VIENNA—Semperit A.G. Holding has posted record earnings for the first nine months of 2020, but said a market recovery from COVID-19 will be slow.
"Although a brief recovery of economic activities and supply chains began between June and September ... there were repeated setbacks and, in some cases, new shutdowns," the Austrian rubber goods manufacturer said in its nine-month report Nov. 19.
With the crisis intensifying again in the fourth quarter, Semperit said the recovery of the markets "will take even longer with increasing raw material prices."
The pandemic has boosted its medical glove segment, something Semperit expects to continue "well into 2021" despite the potential release of an effective vaccine in the foreseeable future.
For the nine months to end of September, the group almost doubled earnings (EBITDA) to $140.5 million, with the earnings margin up from 9.3 percent to 18.0 percent.
Consolidated revenue increased by 0.8 percent to $779 million during the period.
Semperit CEO Martin Fuellenbach said the positive developments were primarily due to the "exceptional boom" in medical products and restructuring measures over the past few years.
"All in all, from today's point of view ... the assumption (is) that we will be able to maintain the 2020 result in the coming year at the same range or even surpass it again," he said.
During the first nine months, Semperit's medical gloves segment, Sempermed, saw a 27 percent increase in revenue to $341.5 million, offsetting a double-digit decline in the industrial sector.
Having undergone a major restructuring since the beginning of 2020, and buoyed by a surge in demand following the COVID-19 pandemic, Sempermed reported a staggering rise in earnings in the first nine months of the year.
Segment earnings for the first three quarters rose to $79.8 million, from $6.6 million reported in 2019.
The industrial sector—comprised of Semperflex, Sempertrans, Semperseal and Semperform—was impacted by the economic downturn that started in 2019 and the coronavirus pandemic.
Revenue in the sector fell 13.4 percent to $437.5 million, while earnings declined 12.6 percent to $77.4 million.