Outgrow Markets, Sustain Profitable Growth and Drive ESG Progress
In 2021, Oerlikon continued focusing on executing its strategic priorities: driving sustainable innovation, cost containment and disciplined capital allocation.
Oerlikon outgrew its markets by focusing on its technology leadership and sustainable innovation. It also expanded into adjacent high-potential markets organically and through accretive acquisitions. The INglass acquisition acceler-ated the Group’s diversificationof its manmade fibers business into the high-growth polymer processing solutions market. The Coeurdor acquisition strengthened the company’s offering in the luxury and high-end deco markets. Both adjacent markets are expected to bring considerable growth opportunities.
Oerlikon management’s strong operational execution drove the Group’s improvement in profitability. Applying strict cost focus, Oerlikon benefited from the improved operating leverage, which is reflected in the significantly improved 2021 operational EBITDA and net income.
Oerlikon also improved its return on capital employed (ROCE). The company achieved this by reinvesting capital and R&D investments in high-return and growth areas, introducing a standardized review process and adding ROCE as a part of management’s long-term incentive program. As the company continued to maintain a strong balance sheet, the Board will propose to continue to return capital to shareholders in the form of stable dividends of CHF 0.35 per share at the 2022 Annual General Meeting.
Another strategic priority for the Group in 2021 was its sustainability efforts. Following the publishing of its firs Sustainability Report, the Group launched a number of initiatives and took action to advance its environmental, social and governance goals. The Group made good progress on its targets, internally and externally.
Oerlikon continued to develop and deliver value-adding and climate-friendly solutions and services to customers. It also achieved milestones on social, environmental and governance topics. To name a few, it hosted a “topwomentech” jobinar, organized its first Diversity Conference, increased the number of sites with energy management systems, launched the project to define Scope 3 emissions and issued an updated Code of Conduct and new sustainability-related policies, as well as started the collaboration with EcoVadis to assess suppliers. Further details can be found in Oerlikon’s 2021 Sustainability Report.
In 2021, Oerlikon invested CHF 105 million in R&D, which corresponds to 4.0% of total Group sales, affirming its continued commitment to investing in the development of sustainable innovations for customers.
All in all, the strong operational execution of the strategic priorities have resulted in growth in the top line and profiability, the completion of two accretive acquisitions, excellent progress in sustainability and the successful mitigation of supply chain shortages in 2021.