Nobody could have predicted the Oil&Gas sector drop and subsequent impact on industries such as TUBACEX, when we launched our strategic plan three years ago. Thanks to our capacity to respond and without diverting from our strategic targets we sailed through times of uncertainty, breaking away from divestment trends dominating the market and reorganizing at operational, commercial and management levels. We became and are still aware that those times were not just times of change but actually determined the new rules of the game for our industry.

Within this change process, smaller sectors such as special stainless steel components were affected to a greater extent, mainly due to their higher dependency on traditional markets. Notwithstanding the above, we defined a specialization plan for our fitting plants - TTA in Spain and IBF in Italy - and recently we have signed an agreement to set up a new JV with the Japanese firm Awaji. This strategic acquisition in Thailand for the manufacture of stainless steel elbows, reducers, tees and caps aims to enable us to meet our targets related to: diversification, improved position in the value chain and proximity to the end user.
With this operation we have extended our range of fittings and are able to offer from standard smaller products to the most sophisticated and complex special components in the industry. This is undoubtedly a great opportunity to continue to move forward taking firm and decisive steps in our global offer of tubular solutions.