19.01.2022 – 12:46
- Growth strategy bears fruit: Group sales increased by 13% to EUR 2.5 billion
- New record investment volume of EUR 450 million planned for 2022
The international special glass manufacturer SCHOTT is growing strongly and recorded very good financial figures in the 2020/21 fiscal year: Sales rose to EUR 2.5 billion, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year. The operating result (EBIT) improved once again by EUR 102 million to EUR 390 million (+ 35%) and the consolidated net income for the year increased to EUR 289 million (+ 45%). The driver of this positive development was in particular the boom in the household appliances sector, which ensured high capacity utilization at the production facilities. Products for the pharmaceutical industry have also played their part. In the second year of the pandemic, SCHOTT realized its planned record investments of EUR 350 million; Investments were primarily made at locations in Germany, China and the USA, creating more than 1,000 new jobs. “Thanks to our broad product portfolio, we stayed on course and were able to close the financial year very successfully,” said CEO Dr. Frank Heinricht at the balance sheet press conference in Mainz, and adds: “With another record investment of EUR 450 million, we are laying the foundation for further profitable growth in the years to come.” Rising energy, raw material and logistics costs, tight supply chains and a shortage of chips are presenting the company with new challenges.
Growth strategy bears fruit, positive net liquidity
All business areas contributed to the result through profitable growth and strong increases in productivity. The investments of the past three years have paid off. “Our strategy of investing well above depreciation is bearing fruit,” says CFO Dr. Jens Schulte. “With net liquidity of EUR 79 million and an equity ratio of 41 percent – seven percentage points higher than last year – we are in a robust position.” Around 1,000 new jobs were created as of the balance sheet date at the end of September. The company employs 17,300 people (+ 5%), around 6,000 of them in Germany.
Pharmaceutical solutions as well as products for household appliances and consumer electronics are top performers
SCHOTT supplied pharmaceutical vials for over 5 billion COVID-19 vaccinations in the 2021 calendar year. But even independently of the pandemic, solutions for the pharmaceutical industry developed positively. Pharmaceutical companies are particularly in demand for prefillable syringes or pre-sterilized or coated vials and cartridges.
During the pandemic, the retreat into privacy, the “cocooning” effect, has prompted many people to redesign their homes. For SCHOTT, this meant double-digit growth rates for CERAN® cooktop panels, ROBAX® fire viewing panels and flat glass, which is used in ovens and microwaves, for example.
In consumer electronics, too, the signs pointed to growth. The increasing demand for premium smartphones had a positive effect on cover glasses. Whether as an extremely break-resistant front or back cover or ultra-flexible cover glass for foldable cell phones: special glasses from SCHOTT enable manufacturers such as Samsung or Vivo to create special device designs.
Successful M&A activities and investments in focus markets
SCHOTT has set further course with strategic acquisitions and sales: Through the Acquisition of the American diagnostics company AMI SCHOTT builds up additional expertise in the booming diagnostics market and strengthens its presence in the USA. A future focus of the flat glass business on Europe and South America led to Sale of Gemtron subsidiary in North America.
In the focus region A new production facility for FIOLAX® pharmaceutical tubing was set up in China in record time and at the same time SCHOTT’s first smelting site in China. In India, the company has further expanded the FIOLAX® production in order to supply the Indian pharmaceutical industry and neighboring countries with high-quality pharmaceutical glass. Several million euros flowed into one Modern production at the Turkish flat glass location SCHOTT Orim in Bolu, which is scheduled to go into operation in early 2022. In Germany, more precisely in Müllheim in Baden, the focus was on the new production facility for polymer syringes, including for mRNA vaccines – at a total of over 100 million euros, the largest investment project in the company’s history. Production is scheduled to start here in spring 2022. “Despite the Corona crisis and thanks to the incredible commitment of our teams, we are right on schedule with all projects,” says CEO Heinricht.
Outlook: Innovation as a growth driver
The global demand for special glass is unbroken – it is not for nothing that the United Nations declared 2022 the “UN International Year of Glass”. Due to its versatility, the material glass is a pioneer in many high-tech applications, which offers unimagined possibilities for current social requirements.
- High-precision FLEXINITY® connect glass wafers, which will replace polymer as a material, enable more computing power for microchips.
- Leading smartphone manufacturers such as Vivo are launching the first devices with the extremely unbreakable Xensation® alpha Coverglas on the market.
- New CERAN® Luminoir glass ceramic cooking surfaces bring new lighting designs to smart kitchens.
Further steps towards climate neutrality
SCHOTT wants to become climate-neutral by 2030 and has taken a big step closer to this goal by switching to certified green electricity. In demanding and partly publicly funded projects the company is developing new technologies for heating the energy-intensive melting tanks so that they can be operated without fossil fuels in the future. The company is thus setting new standards for the glass industry.
Record investments with rising costs
For the new fiscal year, which has started successfully, SCHOTT expects growth of 3 to 5 percent. “The rising costs of energy and raw materials present us with great challenges and will weigh on the result. We must counter this with further increases in efficiency, but also with price increases,” predicts Heinricht. Nevertheless, the company is sticking to its strategy of profitable growth and is again planning record investments of EUR 450 million. Among other things, the production of pharmaceutical solutions in China is to be tripled. Heinricht: “We have a balanced portfolio and offer customers innovations for future technologies. Our solid balance sheet and the planned investment projects make me optimistic that we will again master the financial year well.”
Trademarks: CERAN®, FIOLAX®, FLEXINITY®, ROBAX®, Xensation®
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Original content from: SCHOTT AG, transmitted by news aktuell