Due to the nature of its business, the Group is exposed to different types of risks. For this reason, the Group has developed procedures both in the Parent Company and in main subsidiaries for risk management in areas most exposed, identifiable at a strategic, external, operational and financial level.


Strategic risks

Reputational and Corporate Social Responsibility risk – In carrying out its operations, the Group could be exposed to stakeholders' perception of the Group and its reputation and their loyalty changing for the worse because of the disclosure of detrimental information or due to sustainability requirements in the Non-financial Statement published by Immsi S.p.A. and Piaggio & C. S.p.A. and in the CSR Report published by Piaggio & C. S.p.A. not being met, as regards economic, environmental, social and product-related aspects.

Risks related to defining strategies - In defining its strategic objectives, the Group could make errors of judgement with a consequent impact on its image and financial performance.

Risks related to adopting strategies - In carrying out its operations, the Group could be exposed to risks from the wrong or incomplete adoption of strategies, with a consequent negative impact on achieving the Group's strategic objectives.


External risks

Risks related to the macroeconomic and geopolitical context - To mitigate any negative effects arising from the macroeconomic and geopolitical context, the Group and in particular the Piaggio group continued its strategic vision, diversifying operations at international level - in particular on markets in the Asian area Asia where growth rates of economies are still high, and consolidating the competitive positioning of its products. To achieve this, the Group focuses on research activities, and in particular on the development of engines with a low consumption and a low or zero environmental impact.


Risks related to consumer purchasing habits – The success of the Group’s products depends on its ability to manufacture products that cater for consumer's tastes and – with particular reference to the Piaggio group – can meet their needs for mobility.

With reference to the subsidiary Intermarine, however, the success of the company in the different lines of business in which it operates depends on the ability to offer innovative and high quality products that guarantee the performance demanded by customers, in terms of lower fuel consumption, higher performance, greater passenger transport capacity, greater cruising comfort, handling and safety of the vessels used, among other things, in the defence and control of territories.

If the products of the Immsi Group companies were not appreciated by customers, revenues or, further to more aggressive sales policies in terms of discount drives, margins would be lower, and this would have a negative impact on the related economic and financial situation. To tackle this risk, the Group has always invested in major research and development projects, to enable it to optimally meet customer needs and anticipate market trends, introducing innovative products.

Levering customer expectations and emerging needs, with reference to its product range and customer experience is essential for the Piaggio group to maintain a competitive edge. Through market analysis, focus groups, concept and product testing, investments in research and development and sharing a roadmap with suppliers and partners, Piaggio can seize emerging market trends to renew its own product range. Customer feedback enables Piaggio to evaluate customer satisfaction levels and fine tune its own sales and after-sales service model.


Risks related to the high level of market competition - Over the last few years, the characteristics and dynamics of the competitive background of markets on which the Group operates have changed considerably, above all regarding prices, also due to a declining demand worldwide. In addition, the Group is exposed to the actions of competitors that, through technological innovation or replacement products, could obtain products with better quality standards and streamline costs, offering products at more competitive prices.

As regards the industrial segment, the Piaggio group has tried to tackle this risk, which could have a negative impact on the financial position and performance of the Group, by manufacturing high quality products that are innovative, cost-effective, reliable and safe, and by consolidating its presence in Asia.

With reference to the marine sector, and the minesweeper platforms segment, Intermarine has a considerable technological edge over the competition, while the Fast Ferries division is affected in particular by a context in which the owners prefer carrying out repairs on operating vessels rather than investing in new constructions. Pending the identification of ship owners that have investment plans to replace vessels in operation, the company has reduced the activity of this division to the minimum.


Risk related to the regulatory and legal framework - Numerous national and international laws and regulations on safety, noise levels, consumption and the emission of pollutant gases apply, in particular to Piaggio products. Strict regulations on atmospheric emissions, waste disposal, the drainage and disposal of water and other pollutants also apply to the group's production sites.

Unfavourable changes in the regulatory and/or legal framework at a national and international level could mean that products can no longer be sold on the market, forcing manufacturers to invest to renew their product ranges and/or renovate/upgrade production plants.

To deal with these risks, the group has always invested in research and development into innovative products, anticipating any restrictions on current regulations. Moreover, the group, as one of the sector's leading manufacturers, is often requested to be represented on parliamentary committees appointed to discuss and formulate new laws.


Risks related to natural events - The Group operates through industrial sites located in Italy, India and Vietnam. These sites could be affected by natural events, such as earthquakes, typhoons, flooding and other catastrophes that may damage sites and also slow down/interrupt production and sales.

Continual renewal of the sites prevents these risk scenarios. The potential impact of these risks is mitigated by specific insurance cover taken out for various sites based on their relative importance.


Risks related to the pandemic - If a pandemic spreads and measures are adopted by various governments to contain the virus, the Group’s businesses could be negatively affected in terms of decreasing revenues, margins and cash flows.

In particular, the Piaggio group would have an impact on:

  • the procurement chain: suppliers might no longer be able to produce/deliver the components necessary to supply production sites;
  • production activities: the Group might no longer be able to use the workforce, following government regulations limiting personal movement, or it might be impossible for the company to guarantee a healthy, protected work environment;
  • the distribution of products: measures to contain the spread of the virus could require sales outlets to be closed, or the Group might not be able to supply the sales network.

Piaggio has tried and is trying to deal with this risk, which could negatively affect the group's financial position and performance following a possible decrease in revenues, profitability and cash flows, thanks to a global sourcing policy, a production capacity distributed on different continents and a sales network present in over 100 nations.

As far as the marine sector is concerned, the continuation of the COVID-19 health emergency, in addition to the suspension and postponement of production activities, with the consequent postponement of the processing phases of orders in progress, also led to the interruption or at least the slowdown of commercial programmes with potential customers. Intermarine mitigates this risk, which could have a negative impact on the company's economic and financial situation, by resuming and consolidating, as far as possible, commercial relations with navies within the framework of the Defence Programmes of various foreign States and by entering into strategic agreements with important operators in the naval defence industry to seek new commercial opportunities and in the field of research and development.

The tourist/hospitality industry was also significantly impacted by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular on the opening of the hotel, the general reduction in the flow of customers when the hotel was open, the intermittent use of active services and the development of business contacts aimed at identifying potential customers for the property project. To deal with this situation, the company scrupulously follows all the guidelines and requirements issued by the various authorities to protect its guests and employees in order to guarantee them the most effective health surveillance, and promptly activates all actions aimed at reducing costs and adheres to the support measures put in place by the government.

At the Group's sites and offices, measures have also been taken to ensure social distancing, the sanitation of workstations and communal areas and the adoption of specific PPE; smart working has also been introduced.

Activities are supervised by the Group-wide anti-COVID committees.


Risk related to the adoption of new technologies – The risk related to the adoption of new technologies is associated above all with the Piaggio group, that is exposed to risk from the difficulty of keeping abreast with new technologies, applicable both to products and the production process. To tackle this risk, the departments at Pontedera and Noale in Italy and PADc – the Piaggio Advanced Design Center in Pasadena are dedicated to research, development and trialling new technological solutions, while Piaggio Fast Forward in Boston is studying innovative solutions to anticipate and meet future mobility needs.


Risks related to the sales network - The Piaggio group's business is closely related to the sales network's ability to guarantee end customers a high quality sales and after-sales service. Piaggio deals with this risk by establishing specific technical/professional standards to adopt in contracts, and by adopting periodic controls.

Operating risks

Risks related to the product – The Group has to deal with risks related to product defects due to nonconforming quality and safety levels.

The risk for the Piaggio group refers to consequent recall campaigns, that would exposed the group to: the costs of managing campaigns, replacing vehicles, claims for compensation and above all if faults are not managed correctly and/or are recurrent, damage to its reputation. To mitigate these risks, Piaggio has established a Quality Control system, it tests products during various stages of the production process and carefully sources its suppliers based on technical/professional standards. The Group has also defined plans to manage recall events and has taken out insurance to protect the Group against events attributable to product defects.

To deal with product risk, the subsidiary Intermarine normally adopts a type of contract that also includes assistance and logistics packages which are formalised in agreements regulating acquired contracts.


Risks related to the production process/business continuity - The Group is exposed to risk connected with possible interruptions to company production, due to the unavailability of raw materials or components, skilled labour, systems or other resources.

To deal with these risks, the Group has necessary maintenance plans, invests in upgrading machinery, has a flexible production capacity and sources from several suppliers of components to prevent the unavailability of one supplier affecting company production.

Moreover, the operating risks related to industrial sites in Italy and other countries, as regards the Piaggio group, are managed through specific insurance cover assigned to sites based on their relative importance.


Risks related to the supply chain In carrying out its operations, the Group sources raw materials, semi-finished products and components from a number of suppliers.

As regards the Piaggio group, operations are conditioned by the ability of its suppliers to guarantee the quality standards and specifications requested for products, as well as related delivery times. To mitigate these risks, the Group qualifies and periodically evaluates its suppliers based on professional/technical/financial criteria in line with international standards.

With reference to the marine sector, Intermarine acquires raw materials, contracts and services from a large number of external suppliers, that have specific competencies, in particular in ship fitting. The close cooperation between producers and suppliers is common in the fields where the company operates and, while it may lead to economic benefits in terms of lower costs and greater flexibility, it also means that companies must rely on these suppliers. Supplier difficulties could have a negative impact, causing interruptions in and/or delays to production activities, with the risk of not meeting deadlines.


Risks related to the environment and health and safety - The Group has production sites, research and development centres and sales offices in different nations and so is exposed to the risk of not being able to guarantee a safe working environment, with the risk of causing potential harm to property or people and exposing the Group to legal sanctions, lawsuits brought by employees, costs for compensation payments and reputational harm.

To mitigate these risks, Piaggio adopts a sustainable development model that is based on environmental sustainability, in terms of safeguarding natural resources and the possibility that the ecosystem might absorb the direct and indirect impact of production activities. Specifically, Piaggio seeks to minimise the environmental impact of its industrial activities through careful definition of the technological transformation cycle and using the best technologies and most modern methods of production.

Intermarine also adopts systems aimed at the most efficient management and monitoring of risks associated with the environment, health and safety of its production activities. The shipyards at Sarzana and Messina also have Environmental certification (ISO 14001), issued by RINA. Although not yet certified, all sites have adopted the same Integrated Management System which also covers health and safety (ISO 45001).

The risks related to accidents/injuries sustained by personnel are mitigated by aligning processes, procedures and structures with applicable Occupational Safety laws, as well as best international standards.

These commitments are set out in the Codes of Ethics of Group companies.

For Piaggio, these commitments are also stated by top management in the Group's "environmental policy" which is the basis for environmental certification (ISO 14001) and health and safety certification (BS OHSAS 18001) already awarded and maintained at production sites, is a mandatory benchmark for all company sites no matter where they are working.

Risks related to processes and procedures adopted - The Group is exposed to the risk of shortcomings in planning its company processes or errors and deficiencies in carrying out operations.

To deal with this risk, the Group has established a system of directives comprising organisational notices and Manuals/Policies, Management Procedures, Operating Procedures and Work Instructions. For the Piaggio group, all documents related to Group processes and procedures are part of the single Group Document Information System, with access that is regulated and managed on the company intranet.

Risks related to delays in the completion of orders - With particular reference to the subsidiary Intermarine operating in the marine industry, any delay in the completion of contracts in progress may lead to customers requesting penalties for late delivery where contractually agreed, with the risk of reducing the overall profitability of orders and reducing financial assets.

On the other hand, the company could pass on the effect of the impact on delivery times, for delays in deliveries and in completing services and for failing to pass tests, with the need to perform the tests again, to its subcontractors.

Risks related to human resources - The main risks the Group is exposed to concerning human resources management include the ability to recruit expertise, professionalism and experience necessary to achieve objectives. To offset these risks, the Group has established specific policies or practices for recruitment, career development, training, remuneration and talent management, which are adopted in all countries where it operates according to the same principles of merit, fairness and transparency, and focusing on aspects that are relevant for the local culture.

The employees of Group companies are protected by laws and collective labour contracts that guarantee them – through local and national representation – the right to be consulted on specific matters, including programmes related to the use of staff in accordance with ongoing job orders.

In Europe, the Piaggio group operates in an industrial context with a strong trade union presence, and is potentially exposed to the risk of strikes and interruptions to production activities.

In the recent past, the Group was not affected by major interruptions to production because of strikes. To avoid the risk of interruptions to production activities, as far as possible, the Group bases its relations with trade union organisations on dialogue.


Legal risks - The Group legally protects its products and brands throughout the world. In some countries where the Group operates, laws do not offer certain standards of protection for intellectual property rights. This circumstance could render the measures adopted by the Piaggio group in particular to protect itself from the unlawful use of these rights by third parties inadequate.

Within the framework of its operations, the Group is involved in legal and tax proceedings. As regards some of the proceedings, the Group could be in a position where it is not able to effectively quantify potential liabilities that could arise. A detailed analysis of the main disputes is provided in the specific section of the Report on Operations.

Risks related to internal offences - The Group is exposed to risks of its employees committing offences, such as fraud, active and passive corruption, acts of vandalism or damage that could have negative effects on its business results in the year, and also harm the image and integrity of the company and its reputation. To prevent these risks, the Group has adopted Models pursuant to Legislative Decree 231/2001 and Codes of Ethics which set out the principles and values the entire organisation takes inspiration from.

Risks related to financial disclosure – The Group is exposed to the risk of possible inadequacies in its procedures that are intended to ensure compliance with main Italian and foreign regulations applicable to financial disclosure, running the risk of receiving fines and other sanctions. In particular there is a risk that financial reporting for Group stakeholders is not accurate and reliable due to significant errors or the omission of material facts and that the Group provides disclosure required by applicable laws in a manner which is inadequate, inaccurate or untimely.

To deal with these risks, the financial statements are audited by Independent Auditors. Moreover, the control activities required by Law 262/2005 were extended to the most important subsidiaries.


ICT system risks - With reference to this category, the main risk factors that could compromise the availability of the Group's ICT systems include cyber attacks, which could cause the possible interruption of production and sales support activities or compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal data managed by the Group.

To mitigate these risks, Piaggio group has adopted a centralised system of controls to improve the Group's IT security.


Other risks – In the specific case of the Parent Company Immsi S.p.A., in consideration of its nature as a holding company and the different phase of development and advancement of investments made both directly and through subsidiaries, its financial performance and profitability are strictly related to the financial performances of subsidiaries.


Financial risks

Risks related to insufficient cash flows and access to the credit market – At the end of the reporting period, the main sources of Group financing were:

  • debenture loans for a nominal amount of approximately €291.1 million issued by Piaggio & C. S.p.A.;
  • bank loans for a nominal amount of approximately €679.3 million. The type, rates and maturities of these loans are discussed in the Notes.

In addition, the Group has outstanding amounts due for leases, amounts due to subsidiaries not fully consolidated and amounts due to other lenders for an overall amount of approx. €91.5 million, including, since 2019 and as provided for by IFRS 16, liabilities for operating leases, equal to approximately €22 million at 31 December 2020.

The Group is exposed to the risk arising from the production of cash flows that are not sufficient to guarantee Group payments due, or adequate profitability and growth to achieve its strategic objectives. Moreover, this risk is connected with the difficulty the Group may have in obtaining loans or a worsening in conditions of loans necessary to support Group operations in appropriate time frames. The debt indicated above could also negatively affect Group operations in the future, limiting its capacity to obtain further financing or to obtain it at more favourable conditions. In particular, over the next 12 months several credit lines will mature his renewal which is decisive for being able to operate. A detailed examination of these lines is provided in the Notes.

To face this risk, the Group's cash flows and credit line needs are monitored constantly by management or, in the case of the Piaggio group, managed centrally under the control of the group’s Treasury Department, in order to guarantee an effective and efficient management of financial resources, as well as optimise the debt’s maturity standpoint.

The Parent Company Immsi S.p.A. where necessary assists its subsidiaries with credit lines, in order to guarantee support for implementing development plans. Piaggio & C. also finances the temporary cash requirements of group companies by providing direct short-term loans regulated in market conditions or through guarantees.

Exchange rate risks – The Group, primarily through Piaggio group companies, undertakes operations in currencies other than the Euro and this exposes it to the risk of fluctuating exchange rates of different currencies. Exposure to business risk consists of envisaged payables and receivables in foreign currency, taken from the budget for sales and purchases reclassified by currency and accrued on a monthly basis. With reference to the Piaggio group, the policy is to hedge at least 66% of the exposure of each reference month. Exposure to the settlement risk consists of receivables and payables in foreign currency acquired in the accounting system at any moment. The hedge must at all times be equal to 100% of the import, export or net settlement exposure for each currency. In 2020, the exchange risk was managed in line with the current policy, which aims to neutralise the possible negative effects of exchange rate changes on company cash-flow, by hedging the business risk, which concerns changes in company profitability in relation to the annual business budget on the basis of a key change (the so-called “budget change”) and of the settlement risk, which concerns the differences between the exchange rate recorded in the financial statements for receivables or payables in foreign currency and that recorded in the related receipt or payment.


Interest rate risks – The Group has assets and liabilities which are sensitive to changes in interest rates and are necessary to manage liquidity and financial requirements. These assets and liabilities are subject to an interest rate risk and are hedged by derivatives or, where necessary, by specific fixed-rate loan agreements. For a further description, see the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Credit risk – The Group is exposed to the risk of late payments of receivables. This risk is connected with any downgrading of the credit rating of customers and consequent possibility of late payments, or the insolvency of customers and consequent failure to receive payments. To balance this risk, the Group evaluates the financial reliability of its business partners. The Group, in particular the companies Piaggio & C. S.p.A. and Intermarine S.p.A., also stipulates contracts with important Italian and foreign factoring companies for the sale of trade receivables without recourse.

Risks related to deleverage - This risk is connected with compliance with covenants and targets to reduce loans, to maintain a sustainable debt/equity balance.

To offset this risk, the measurement of financial covenants and other contract commitments is monitored by the Group on an ongoing basis.

Tags: risks