Italy's got talent. How Italian leading companies in confectionery industry overcame the crisis

Michele Bigoni, Enrico Deidda Gagliardo

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The crisis that spread worldwide since 2007 started from the financial sector and ended to affect also real economy. This process has attracted the attention of many scholars seeking to study its causes and impacts. Notwithstanding many works on this topic, the impact of the crisis on specific industries is still rather unexplored. The present work seeks to address this issue by analyzing the confectionery industry, with particular emphasis for Italian market leaders, Ferrero S.p.A. and Perfetti Van Melle S.r.l.. The aim of the study is to assess if they have been successful in tackling the crisis, keeping a satisfactory level of profitability associated to a good financial health notwithstanding ongoing difficulties. Moreover, we seek to analyze the strategies the companies employed to survive the crisis. The concern of the paper is both quantitative and qualitative. Thus, we calculated a complete set of indicators using a specific methodology for financial statement analysis which has been conceived especially for studying Italian firms; these data have been integrated with other information retrieved from the annual reports of the companies (especially the notes to the accounts and the directors’ report). The analysis highlights that both the firms benefit from a good financial health, with Perfetti Van Melle presenting a large amount of liquidity. On the contrary, liquidity should be the main concern of Ferrero because of an excessive reliance on current liabilities. Both the firms have a good level of profitability, even if Perfetti Van Melle’s one is decreasing. The key-strategies for the success of these firms are ongoing investments in state-of-the-art plant and machinery, an increasing use of equity as the main source of funding, along with huge investments in research and advertising.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-59
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Scientific Journal
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Crisis
  • Confectionery Industry
  • Ferrero and Perfetti Van Melle
  • Financial Statement Analysis


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