The largest family-run industrial gases specialist worldwide Messer has just presented its figures for the financial year 2020. Despite challenging circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the family business successfully expanded its operations once again with sales of 3.1 billion euros*.
Growth by the numbers
After 2.79 billion euros* sales in 2019, Messer was able to achieve about 12 percent* growth in 2020, with its some 10,800 employees* generating total sales of 3.13 billion euros*.
Following its acquisition of parts of the Americas business of Linde and Praxair in 2019, the company invested a total of 463 million euros* in the expansion of business operations in 2020, or about 8 percent* more than in the previous year.
In China and the ASEAN Region, Messer successfully increased sales by 3.8 percent to 636 million euros.
Sales in China grew by 1.7 percent in local currency versus the previous year. Initial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 were recovered in the final quarters with steel production operating at near full capacity and uninterrupted strong demand in the liquefied gases market with a consistently high market price level.
Sales in Vietnam increased by 40.3 percent in local currency versus the previous year through increased demand from the largest on-site customer and continued utilization of production capacities for liquefied gas in the north.
The remaining activities in the ASEAN Region, in Thailand and Malaysia, contributed 4.9 million euros to total sales.
Messer’s sales in Eastern Europe increased by 3.5 percent to 460 million euros. This includes a sales increase in local currency in nearly all national activities. Negative effects of the partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March were compensated above all by business growth that was largely very positive in the fourth quarter.
The regions listed below are the business activities of Messer Industries Group, which has been carried as an at-equity holding of Messer Group with effect from March 1, 2019. Financial years 2019 and 2020 are comparable only to a limited extent as a result.
The revenues of the companies in Western Europe were 354 million euros in 2020 versus 296 million euros in 2019. Besides temporary economic closures in all Western European countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those revenues were also affected by a serious accident at a major customer of the pipeline in Tarragona, Spain. A counteracting positive effect resulted from successful pricing in financial year 2020.
Messer’s companies in North America generated sales of 1,353 million euros in 2020 versus 1,124 million euros in 2019. Revenues in 2020 were bolstered by strong pricing and high demand volumes in specialty and medical gases. This made it possible to largely offset declines in demand in segments affected by COVID-19.
The business unit South America generated sales revenues of 258 million euros in 2020. Unchanged from the previous year, a significant share of that total – 150 million euros – was earned in Brazil. Revenues were characterized by a very high demand for medical oxygen in combination with continuous increases in consumption and prices in most business segments.
Messer considers itself to be economically well-positioned and looks ahead with confidence to the new financial year 2021.
The Corporate Responsibility Report and Annual Reports are available for download here.
* Sum of Messer Group and Messer Industries, which includes 100 percent of the at-equity holding Messer Industries since March 1, 2019.
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