IMI ASM SPEECH
2020 ANNUAL STOCKHOLDERS’ MEETING
MESSAGE OF THE CHAIRMAN JAIME AUGUSTO ZOBEL DE AYALA
APRIL 15, 2020
My fellow shareholders, good morning.
2019 was an exceptionally challenging year for IMI, as the company experienced many of the same geopolitical headwinds that contributed to the world economy’s slowest year-over-year expansion since the financial crisis a decade ago. Global economic growth was a modest 2.9 percent amid a general slowdown in more advanced economies. While their individual economies remained relatively stable, the United States and China continued to engage in a trade conflict whose impact was felt profoundly by those of us who do business within these markets.
Meanwhile, European economic momentum decelerated, largely over the prolonged uncertainty of Britain’s exit from the European Union and lingering social unrest in other key markets across the continent.
These macro headwinds, together with the disruptive changes currently sweeping many key industries, have created a challenging environment for worldwide manufacturing and trade. In the electronics space, intensifying competition and increasing demand posed operational challenges to players like IMI and resulted in longer fulfillment times and higher material costs. Meanwhile, global automotive unit sales likewise experienced weakness as the industry’s megatrends of connectivity, autonomy, sharing, and electrification take hold.
In the face of these market conditions, we take comfort in the fact that the company has continued to demonstrate resilience. Its ability to plan and prepare for the future has allowed it to consistently weather the volatile, rapidly evolving nature of the global manufacturing space.
IMI also retains and continues to invest in the specialized technical resources that will keep it competitive as its industry and competitive cycles turn. These include proprietary capabilities in power electronics, camera and vision and connectivity components, to name a few. The company also retains the competencies that have formed the foundation of its manufacturing prowess, such as design and development, advanced manufacturing engineering, automation, and quality systems, which have, in turn, allowed it to selectively expand beyond the electronics space into AC Industrials’ core manufacturing platform. Most of AC Industrials’ key products and technologies, including the export-oriented motorcycle joint venture with KTM AG and its specialty photovoltaics arm Merlin Solar, are supported by IMI. The company’s manufacturing expertise has enabled these strategic investments to not only locate manufacturing in the Philippines, but also to help serve their respective global markets.
The year 2020 also represents a landmark year for IMI. The company celebrates not only its 40th year in existence, but also its 10th year as a publicly traded company. It remains well positioned in the electronics manufacturing space, as it ranks among the top 20 in the world in terms of revenue and 5th in automotive-related business. We will continue to build on these strengths as we leverage key technologies to ensure IMI’s continuity and relevance in an evolving environment. Beyond manufacturing, IMI will continue transforming itself to remain a leading corporate citizen in the coming years as the world digitizes, grows more connected, and more focused on sustainably doing business.
As a final note, I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their guidance and engagement, our management and staff for their untiring dedication and commitment, and our global stakeholder community for their consistent support.
We believe IMI’s best days continue to lie ahead of it, and we look forward to sustainably building shareholder value in the years to come.
As a parting thought, let me end my message with a video that shows how IMI is operating and moving towards a sustainable future.