Chairman John McDonough reports on progress in 2016
I am pleased to report that Vitec delivered a good set of financial results for 2016. The business delivered a record performance with strong growth in revenue, profit* and cash. We achieved this growth by delivering our clear strategy, including: progress in our higher technology products; expanding into new growth markets; and increasing sales in APAC. We also benefited from favourable movements in foreign exchange and the Rio 2016 Olympics. Both our Broadcast and Photographic Divisions outperformed their respective markets. In addition, our disciplined approach to cost control and our focus on working capital further supported this performance.
These results clearly show that we are delivering on our strategy to transform Vitec by investing in new products and technologies in the fast growing and changing “image capture and sharing” market.
As a consequence, the Board recommends a final dividend of 17.3 pence per ordinary share (2015: 15.1 pence) and subject to approval by shareholders at the 2017 AGM will be paid on Friday, 19 May 2017.
In 2016, apart from ensuring delivery of a good financial performance, your Board focused on refining the Group’s strategy for growth, involving detailed reviews of each business. This covered the market, products, emerging technologies, competition, risks, talent development, diversity and succession plans. Further detail on this is given in the Group Chief Executive’s report and the Board will continue to measure progress in 2017. The Board believes that our clear and focused strategy, together with a highly motivated and talented management team, premium branded products and strong financial discipline, means that Vitec is well positioned to realise sustainable, long-term growth.
The Board also continued to set the right tone from the top for the Group, visiting several sites, meeting regularly with senior management and tracking progress against potential key risks and reputational issues. Our internal Board evaluation in 2016 robustly challenged all aspects of the Board including the performance of myself, each Director, Board Committees and the Board as a whole. I am pleased to report that your Board continues to function well and is very clear and focused on its priorities. A strong governance framework is essential to support the long-term sustainable growth of the business and the Governance Report sets out in detail how the Board embeds Vitec’s culture and values in everything we do.
Paul Hayes, our Group Finance Director, will be leaving the Board in 2017 to take on a new executive role and we are actively searching for a replacement. We also announced the appointment of Martin Green to the Board, as Group Business Development Director, on 4 January 2017. Martin has been with the Group since 2003 in a variety of executive roles and has been instrumental in focusing the Group on growth. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Paul for his contribution to Vitec over the last five years and wish him well for the future, and to welcome Martin to the Board.
The Board was sad to hear of the passing of Lino Manfrotto in February 2017. Lino founded the Manfrotto product range when he developed and launched its first tripod in 1974, in Bassano, Italy. The Manfrotto brand now has a global reputation in the photographic market for exceptional quality and Lino’s legacy is reflected in the range of products sold bearing the Manfrotto name.
Our exceptional people were fundamental to the delivery of 2016’s successful results. Highlights include the delivery of products and services around the 2016 Rio Olympics, the launch of award-winning new products and the successful integration of new businesses into the Group, notably Wooden Camera. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all of our people for living Vitec’s values and going the “extra mile” during 2016.
John McDonough CBE