Special 1 year of stock exchange: interview with Andrea Lacorte
Let’s start with a purely personal assessment of the last 12 months.
I can feel particularly satisfied, despite a few initial misgivings. During the first few months, the stock exchange did not seem to give credit to our performance, but mine was an early concern: it is watching you carefully and makes evaluation not only in the short term, and we have continued to communicate excellent results, positive news and successful investments. In fact, starting from 2018 we’ve seen an important appreciation also from the market. Therefore the balance is positive. If we consider the performance of the quoted title from the beginning of the year up today, the Group has recorded important numbers, well beyond all the other AIM companies and the average of the Italian Stock Exchange, numbers that come from a real economy, from production and sales of health goods.
Looking at the future, there are more than solid bases to keep on improving: we have many innovations in store, still growing numbers and many ideas ready to be implemented. We are the first to invest in PharmaNutra, so we know well what are the interests of the shareholders and we trust that the markets will continue to appreciate our work.
PharmaNutra is concreteness, technological innovation and scientific research: is it a correct definition?
Yes, we are a company that I would call made of “substance”, I mean that our goal is to bring concrete solutions to the market thanks to innovative and unique products. This leads us to be very optimistic about the future because we have a lot of scientific research going on, and this is extraordinarily promising. In one way, the best is yet to come. We are launching new products on the market, those products are realized with our technologies and they are having a lot of success, for example UltraMag®, which is today the best launch we ever made for PharmaNutra. In this case, the Sucrosomial Technology ®, which is the basis of the national and international success of the products of the SiderAL® range, has been applied to magnesium.
Regarding the extraordinary success of the Sucrosomial Technology®: it was expected at these levels?
Personally I’m not surprised, because as a nutritionist I know how it is scientifically effective. And I am extremely confident that it can be applied, as a delivery system, to other active ingredients. These are personal convictions, which obviously must be supported in a correct and canonical manner by clinical and scientific evidence, but I believe in this way of development. As far as Sucrosomial Technology is concerned, our research goes on because there are constant incentives to improve and to bring PharmaNutra knowledge to an ever higher level.
Growth in the stock market is also the growth of a company: numbers, staff, sales network …
Yes, and it’s all about 20: 20% more staff working with us, 20% increase in turnover, year on year, with profits on this figure. We also continue to invest in growth, especially in R & D, our strategic asset. Also this year the investment contribution will be particularly important, I am very proud about that.
Future prospects for PharmaNutra?
I expect an increasingly positive growth of international markets, first of all European markets. I see the confirmation of our technological advantage, because what we have achieved in recent years and that we are carrying on is an incredible job, just like the group of people who contributed to it and which keep on growing. Finally, in a not so distant future I see the jump to the main market, MTA or Star Market. Right now it would be perhaps too early, but we are inevitably directed on this path.
What kind of improvements or critical issues the listing on the stock exchange has led for the company management?
Entering the stock market means witnessing an exponential growth of workloads from an administrative point of view, but it is an unavoidable situation because shareholders have the rights to be safeguarded. For PharmaNutra little has changed, because it is a modus operandi that we’ve always carried forward. The listing on the stock exchange is an operation that still needs refinement, that is why we have hired our CFO, Dr. Francesco Sarti, who will help us to optimize internal company procedures. We have a group of guys with incredible abnegation and passion, a human base of the highest quality, but when the business grows fast, it becomes necessary to adapt the structure to these changes.
PharmaNutra is 100% Made in Italy: is it another reason to be proud?
Of course. Personally I have never been a nationalist, indeed, as a young man I was a true foreign lover, but over time I realized that we Italians can do things that nobody in the world can do: we have inventiveness, inspiration, taste and versatility, qualities that are difficult to find elsewhere. This is why I always feel a certain regret when I see important Italian groups selling their business to multinational companies, but it can depend on many aspects, unfortunately. The result is that so much Italian pride is likely to get lost, because when a company changes ownership, changes are obvious evident and it is almost inevitable to lose identity. So we keep PharmaNutra straight with us…
There are big expectations in the future, starting from the realization of a particularly ambitious project.
In this way we are defining some important investments in R & D, which will also lead to the expansion of our in-house production, thanks to the construction of a new Research Center. Defining times and deadlines is now premature, we can only say that these projects are becoming more and more concrete as the months go by.