Following the previously inconceivable developments in a year in which the COVID-19 crisis first raised its head, 2021 was once again hallmarked by the serious impact of the COVID-19 virus on society. In particular during the early part of the year, when the country was subject to a night-time curfew for more than three months, society was seriously disrupted. Once again at the end of the year, we were unexpectedly confronted with a tightening up of the preventive measures, which meant a severe restriction of much of our social life. The expected positive impact of the vaccination programme sadly failed to fully materialise. On the positive side, the summer period was characterised by several months of greater freedoms, so that many people were at least able to enjoy a well-earned holiday.
Although the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the operating results at Unica has remained limited, the situation still demanded huge adaptability from our employees in the field, our office staff and our management. The Board of Directors is full of praise for the way in which the entire workforce has time and again demonstrated its willingness to comply with government measures and to translate those measures into changes to their working practice, with a view to minimising the consequences for clients and colleagues.
Policy at Unica remains strictly in line with the guidelines from the RIVM, where necessary adapting day-to-day operations to the current situation. This process is the responsibility of the Crisis Management Team (CMT), that immediately following the announcement of changes to government advice assembles for central consultation and coordination, before translating the COVID-19 measures for our operations. Communication about the consequences of the changes to government measures for policy within Unica is then shared as quickly as possible with all employees.
Thanks to the efforts of all employees, the impact of the COVID-19 measures on the level of service provided by Unica remained relatively limited. If all social distancing and hygiene instructions are taken into account, work can go ahead in almost every case. The decentralised operating structure, the range of specialisations provided by Unica in its network of companies and the stability and variety of the customer base, with a clear focus on sectors less susceptible to fluctuations in economic developments, have resulted in a broadly crisis-proof organisation at Unica, that was once again reflected in the financial results this year.