Unibios sees optimistic prospects for achieving high growth rates and strong profitability in 2022. Having recovered the ground lost because of the pandemic, the group that is active in the markets of water treatment and recycling, recorded a net profit after taxes of 334 thousand euros for 2021 against a loss after taxes of 91 thousand euros in the previous year. A key component was the performance of Watera, its 100% subsidiary, which strengthened its presence in demanding foreign markets such as the United Kingdom and Italy, as well as its activities in the wastewater treatment market.
The water treatment and recycling markets are growing annually at a rate of 7-8%, given the increasing demand for water supply and irrigation, using tourism development, industrial waste treatment and other industrial uses, as vehicles, as well as in the rapidly developing market of Renewable Energy Sources. As a recent press release pointed out, the main goal for 2022, which is to achieve a high rate of growth combined with strong profitability, seems feasible.
2022 is going to be a good year
Describing 2022 as a good year so far, company CEO Orfeas Mavrikios explained that the planned investments that were postponed due to the pandemic are now being implemented. Mr. Mavrikios saw the crucial issue of price hikes in raw materials and components as a serious challenge. For this reason, the group is monitoring the impact on gross profit margins and is taking measures to limit any negative impact, but demand is still vibrant.
At the same time, the group continues to seek to strengthen and expand its presence in the Greek and international markets, both through organic growth and targeted acquisitions, asthe group’s current capital needs are adequately covered. In fact, in this period, there is no intention to increase share capital, although such a move has received the approval of the general meeting of shareholders since last year.
Unibios, which celebrates 50 years of presence on the Stock Exchange this year, achieved satisfactory pre-tax profitability in 2021, for the third year in a row, despite the negative effects of the health crisis. The pandemic mainly affected the foreign water treatment sector, with the result that inflows from activity outside Greece were limited to below 10%, when in normal years they range around 20%.
Group revenue in 2021 amounted to 8.47 million euros, up 16.1% compared to 2020. Reversing last year’s after-tax loss of 92.4 thousand euros, it posted after tax profit of 551.6 thousand euros, while EBITDA amounted to 1.28 million euros, improved by 58.9% compared to 2020. The EBITDA margin exceeded the target of 15% and reached 15.2%. The 2021 performance was the highest in five years. It is noted that a percentage of 30%-40% of the annual revenue comes from the provision of maintenance, operation, consumables and spare parts services.
The huge prospects in the energy sector
Seeing the particularly favorable conditions for renewable energy projects and environmental management, Unibios has already proceeded to important collaborations. It is cooperating with large domestic groups, such as Mytileneos in an overseas project and TERNA Energy for the new power generation unit in Komotini. It is also developing synergies in large power plant projects, where Watera cleans the water through deionization to rid it of any salts.
With challenges in the energy sector constantly increasing, the future promises to be particularly interesting but also demanding. Energy storage will constitute the next big challenge for Greece, something that attracts Unibios, given that one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly methods is pumped storage. While hydrogen, the next big thing in energy production, is expected to offer great opportunities at the European level in the coming years.
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