Azelis' value proposition
Azelis has a leading position in the highly fragmented specialty chemicals and food ingredients distribution market, having established a global market reach with a local footprint. We are the conduit between over 2,700 specialty chemicals and food ingredients principals that have granted Azelis one or more mandates to distribute their products, and over 59,000 customers, which are typically small- and medium-sized players that cater to diversified life sciences and industrial chemicals end markets.
We have a presence in 63 countries around the world, with over 65 application laboratories and 100+ offices globally. Azelis is a market leader in EMEA (which accounted for 44% of the Group's revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022), where it is the second largest pure-play specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor, and the Americas (which accounted for 38% of the Group's revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022), where it is the largest pure-play specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor, and has a growing presence in Asia-Pacific (which accounted for 18% of the Group's revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022).
Azelis’ global leadership position stretches across a number of diversified and attractive end markets with favorable growth dynamics. Our portfolio is divided between life sciences and industrial chemicals, with life sciences end markets representing approximately 60% of revenue in 2020.
Our executive management team has extensive experience within the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry and deep sector knowledge. Together, the five members of the executive management team have a total of more than 135 years of industry experience. Since 2016, the team has more than doubled Azelis' Adjusted EBITA¹ through strong organic growth and through acquisitions.
¹Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization
Formulation expertise is critical to success in specialty chemicals and food ingredients distribution. Azelis has established the industry's largest network of laboratories with more than 65 application laboratories worldwide. These application laboratories deliver a number of important services for customers including the development of new formulations, enhancement of existing formulations and benchmarking of product performance. To complement its leading physical laboratory network, Azelis has launched online formulation tools, e-Labs, that enable customers to explore new innovations in a virtual environment.
Sustainability is at the heart of Azelis' business model and is a key tenet in everything it does. Sustainability themes are gaining prominence among principals and customers and are increasingly influencing their decisions as to whom they partner with.
Azelis helps its principals and customers meet their sustainability objectives through creating sustainable products and formulations. Sustainable products and formulations refer to the design of products and processes that minimize or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. Azelis' new formulations enable customers to replace traditional chemical ingredients with new sustainable alternatives (e.g., natural hydrocolloids), producing superior product qualities and delivering sustainable value (e.g., energy conservation and water reduction). The Group's sustainability program is based on the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) initiative, ISO 26000 and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The program consists of four pillars (People, Products and Innovation, Governance and Environment) – each with goals and KPIs – and with every pillar Azelis also contributes to the selected United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs"). Azelis’ leadership in sustainability has been consistently recognized by external bodies such as EcoVadis, who awarded Azelis a Platinum rating in 2021. Azelis is also a proud member of Together for Sustainability, a joint initiative and global network of 31 chemical companies, delivering the de facto global standard for environmental, social and governance performance of chemical supply chains.
Azelis benefits from a strong digital backbone, including integrated resource planning systems, global customer relationship management and a master data and analytics hub. We aim for our digital technology backbone to be built on tools that are scalable, future-proof, harmonized, secure and highly resilient. These tools enable senior management to track sales, orders, inventory and other key information at a highly granular level on a real-time basis. This capability enables management to take decisions quickly and effectively, and to identify and address business issues rapidly.
Azelis' high value-added services approach is built around innovation through formulation, a comprehensive product portfolio (lateral value chain) and exclusive mandates from principals leading to high principal and customer stickiness and high barriers to entry. Our diversification across geographies and end markets and our asset-light business model characterized by a high cash conversion rate creates a strong and resilient platform.
Azelis benefits from consistent organic and acquisition-driven growth and margin expansion, as well as favorable trends such as outsourcing, increasing regulation and consumption growth in the end markets it serves. The Group reported a 13% gross profit CAGR over the period of 2016-2020.
Azelis continues to build its platform through M&A, with 39 acquisitions from the beginning of 2018 through December 31, 2022 and over 50 businesses acquired since the formation of the Group in 2001.