Speciality glass company Schott reported good financial results in 2020, despite the pandemic.

Sales rose by 2.2% to €2.24 billion while operating profit was €288 million. The foreign share of sales increased to 87%.

Schott was particularly successful in Asia, where the company increased its sales by nearly 6%. The number of employees rose to around 16,500, 5,900 of whom are based in Germany.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt in parts of its portfolio.

Business with speciality glass for the household appliance industry recovered toward the end of the year after demand initially declined at the beginning of the pandemic.

In contrast, business in products for the pharmaceutical industry developed dynamically.

Schott realised a record investment - totalling around €320 million, an increase of 24% - despite the corona crisis.

Roughly half was invested in German-speaking sites, such as a new building for pharmaceutical packaging in Müllheim, as well as in optics production in Mainz.

It also invested in a new plant in China and melting units in India, both for pharmaceutical tubing production.

Other main investment focuses included Hungary, Switzerland, Brazil and the United States.

Schott currently produces more than 11 billion pharmaceutical packages for vaccines and liquid medications every year.

Three out of four projects globally that either already manufacture or are still researching a COVID-19 vaccine use glass vials from the company.

The company will have delivered enough vials for two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

“We stayed on course even in these difficult economic times. Therefore, we are quite satisfied with the past fiscal year,” said Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Frank Heinricht.

“This is largely thanks to the groundwork we have done in recent years. We have invested consistently, introduced many innovations to the market and have demonstrated stringent portfolio management. At the same time, we initiated a cultural change towards more agility in our organisation.

“This has made us stronger as a company and paid off in this very unique fiscal year.”