SCHOTT eyes U.S. growth strategy as sales and earnings increase in 2020

Despite economic headwinds caused by COVID-19, SCHOTT's U.S. businesses grew in 2020, driven by strong performance in its pharma and home appliances segments

75 percent of all COVID-19 vaccines projects that have been approved or are currently in pipeline rely on SCHOTT vials - Image: SCHOTT

The international specialty glass group SCHOTT increased its global sales by 2.2 percent in 2020 to reach 2.5 billion USD, and the company delivered positive performance for other key financial benchmarks despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company also improved operating profit (EBIT), recording 320 million USD. The number of employees rose to around 16,500, of which about 1,200 are in the United States.

About 20 percent of global sales were attributable to the U.S. region, making the U.S. the top selling country for SCHOTT.

Pharma & Home Appliance Lead U.S. Growth
U.S. sales increased despite the challenges of 2020, led by the company’s pharmaceutical packaging unit and its home appliance unit. The home appliance market dipped at the beginning of the pandemic, but rebounded as Americans spending more time at home invested in their living environments.

SCHOTT’s Lebanon, Pennsylvania, facility produced record-breaking numbers of pharmaceutical containers, operating 24 hours per day, seven days a week, in response to heightened demand from the global coronavirus pandemic. Globally, three out of four COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers rely on vials from SCHOTT’s Pharma business line.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the essential role SCHOTT plays in the world. Our products and technologies are vital for the supply chains for pharmaceuticals, MedTech, and other critical industries,” said Jim Gareau, President of SCHOTT North America. “As the seriousness of COVID-19 became apparent in early 2020, all of SCHOTT’s U.S. facilities quickly instituted safety and hygiene plans to keep production running. I want to thank each and every SCHOTT employee for their hard work in the face of an unquestionably difficult environment.”

100 percent green electricity through Energy Attribute Certificates at U.S. facilities
SCHOTT also intensified its efforts in the area of climate protection. All U.S. locations’ electricity needs are now covered by 100 percent renewable energies via high-quality certificates of origin. In its new Group strategy, the company has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming climate neutral by 2030. The U.S. locations were one of the first countries to achieve this goal.

Outlook: strong results form basis for organic growth.
Gareau noted that SCHOTT’s equity ratio remains strong at 32 percent, a solid result in challenging economic times. “Our financial strength positions us well for organic growth,” Gareau said. “Further, the success of several recent additions to our product portfolio, including major expansions of our materials and digitization expertise, has created additional interest for new acquisitions.”

“The U.S. remains the global powerhouse of innovation,” said Dr. Heinz Kaiser, the member of the SCHOTT board of management responsible for the U.S. “We expect this dynamic economy to continue to create demand for new products and new applications that rely on glass and glass ceramics. Due to its versatility, specialty glass is the perfect material to push ground-breaking technologies in fields such as pharmaceutical packaging, diagnostics, household appliances, and consumer electronics.”