Kremsmünster (A) In the pandemic crisis year 2020, Greiner proved to be a reliable and resilient partner for customers and business partners. In the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Greiner made an indispensable contribution to the topics that were the focus of global efforts: Products from the Greiner Bio-One division were used for Covid-19 tests and in the development of drugs and vaccines. The Greiner Packaging division made a significant contribution to security of supply and hygiene.

These activities are also reflected in Group sales. Greiner generated a total of 1.93 billion euros in the past financial year. The above-average increase in group sales in 2020 of 15 percent compared to the previous year (FY 2019: 1.675 billion euros) led to the best group result in the company’s history. Accordingly, Greiner increased the cash flow compared to 2019 by 118 percent to 314 million euros (FY 2019: 144 million euros).

The above-average growth was accompanied by an ambitious investment program in property, plant and equipment amounting to 111 million euros (FY 2019: 99 million). At the same time, the number of employees also rose: on the reporting date, 11,494 people were employed at 139 locations in 34 countries worldwide, 2,680 of them in Austria. The strong increase is mainly due to the takeover of the Eurofoam joint venture in April 2020.

The results at a glance:

  • Group-wide sales increase to 1.93 billion euros
  • Above-average sales growth at Greiner Bio-One, business success in the Greiner Packaging and NEVEON divisions, decline at Greiner Extrusion
  • Substantial contribution to coping with the COVID-19 pandemic through medical technology products from Greiner Bio-One
  • Sustainability, innovation and digitization as growth drivers
  • Overall positive outlook for 2021

Strengthened for the future: confirmation of the corporate strategy

In the successful financial year, CEO Axel Kühner sees confirmation of the corporate strategy, which is based on the three strategic pillars of diversification, globalization and innovation.

“This result in a Corona year shows that our strategic orientation was the right step. The focus of the past few years on sustainable innovations and a diversified product portfolio has made us crisis-proof and fit for the future. We have hardly been able to use the crisis as an opportunity like any other company “, is how Axel Kühner takes stock after a turbulent year and refers to more than 150 years of company history, which were characterized by growth, transformation and overcoming one’s own limits.

Focus on innovation and diversification

Chief Financial Officer Hannes Moser emphasizes that Greiner reacted quickly to the changed framework conditions in the past year and that priorities and priorities were changed or changed at short notice Had to be bought, compensated by great successes in medical technology or packaging. ”

With the rapid response to the new requirements in the field of medical technology and the associated development of products for acute SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and vaccine development (VACUETTE virus stabilization tubes), Greiner Bio-One made a key contribution to coping with Covid-19 Pandemic. This is reflected in sales of 693 million euros and a sales growth of 36 percent compared to the previous year.

Greiner Packaging used the pandemic-related crisis to develop new innovations and promote sustainable production. Despite the divided market situation with high growth in the food area and declining sales in the area of ​​office supply as well as hotel and gastro, the division recorded a result at the previous year’s level with a sales volume of 692 million euros (+0.4 percent).

NEVEON (formerly Greiner Foam) posted slight sales declines in 2020 due to the demanding framework conditions, which were also offset in the past year by the complete acquisition of Eurofoam and the associated bundling of foam activities for all areas of application. As a result, the Group’s foam division closed the year with sales of 479 million euros (+20 percent).

Greiner Extrusion generated 68 million euros (-13 percent). The supplier of extrusion lines and tools felt a sharp decline in customer investment activities last spring.

Focus on sustainability, innovation and digitization

“The Covid-19 crisis has undoubtedly revealed weaknesses, but also highlighted potential. One thing is certain: There will be no return to the old normal. At Greiner, we see the change forced in parts by the pandemic and the associated transformation: as a great opportunity for us as a company, but above all for society and the environment, “explains Axel Kühner and gives an insight into other activities of the group.

With the new group-wide sustainability strategy “Blue Plan”, the future development of the company until 2030 was deliberately drawn in the midst of the corona pandemic. Circular economy, climate protection and people are the focus of the ambitious strategy.

With the innovation forge INNOVENTURES, the course was also laid in 2020 for future, sustainable innovations at Greiner. Digitization, especially of processes and structures, is another important focus of the company, which has been controlled and coordinated from the Greiner AG headquarters since the beginning of 2021.

Positive outlook for 2021

For the year 2021, Greiner expects a renewed increase in sales despite the unpredictable effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the current financial year we are also following our strategy and relying on the diversification of products and markets. Since we mostly produce in the individual countries for the local market, we are largely independent of import duties and trade barriers that were widespread in 2020”, shows Hannes Moser is confident: “In the medium and long term, due to our market position, we expect an overall positive development in demand.”

Against the background of the ongoing Corona crisis, however, the outlook is fraught with a high level of planning uncertainty.