Dear Colleagues,
as was unfortunately foreseeable, the emergency linked to the notorious COVID 19 has progressively spread across the world, leading to the adoption of increasingly drastic measures in different countries.

It is sad to note that once again what I had hoped for was missing; coordination at least at the European Union level in the adoption of timely and shared measures to deal with the current emergency, instead of actually creating the conditions for the further spread of the virus and at the same time causing confusion and unequal treatment and the possibility of competing between companies from different countries.

As you know, for some days all our Italian production sites have had to completely shut down; the same is true for the two Indian sites and for the Lipetsk plant in Russia. However, work continues regularly in the other countries where we are present, albeit with growing difficulties related to supplies and the movement of goods. An additional factor is the higher than normal absenteeism rate due to the fear of contagion and the closure of schools, with many of us having to stay at home to take care of the little ones and the elderly.

In this difficult situation we can take pride in the great work already done everywhere to protect the health of all of us. As I have already written, our "Crisis Committee" promptly put in place extraordinary measures for the protection of health in advance of, and more stringent than, the provisions of the ordinances issued by the competent authorities in the various countries. For this effort, I want to thank once again all those who literally worked day and night with passion and inspirational dedication to guarantee our health and preserve our corporate assets in the face of an emergency of unimaginable proportions.

Just as inspiring and comforting are the voluntary initiatives of some of you who have taken a self-imposed pay cut, making a highly symbolic and substantial contribution in extraordinary circumstances; this affects me deeply and represents, once again, a sign of the uniqueness of our Group.

We are not perfect, far from it. We have ample room for improvement in every area of our business. But once again, amid these difficulties there is a unique and widespread spirit of emotional attachment to the LU-VE Group team. This will give us even more strength to undertake the enormous tasks of resistance and reconstruction that we will face in the coming weeks. Orders will see an irresistible slowdown because of the ongoing emergency. All of us will be called on to make sacrifices and to fight - united more than ever - to resist and to rise once more. I am sure that together we will be able to do it.

As of tomorrow, in addition to the production of air conditioners for surgical rooms (which has never stopped as it is closely linked to the health emergency), we will resume working in a very targeted manner in some Italian sites on a voluntary basis and with the adoption of preventive measures and even stricter control for the protection of the health of the people involved. We are doing this in order to guarantee continuity of supplies to Italian and foreign customers who are active in supply chains or strategic projects.

Since mid-March, as you already know, our Chinese colleagues have been fully operational again. Since the reopening of the plant we have received many orders for the local market. This must be an example and a comfort for the time when have put sad emergency behind us.

It is important for you to know that, despite the slowdown suffered in recent weeks, the first quarter was still positive, and, paradoxically, it closes with a very high order book that would require a significant effort in terms of hours worked to satisfy our customers.

This makes a good starting point. My hope is that gradually (and as soon as possible), in Italy and abroad, we will be able to return to normal life and operation to guarantee the future of all of us and to resume the virtuous path of growth which in our history was interrupted only in the year of the great financial crisis, 2009. We emerged from that one even more cohesive, more assertive and more powerful.

Once again, I would really like to give you all a hug, but you know that we still have to keep a minimum distance of at least one metre.

So, my very best personal wishes to you and your families.

Matteo Liberali

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