Hempel grew its revenue to €1542M in 2020 and demonstrated strong organic growth of 3.2% despite a declining global coatings market, building on momentum from 2019. The company continued its transformation to become a stronger global company ready to accelerate growth and double the business by 2025.
Despite uncertainty and disruption across regions and markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hempel demonstrated agility and clear priorities concerning the safety of employees, timely and high-quality support to customers, as well as financial robustness to protect future investments. With an EBITDA margin of 10.1%, including extraordinary high investments in the supply chain in China, this was a satisfactory result.
“I am very satisfied with our achievements last year as we managed to deliver a strong performance during unprecedented times. We have now seen organic growth for six quarters in a row and been able to reduce our debt further. This puts us in a strong position for the coming years,” said Lars Petersson, Group President & CEO of Hempel. He continued: “I would like to personally thank all my colleagues for a truly outstanding performance under very difficult circumstances. You have kept our customers unharmed throughout the pandemic while maintaining health and safety as our number one priority. For this I am truly grateful.”
2020 was a strong year for the Marine segment, especially in Asia Pacific with many vessels coming into dry dockings for scheduled maintenance. Hempel’s leading hull coating, Hempaguard X7, completed 2000 applications. Since its launch in 2013, it has reduced the combined fuel consumption by 7.6Mt and lowered vessels’ CO2 emissions by 23.5Mt.
In the Decorative segment, growth exceeded expectations. This was primarily driven by strong demand in the Do-It-Yourself markets in the UK and in Germany.
Ready to accelerate growth with new strategy
Launching its new Double Impact strategy in January, Hempel is positioned for leadership positions in selected geographies and sub-segments within Decorative, Marine, Infrastructure and Energy.
Lars Petersson commented: “2020 was a very successful year, and also a year of transition for Hempel. We have spent time preparing our new Double Impact strategy with a re-focus of our business into four key segments to reach our ambitious target of doubling our revenue to €3bn by 2025. With the agreement to purchase Wattyl*, we have already taken the first step in this direction and the acquisition will have a major, positive impact on our footprint in South and East Asia and underlines our growth ambitions for our decorative and protective segments. We are going for leadership positions in selected segments and geographies - all while making sustainability the foundation of our business. Doubling our revenue will allow us to double our positive impact by investing in more sustainable coating solutions, innovation and digitalisation for the benefit of our customers and the world around us.”
As part of the new strategy, Hempel presented its new sustainability framework in February 2021 with an ambition to radically advance its environmental and social performance for the benefit of the company, its customers and its employees.
* The transaction is pending customary approval from the authorities, which is expected in the first quarter of 2021.