GSA grows by 23.5%, bringing turnover to €96.2m
GSA grows by 23.5%, bringing turnover to €96.2m
GSA has consolidated its leadership in the Italian multi-service scene and continues to grow, having embarked on an expansion strategy in the Safety sector with the acquisitions of S.R.M.B. and GSA Firesafe: “Since the Armònia SGR fund became the major shareholder of GSA, the company has launched an external growth policy with a view to extending operations in the Safety field and consolidating a highly fragmented sector, thus enabling GSA to act as a natural catalyst,” says founder, shareholder and CEO Alessandro Pedone. “There is still ample scope to develop our potential yet further, helping companies and PAs to protect the health of all – a need that is felt even more strongly in the current world crisis. The keyword for GSA is resilience, and I am sure that 2020 will be another year of growth.
The year 2019 was particularly successful for GSA (Gruppo Servizi Associati). The financial statements, certified by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), of the Friuli-based yet increasingly international company show yet further double-digit growth. Revenues grew by +23.5% over 2018, reaching 96.2 million Euro in 2019, accompanied by a proportional increase in the number of employees (almost 4000) in Italy and France. GSA’s gross operating margin, or EBITDA, is growing continuously and has reached 14.6 million Euro (more than 15.15% of revenues).
The year was marked by a strong growth in turnover in the management of fire prevention services, in safety in general, and in critical health and road infrastructures. The business volume generated by new orders in the field of safety in confined environments and in tunnels (in which GSA holds the European leadership) has caused the company to make a significant leap forward and to invest significantly in equipment, resources and personnel throughout Italy. Many new global service contracts have been signed covering a comprehensive array of synergistic safety-related activities, ranging from engineering to supervision, plant engineering and remote control, and this has allowed GSA to offer more and more complex and specialised services aimed at ensuring the safety of increasingly essential infrastructures. The Group’s growth has also resulted from two important acquisitions. The first, implemented in March 2019, involved acquiring a majority stake in S.R.M.B. – Secours Routiers du Mont-Blanc SAS, a leader in the rescue and recovery of heavy-duty vehicles in extreme climate and road conditions in the mountains, and the motorway authority for the section connecting the Mont-Blanc Tunnel to Lyon, where GSA has long had its French headquarters. The second acquisition, completed in July, involved a historical Friuli-based company, giving rise to GSA Firesafe which installs and maintains fire-fighting systems, as well as safety and accident prevention services and products. This operation has also enabled GSA to take over the Fire and Safety School, a training institute of 15 years’ standing, and to set up its own GSA Academy, offering professional and personal training in all areas of safety and fire protection. The Academy has a test field in the province of Udine, equipped with state-of-the-art simulators and patented instruments. Through the school, GSA will be able to augment the training offered both to its employees and to its customers throughout Italy.
Every area of the business has grown, not merely as a result of acquisitions, but also due to our inherent drive for improvement,” continues
CEO Alessandro Pedone. “We have continued to pursue the development of our internal resources, our market expertise, and our technological and managerial skills. We have patented innovative fire-fighting equipment and opened new offices in Florence, engaging actively in a region where we have been awarded important fire surveillance and emergency management contracts in the healthcare sector, as well as performing soft security activities at the regional level. But that’s not all.
The fact of Armònia ItalyFound becoming the majority shareholder of GSA has allowed us to expand our horizons and pursue a new growth path, incorporating further human resources and specialised facilities in a sector where we already boasted high levels of excellence due to our thirty-year experience serving public bodies and companies of all sizes and types, classified as having a high fire risk. Today, our shareholders’ equity is worth around 41.8 million Euro.
Among GSA’s hundreds of contractual relationships in the Safety field (fire surveillance, fire engineering, advanced fire safety services), particularly worthy of note are the Mont Blanc Tunnel (served continuously since 2006), the Variante di Valico (motorway A1 var), the Gran Sasso Tunnel, and Italy’s leading hospitals, such as the Gemelli University Hospital and the Umberto I Hospital in Rome, the Papa Giovanni
XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, the Meyer Paediatric Hospital and the Careggi Hospital in Florence, the Burlo in Trieste, the Gaslini in Genoa, all the main hospitals of Sardinia, Tuscany and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and many others.
The year 2019 also saw a strong development in road fire, first intervention and emergency management services: GSA currently operates on all the main road arteries, providing its services to
Autostrade per l’Italia S.p.A., Strada dei Parchi S.p.A., RAV S.p.A., Autostrada dei Fiori S.p.A., Salt S.p.A., Autostrade Meridionali S.p.A., Tangenziale di Napoli S.p.A., Autovie Venete S.p.A.
The Facility division (cleaning, maintenance, management of green areas, sanitisation, soft security) boasts equally important customers in both the public and private sectors, including: OVS Coin Group, Local Health Unit 9 of Treviso, all the properties of the Friuli Venezia Giulia, Puglia, Veneto and Tuscany Regional Authorities. 2019 saw the launch of the Tuscan Convention for the security and reception services of all Tuscan entities. GSA also serves many important Italian universities – the University of Verona, the University of Bari, the University of Udine, the “Orientale” University of Naples, the “Seconda” University of Naples, the University of Pavia, the University of
Padua, the University of Palermo, and, recently, also the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice – making GSA the largest national player in this sector.
We know that in the coming months we will have to tackle some unexpected challenges,” concludes Alessandro Pedone, “but these we will face by leveraging our long-standing multi-service experience, with competence and a profound sense of responsibility. Given the historical moment we are going through, I wish to publicly thank our operators for the extraordinary work they have been doing in the last few months to fight COVID- 19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, GSA has remained close to its customers, not just with its ordinary services related to fire protection, security and cleaning, but also by helping them to fight and contain the spread of the virus through crucial services such as personnel health monitoring, temperature assessment and sanitisation. It is worth remembering that GSA is working on the front line to ensure the safety of hospital infrastructures – including those most hit by the crisis, such as the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, the Bergamo Local Healthcare Authority, the hospitals of Pavia and Lodi, the Spallanzani in Rome and the Pesaro hospitals, just to mention the most famous. My admiration and gratitude go to those engaged in the pandemic, and more generally to all the almost 4000 employees of GSA, who have never failed to support our customers on a daily basis – we really are a great team