SWITZERLAND – Endress+Hauser, a Swiss-based globally operating process and laboratory instrumentation and automation supplier, weathered the 2020 pandemic year well, managing to report sales higher than the industry average.

According to a statement from the company, group’s sales for the year amounted to €2.577 billion (US$3.09bn).

When compared to 2019, this was a 2.9% drop in revenue but Endress+Hauser notes that were it not for the heavy influence from exchange rate developments, the business would have almost reached the previous year’s level in sales.

Endress+Hauser noted that Digitization which picked up speed during the pandemic – in products, in collaboration, in internal processes- played an important role in helping the company weather the effects of the pandemic.

According to the company, the number of registered users on the platform doubled, and online business grew by 39 percent helping to offset declines occasioned by restrictions on physical interactions.

With the help of digital platforms, Endress+Hauser can now perform service technicians virtually to customers’ plants when needed adding that even factory acceptance tests can now take place remotely with video support.

The company’s profits from the year was also not heavily battered with the pandemic, only declining 1.9 percent to €337.1 million (US$404.57m).

Regionally, China overtook USA and Germany to become the business’ largest single market and was the only market of the big three to record growth.

During 2020, the company also undertook major investments amounting to €205.9 million (US$247.18m).

The investments included expansion of the plants in Maulburg, Germany, and Reinach, Switzerland, in addition to upgrading of sites in Gerlingen and Waldheim in Germany and in Aurangabad in India.

Additionally, the company spent €195.1 million (US$234.22m) on R&D, equating to 7.6 percent of sales. Furthermore, Endress+Hauser filed patents for 276 inventions for the first time, 42 less than in 2019.

Overall, Endress+Hauser ended the year in a healthy “healthy financial situation”  as it was virtually free of bank loans and boasted an equity ratio that rose 1.4 points to 77.0%.

For the 2021, the company is off to a good start, having managed to record incoming orders that were above the company’s own quarter 1 targets as well as above the still strong first quarter of 2020.

Given the good performance already achieved in Q1, Endress+Hauser aims to grow in the mid-single-digit percentage range. It however expects lower profitability, as many savings of the last year were one-offs.

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