2018 was a great year for IVL. We not only delivered milestone revenues and earnings in every segment, and we also made strategic progress, which is necessary for long-term growth. We achieved a year-on-year EBITDA growth of 44%, and managed to increase our EBITDA by more than 250% in the last four years. This is not a coincidence, but a true testament to the effectiveness of our winning strategy of multiple engines of growth, our resilient business model, and the passion, hard work and professionalism of IVL’s people.
Building On a Proven Strategy
We continue to invest in our existing businesses, while acquiring unique businesses that come with high-quality assets, talent and technology. These acquisitions will help us add new customers, grow our earnings, achieve greater scale and increase our presence in key markets. IVL now possesses capabilities that are unparalleled in our industry. All these actions will be accretive to the Company, and benefit our shareholders and our customers for years to come.
Proud Of Our Progress
We continue on the journey to deliver our strategic plan, transforming ourselves from an Asian commodity player into a global, diversified, chemical company. We continue to refresh our business model through global scale, integration, and diversification into high value-added products, with a focus on creating long-term value and maximizing total shareholder return. I look back on this journey with a sense of pride at what we have achieved and a heightened sense of anticipation at what lies ahead.
Continued Focus on Governance
IVL continues to strive towards strong ethics and corporate governance, and the Board has been a key catalyst on all that we have accomplished. We are indeed fortunate to have diverse and engaged board leadership, with complementary strengths and experiences. They have been a solid supporter in fostering vision, values and integrity, and continue to work with the management to excel in corporate governance.
The Company’s effort to maintain the highest level of transparency and corporate governance were duly recognized by Thailand Institute of Directors (IOD) in conjunction with the Stock Exchange and Security Exchange Commission of Thailand. In 2018, IVL received an “Excellent – 5 Star” for its Corporate Governance Report for the sixth consecutive year.
During the year, the Company renewed its certification of Thailand’s Private Sector Collective Action against Corruption. This shows our ongoing commitment to operate our business with ethics and transparency.
The Board recognizes the importance of good corporate governance to ensure that IVL is managed in an efficient and effective manner for the benefit of all shareholders over the longer term. We invited the IOD to administer a Corporate Governance Assessment to advise us on areas for further strengthening corporate governance. The results and recommendation of the assessment were presented to the Board of Directors in November 2018.
As one of the global leaders in the chemical industry, not only do we pursue stable growth in our core businesses, but we also uphold the highest standard in sustainability practices to better realize our vision of being a world-class chemical company. In recognition of our demonstrated commitment to sustainability goals and ethical behavior, as well as the value IVL has generated for stakeholders, IVL has been included in the DJSI Index for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, the Company has been listed as a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series and received the best Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) score, at the top of the group.
We are part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy initiative, and are working together with other entities towards enhancing the circular economy for plastics. IVL is committed to further increasing the use of post-consumer PET and polyester waste materials as feedstock for the future. In addition, we also play a leading role in the global shift to the circular economy by announcing a joint venture with Loop Industries to introduce chemical recycling in PET. IVL also signed an agreement with Ioniqa and Unilever for chemical recycling of PET waste in Europe. These actions are a key step to steer further our aspiration of being a world-class chemical company making great products for society.
Building an Even Stronger IVL
While we look back with pride at our achievements, we also look forward to building on our track record as a catalyst for more value creation.
We continued progress in building a competitive platform and strong organization. We have a comprehensive series of efforts underway such as leveraging Industry 4.0 opportunities, investing significantly in our talent and leadership, and transforming our IT systems.
We have made significant progress in building and reshaping our leadership teams, with formation of the Indorama Management Council, and have completed the recruitment of a Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Strategy Officer. These changes are aimed at reinforcing implementation of IVL’s strategy by better aligning senior-level resources, enhancing focus on strategic and operational priorities and achieving more synergies, as well as building a high-performing team and culture.
We have long recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion, reflecting in IVL’s values. Our commitment to bringing together people of various backgrounds, experiences and unique perspectives helps drive our business globally and meet the needs of our customers around the world. We place a high priority on developing a new generation of global leaders by providing ongoing learning and development opportunities. This includes launching of i-Lead, v-Lead, Shadow and Talent Development Programs. These initiatives help us to ensure we have the necessary pipeline and bench of capable and experienced leaders to meet the challenges ahead.
Extending Our Appreciation
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow directors for their strong support in helping to position IVL for its long-term success. I would like to also thank our management team and senior colleagues for their leadership, as well as each member of the IVL family and to all our stakeholders, who have shared our dreams and achievements and accompanied our journey to the top.
Sri Prakash Lohia