Businesses are subject to cyclical changes All mature firms go through a recession period at some point in their history when they have to make difficult decisions from the point of view of committing or not committing to growth.
We are experiencing one of the worst crises remembered in the sector. In addition to a continued decline in the price of raw materials and oil, the subsequent freeze in Upstream sector investments, high pressure on prices of certain products is now another factor contributing to create the perfect storm. Although the fourth quarter saw some signs of recovery in the evolution of the price of raw materials, it should be highlighted that the impact of the crisis has been so devastating that results will not be noticed in the short term.
In a context such as the current one, our financial results for last year are particularly relevant. In spite of the crisis, we closed the year with a positive net profit thanks to the continuation of key strategic investments, including the setting up of a joint venture in Thailand to strengthen our leadership in fittings.
With this type of investment, we have been committed to the growth path; sustained and sustainable growth with a long-term business vision. We have made further progress in our service offer; we are committed to the Industry 4.0 model by increasing by 50% investment on our R&D and Innovation, reaching record-breaking sales figures in high technological value products; and finally, we have implemented advanced management tools in our way towards excellence. We believe this series of measures will undoubtedly drive our growth in a recovered market situation that we hope will appear.