’s retirement, I wish to recognize his exceptional contribution to the entrepreneurial success of Lectra.” - Daniel Harari
Due to the foundations we laid in 2017, 2018 is set to be another highly fruitful year for Lectra.
Thanks to our virtuous economic model and our particularly solid financial structure, we are confident in our ability to carry out a new year of growth and to improve our operational performance.
After a great start with the acquisition of Kubix Lab, 2018 will see the launch of our first Industry 4.0 offers for the cutting room and our first cloud-based services. The culmination of nearly three years of design, investment and tests, today these offers are now fully developed and supported by hundreds of employees.
At Lectra, we are all working together to ensure these innovative offers are successful.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lectra