Odebrecht S.A., the organizationís holding company, is focused on maintaining the philosophical unity and strategic direction of the Odebrecht Group and managing our investments in Engineering & Construction and Chemicals & Petrochemicals.
The holding companyís work is focused on the Culture, People, Growth, Performance, Relationships and Image of all the businesses that make up the Odebrecht Group.
The economic and financial indicators presented in this report, together with all the actions undertaken over the course of 2003, are testimony to our unfailing commitment of contributing to the development of the communities we serve, while letting social responsibility guide our entrepreneurial practices.
In 2003, we achieved a new level of tangible results.
Our gross revenue grew in 2002 due to the creation of Braskem, and continued to rise in 2003, increasing by over 30%. Between 2001 and 2003, it soared from BRL 8.3 billion to BRL 17.3 billion, confirming our capacity to produce more and better wealth.
The creation of Braskem was decisive for growing our productivity. A subsidiary through which we operate in the Chemicals & Petrochemicals business, it is now responsible for 72.3% of our revenue. A little over a year after it was created, it was already exporting over USD 600 million annually. Braskem had the most highly valued shares on the S„o Paulo bourse, and its ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) were the best performers on Wall Street.
The Engineering & Construction business also showed ongoing growth of gross revenue, with increased performance outside Brazil. Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. Ė CNO is currently Brazilís leading service exporter. Over 80% of its revenue came from other countries in 2003.
If this confirms that Brazilís infrastructure investments have not kept pace with its needs, it also reflects the power of Brazilian engineering, which, through CNO, is building major projects in several countries on different continents.
We work with unity of thoughts and actions.
One of the Odebrecht S.A.ís central roles is helping ensure the unity of the thoughts and actions of everyone in the organization, while making the principles and concepts of the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology flow throughout the Group. In 2003, this work was particularly fruitful, resulting in the implementation of the first Program for Developing Entrepreneurs (PDE) at CNO and the introduction of the Braskem MBA.
The holding company also carried out important programs aimed at identifying and integrating young people, interns and trainees to ensure that our performance always reflects the quality of our entrepreneurs. If they are highly qualified, strongly motivated people who live our culture and apply our entrepreneurial technology, then Odebrechtís history of continued growth will always have a future
Our businesses are guided by the Groupís Vision for 2010, which sums up Odebrechtís plans for the decade.
Among other points, our Vision for 2010 establishes that we want to be the Southern Hemisphereís leaders in the businesses in which we operate, with a solid capital structure and a significant global presence.
We are marching firmly in that direction. We are already Latin Americaís leaders in Engineering & Construction and Chemicals & Petrochemicals (listed in several international rankings) and in 2003 our capital structure improved in regard to capital/debt ratio and debt reduction in absolute terms.
It is our ambition to become an organization that is a source of pride for the Brazilian people. The entrepreneurial work and social contributions of our members, our model for entrepreneurship and our capacity to serve the nationís development are conditions we are always striving to improve.
The Brazilian and world scenes present opportunities for furthering our growth.
Brazilís urgent need for infrastructure projects and the imminent resumption of a new growth cycle in this country signal excellent opportunities for our businesses.
On the international level, the economic growth already taking place in many countries will increasingly require the Odebrecht Groupís services and products, as our export figures for 2003 demonstrate.
In South America in particular, we are making a decisive contribution to the regionís development by helping build projects and carry out ventures that are enabling the physical integration of countries and markets. The integration of South America and the probability of a new global growth cycle are opportunities that Brazil must pursue in order to achieve a new stage of national development.
On other fronts, we have expanded our presence in Central America and begun operations in the Middle East.
Our constant challenge, one that will intensify during the 2004-2006 period, is strengthening Odebrechtís competitive edge.
In the next few years, we will work to consolidate our position as a Brazilian multinational active in Engineering & Construction and Chemicals & Petrochemicals that operates with world-class scale and standards of productivity and competitiveness.
To achieve this, we will continue to improve the application of our entrepreneurial technology and strengthen our competitive edge: Odebrechtís Culture and the people who live it, and are driven to help create more and better wealth.
Adopted 60 years ago, the values of this culture are the pillars of our commitments, actions and businesses. The cultivation of these values maintains the requisite consistency of thinking and action, and entrepreneurial spirit and practice on the Groupís path of Survival, Growth and Perpetuity.