In keeping with the situation that the Spanish economy and our sector are going through, the monthly statistical report of our Board of Directors shows that we ended the 2012 financial year with a 17.5% reduction in national sales compared to 2011, making this the fifth consecutive year in which national sales fell.
We will have to wait until the second half of the current year to see how the sector is developing. And so, I want to thank all our member companies for the effort they are making to face up to this situation, and especially for the trust they place in our Association as a support to their business activities.
As we did last year, in keeping with the austerity measures that have been implemented in the AFME, we present our activity report for 2012 in CD format.
As was stated in our last General Assembly, austerity measures have been implemented in the Association. A 10% cut has been applied to the salaries of all those working in our organisation, our staff has been reduced, and restrictions have been applied to the costs arising from national and international travel, all in line with the economic situation of Spain and the sector.
Regarding the activities of the Market Committee, during the 2012 financial year, it continued to publish the list of those in debt to members of Association on a monthly basis. The committee also provided us with the Telebalance, which integrates and analyses the annual accounts of distribution companies of electrical goods. Likewise, it continued to develop market statistics resulting from working sessions with different groups in the sector.
In 2012 our Foreign Trade Division, despite budget cuts by the ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade), developed a Sectoral Plan adjusted to the needs of our members, which focuses on promoting markets in Asia, Latin America, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. This plan involved three group presentations at trade fairs and twelve direct commercial missions as well as reverse trade missions of foreign buyers organised under the MATELEC framework.
Exports among our companies grew by 2.34% in 2012 compared to the previous year. The exports of many individual companies grew at a higher rate which has allowed them to compensate for a significant part of the contraction of the national market.
The Technical Division has continued to consolidate its activities with regard to standardisation, certification and legislation on the national and European level, through its participation in national and international organisations relating to our sector such as AENOR, CENELEC, IEC, ORGALIME, CECAPI, CAPIEL, etc. We have continued our collaboration with AENOR in the Standardisation and Certification Technical Committees and with MINETUR in the elaboration of the new ICT-BT for charging systems for electrical vehicles which will be incorporated into the REBT. We have also been involved in revising the WEEE II and the new Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), among other activities. During 2012 the Multisectoral Platform against Bad Debt (PMcM) carried out various research projects into the bad debt situation in Spain. The AFME is an active member of this group, participating in its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Transposing the European Directive on means of combating late payments into national law is one of the objectives of the PMcM for 2013.
The PRIE platform, made up by the AFME, ADIME, FACEL, FENIE, ANFALUM and CEDIC continues in its fight to introduce a law that will revise and adapt the current legislation on electrical equipment.
The B2B Electronet e-commerce platform, a 50/50 joint venture between the AFME and ADIME, has consolidated its position as the leading e-commerce platform in our sector. At present 34 manufacturers and 70 distributors are among the users of system.
Finally, I would like to thank the Board of Directors of the AFME and all our member companies for the trust they have placed in me and in our collaborators, who work every day with the utmost dedication, quality and professionalism. Your trust is the engine that keeps the AFME moving forward.
Andrés Carasso Vendrell Secretary General – Manager