Vienna – Austrian rubber goods manufacturer Semperit Group has reported increased profitability in the first half of 2020, as it made a strategic decision to delay the divestment of its medical gloves business Sempermed earlier in the year.
Group earnings (EBITDA) increased 47.2% year-on-year to €57.6 million, helped by a boom in the medical segment. Earnings margin was up from 9.0% to 13.7% during the first six months of the year, Semperit announced 14 Aug.
Total sales declined 4.2% to €419 million, reflecting a 14% fall in industrial sector sales, which more than offset a healthy 14.8% increase in the medical segment.
“We are looking back on a very positive earnings development in the first half of the year,” said Martin Füllenbach, chairman of the executive board of Semperit AG Holding.
The “exceptional boom” in medical protective gloves market, triggered by Covid-19, accompanied by price increases were a major contributor to higher earnings, Füllenbach said.
First half revenue in the Sempermed segment rose 15% to €88 million, due both to higher volumes and increased prices.
Segment earnings stood at €23.0 million in the first half, following negative earnings of €300 the year before. EBIT margin was above the level of the previous year at 12.9%, up from –2.9% in 2019.
Sales in the industrial sector – which includes segments such as industrial hoses, seals, rubber sheeting, profiles and conveyor belts – were affected by the economic downturn which began in 2019 as well as the negative impact of Covid-19.
For the full year, Semperit said it expects earnings to be “significantly higher” than €67.8 million reported in 2019.
The group, however, expects "significant declines" in both sales and revenue within its industrial segment, particularly in the second half of the year.