By Fabrizio Ugolini The pandemic continues to dominate the global economic sentiment but there is a widespread perception that conditions in the global economy will improve over the next six months. After a tremendous drop of demand in 2020 in both leather-goods and shoes-upper (that is still on-going, at least for the time being), the good news is that the latest industry forecasts are showing a consistent growth up to 2025 with a respective CAGR of 4,10% and 6,3% (based on 2019 output). Despite all 2020 negativities, our Finishing Division performed better than expected (mainly driven by a strong upholstery market in APAC). Also, the business generated within the first two months of 2021 shows encouraging results. Specific activities have been rolled out in the last couple of months: The latest fashion collection for spring-summer 2022 has been released and it is currently under promotion on a global scale. We successfully held a webinar on Leather Upgrading, showing the high performances of our BASEMASK products range. Aside of this activity, a collection of 20 different articles (combining chemicals and creativity) has been prepared and spread out through a dedicated presentation to all our colleagues. The new AGUASTOP W 200 – an innovative PFC-free water repellent – has been released to the market, and a strong and successful marketing campaign is currently ongoing. An innovative titanium-free white pigment, BASETONE WHITE TI-Free, has been realized and introduced.