In 2021, ROTO’s largest investment has also the most impact on the company’s financial position. For the acquisition of Prestia external financing of € 30.0 million was attracted from our house bank. Goodwill paid is recognised in the balance sheet for € 12.1 million, which will be amortised in a period of 10 years as a result of our expected long term Family commitment.
Further to that we invested € 10.5 million (2020: € 4.8 million) in our other four Business Units. At the Rotocoat site in Heerhugowaard, a total € 6.5 million (partly in 2022) has been invested in a new chemical pre-treatment for hot-dip galvanising and in replacing the zinc kettle and zinc oven. At the Rotocoat site in Wolvega a smaller investment was made in thermal zinc spraying, further broadening Rotocoat’s range of services and strengthening Rotocoat’s position as multi-service centre for surface treatment. To fulfil Rezinal’s goal for sustainable excellence in zinc recycling, investments were made in 2021 to improve the furnace exhaust fans.
Our first solar panel roof project worth € 1.2 million was completed at De Boer Staal in Uitgeest in 2021 and has been successful for more than a year now. The other Business Units are investigating options to install solar panels on the roofs of their sites. There were also investments in several full electric company cars. This car policy will be rolled out further in 2022 depending on the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles in the different countries. And at Staco decisions have been made to invest in the modernisation of the grating machines and in robotics to make heavy lifting work easier.
Due to the positive cash flow, all investments in 2021 were fully financed from own resources, except for the acquisition of Prestia. In 2022, some major investment projects will be carried out as well
Group solvency and cash flow
Our group solvency expressed as a percentage of total assets decreased from 54.5% at year-end 2020 to 38.6% at year-end 2021, mainly influenced by the acquisition financed by external means, and a substantial amount of liquidities. No dividend was paid in 2021 due to the economic reality of the COVID-19 crisis. For the financial year 2021, it has been proposed to add the net profit in full to the general reserves to enable ROTO to strengthen its strategic positions. The financial position and the operating cash flow are sufficient to continue the activities without additional financing. ROTO amply complies with the agreements made with the credit institution.