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Endress+Hauser ‘well positioned’ for challenging times

June 16, 2020

CEO Mathias Altendorf (right) and Supervisory Board President Dr. Klaus Endress outlined Endress+Hauser’s plans to weather the current pandemic crisis.

“2019 was a solid year for Endress+Hauser,” began Matthias Altendorf, CEO of Endress+Hauser. The measurement and automation technology specialist for process and laboratory applications increased revenues by 8.0% to €2.652 billion for the year, despite an already weakening economy. During the company’s annual media conference on May 12, 2020—held virtually the year because of the coronavirus pandemic—the CEO explained that instead of large-scale orders, this growth was driven by smaller and medium-sized projects.

Despite worldwide investments of €231.1 million in 2019, the group is virtually free of bank loans. During the past five years the company has invested more than €840 million in new buildings, plants and machinery. According to CFO Luc Schultheiss, Endress+Hauser enjoys a liquidity cushion of nearly €800 million thanks to a prudent dividend policy and years of striving for continuous improvement. “This will help us do a good job of managing the current economic situation,” added the CFO. 

Digital intimacy vs. physical distance

Endress+Hauser started 2020 with a further increase in incoming orders. However, the coronavirus pandemic makes it massively more difficult to achieve the original goals. “Although we are still unable to predict the economic impacts of the crisis, we and our customers will certainly feel the effects,” underlined Altendorf. The Group responded early to the spread of the virus and used all means at its disposal to protect people’s health and continue to offer customers solid support. 

“We bridge the physical distance through digital and emotional proximity,” said Altendorf. The CEO has been driving digitization at Endress+Hauser for years—in the product and services areas, as well as in customer interaction and internal collaboration. At peak periods, as many as 10,000 employees are currently working from home. Customers can use the website to order instruments or track orders, and an online tool enables remote support aided by video.

“Our everyday heroes are those working in production, logistics and service, or under difficult conditions from home or in the office,” said Altendorf. Through hard work, the company has been successful in ensuring the availability of materials, keeping the logistics chains intact and supporting customers in all respects. “The Group’s plants are operating, and Endress+Hauser is still able to deliver,” he said. “We have always run a sound business and as a company we are very well positioned. We will do everything we can to safeguard jobs and bring Endress+Hauser through this crisis. This will benefit customers, employees and shareholders.” 

The shareholder family supports this course and accepts a decline in profits, added Supervisory Board President Dr Klaus Endress: “We would like to have as many people as possible on board when the wind shifts and things pick up again.”