Demand for glass container manufacturing equipment plummeted in the first half of 2020, reported Bucher Emhart Glass in in latest financial note.

It said the significant decline in the consumption of beverages in glass containers caused considerable uncertainty among its customers and resulted in project postponements.

In its Half 1 2020 financial report it said orders declined by nearly 57% compared to the same period the year before, from CHF 311 million ($337.2 million) to CHF 134 million ($145.3 million).

The decline in demand was even more pronounced in China than in other regions, it reported.

Travel restrictions also made it impossible for sales staff and service technicians to visit customers on site. Bucher Emhart Glass continued to adapt capacities and reduce headcount in China.

Overall, sales and the operating profit margin declined markedly.

The Cham, Switzerland-based company expects demand to recover only very slowly over the remainder of the year.

Sales should recover in the second half of the year compared to the first half thanks to a good order book.