Group Management Report

2020 was an exceptional year, marked by the coronavirus pandemic, with very different business dynamics over the course of the year.

After a strong start to the year in terms of demand, the focus from spring onwards was on coping with the pandemic and the associated economic uncertainties. In the final quarter, demand picked up again considerably. Thanks to our international positioning and diversified product portfolio, we succeeded in maintaining our supply and performance capabilities and closed the fiscal year with only a moderate decline in sales. A favorable materials cost ratio, stringent cost management, and pandemic-related savings on travel and trade show costs, among other things, compensated for the sales-related margin decline, resulting in earnings above the previous year’s level as well as higher EBITDA profitability. At the same time, we continued to push forward our strategic research and development projects, as well as digitalization, and through acquisitions we set the course for further profitable growth.