Sales amount to Euros 62.9 million (Euros 67.4 million in 2007) and are again concentrated mainly in activities associated with GecamTM.
The operating result was a loss of Euros 11.8 million, compared to a loss of Euros 3.8 million in 2007.
The higher loss can be attributed essentially to the increase in structural costs needed to develop the international side of the retrofit filter business and for the final phase of the costs incurred for the start-up of the factory in Romania that produces particulate filters.
In 2008, activities related to the development, fine-tuning and marketing of particulate filter systems for diesel engines was further intensified. Overall, 1,318 retrofit filter systems were sold, compared to 497 in the prior year, for a total of Euros 5.7 million (Euros 2.6 million in 2007).
In Italy, in February 2008, the Filter Decree was approved. The filter systems were homologated at the beginning of the second half of the year and the Lombardy Region made available a regional grant of Euros 10 million for the purchase of about 4,000 systems.
Selling started in England and Holland (a total of 545 systems) while homologation tests were started for the markets in Spain, Portugal, Germany and China.
2008 saw the completion and start-up of the silicon carbide filter factory in Romania, at Bumbesti-Jiu, in Gorj county.
As far as GecamTM is concerned, in a fiercely competitive market, sales volumes in Italy fell from 80 million liters in 2007 to 56 million liters in 2008, a reduction of about 30%. Half of that reduction was due to the loss of the customer ATM, whereas, in France, volumes totaled 24 million liters, a decrease of 4%.
Beijing, China - Pirelli Eco Technology particulate filters