Swiss container glass manufacturer Vetropack Group has released its financial figures for 2020, where its earnings margin of 11.5% was slightly down from 2019 in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Consolidated net sales stood at CHF 662.6 million ($714 million), compared to 2019 net sales which were CHF 714.9 million ($770 million).

At the end of the year, the group acquired a S.A. glassworks in Moldova, in a takeover which was financed by the Group’s own funds, costing CHF 42.8 million ($46 million).

With this acquisition, the Group is growing in a region where it has been successfully manufacturing and selling glass packaging for almost three decades.

The Moldovan subsidiary was fully consolidated for the first time as of 30 November 2020.

A new glassworks planned by Vetropack in Boffalora sopra Ticino, Italy, remains the group’s central strategic project in 2021.

The ground-breaking ceremony will be held sometime in 2021.

Vetropack Group sold 4.86 billion units of glass packaging in the 2020 fiscal year (2019: 5.16 billion units), which was 5.9% less than in the previous year.

As catering establishments were closed for months due to the coronavirus, demand for wine, beer and above all soft drinks, mineral water and fruit juices fell. The lockdown also led to more demand for foodstuffs stored in glass jars.

Due to the changes to the sales mix brought about by the pandemic, it was mainly lower-priced glass packaging that was affected by the reduction, thus increasing the average price of glass packaging sold.

Thanks to these extensive measures, Vetropack Group achieved a consolidated EBIT of CHF 76.1 million ($82 million) down from CHF 89.4 million ($96 million) in 2019 and an EBIT margin of 11.5% of net sales (2019: 12.5%).

The consolidated annual profit rose by 12.2% to CHF 81.2 million ($87 million)and the profit margin stood at 12.3%, up from 10.1% two years ago.

In the first half of 2020, Vetropack Group sold a property in the Swiss canton of Zurich which was not required for operations. The one-off proceeds after tax amounted to CHF 9.1 million ($9.8 million)

The main investment was the reconstruction of a furnace and all the associated infrastructure at the Croatian glassworks.

At the end of the reporting year, Vetropack Group employed a workforce of 3,882 people, 516 more than in 2019.