The multinational is a byword for safety and a global No.1 in brakes for luxury and sports cars and motor vehicles. It is stepping up the pace of its development, with new facilities in China, the USA and Mexico

Alberto Bombassei

Alberto Bombassei

It is no mean feat to claim the number one spot, hold onto it for more than 20 years and keep surpassing your own high standards year after year, but Brembo is more than up to the task. It is a global leader in car and motor vehicle brakes and an epitome of safety, making it a universal favourite in the world of motor sports. The term «pocket-sized multinational» coined by Romano Prodi sums it up nicely. In the first nine months of 2015, it posted a turnover of € 1.55 bn, which marked a 15.6% increase on the € 1.34 bn in the same period in the previous year. 

The global nature of the group is underlined by the fact that almost 88% of the revenues come from outside Italy. Its international status enabled Brembo to keep its industrial profits high, with a 28.4% increase in Ebitda from € 207.8 mn to € 266.8 mn. This took the Ebitda margin from 15.5% to 17.2%, while the net profit of € 132.1 mn was up by 40% on the € 94.4 mn in the first nine months of 2014. Topping off a great year was the fact that net financial debt was down to € 215.4 mn, from € 270.4 mn at the start of the year.

However, Alberto Bombassei has no intention of resting on his laurels. In his role as the chairman, he has essentially relaunched the group since he took the helm from his father Emilio by substantially stepping up the pace of its development. His aims are made clear by the fact that in the first nine months of 2015, Brembo invested € 92.9 mn. It is developing new technological solutions, new materials and new enhancements to the specific contents of products that have reached levels of complexity and sophistication that would have been inconceivable just five or ten years ago.

The future looks promising. The orders received mean that the prospects are good for 2016, with revenues and margins likely to increase again. Meanwhile, Brembo continues to meet its customers’ highest expectations by going to ever greater efforts to pamper and assist them. For example, it has introduced a new approach to provide customers with a more secure purchasing experience for High Performance and Racing components and help them to avoid buying counterfeit products.

The items in these Brembo ranges now come with an anti-counterfeiting card and a quality control sheet. On the international front, Brembo has continued its expansion in China last year. Alongside the production facility that it already controls, it has added Asimco Meilian Braking Systems by buying a 66% stake for € 86 m. «China will continue to be the world’s biggest automobile producer in the years to come», according to Bombassei. «There is a growing need in the country for greater quality and the development of technological know-how». 

The focus on China has not distracted the group from its endeavours in other areas, such as the Usa. In Homer, which lies between Detroit and Chicago, it has planned to invest € 83 mn in the three years from 2013 to 2015 on a production facility and more than € 74 mn between 2014 and 2017 on a new cast iron foundry. Meanwhile, in Mexico it is investing € 32 mn in a foundry with an annual production capacity of 14.000 tonnes.