We started the year in a strong position, but were soon impacted by COVID-19. The automotive segment was the most affected. However, we repositioned our efforts and made gains in the architectural and industrial segments to compensate.
We then recovered strongly in the second half of the year and delivered excellent results, driven by robust sales. We showed extreme resilience and an ability to adapt, turning adversity into opportunity while taking good care of all our people.
We completed the acquisition of Stahl Performance Powder Coatings and its range of products for heat sensitive substrates, which has opened up exciting new market opportunities.
The commercially ready technology we acquired is the only one of its kind in the powder coatings industry. It includes both UV and thermally curing powders and will enable us to penetrate the ultra-low cure (80-100°C) domain, opening up new markets based on applying powder to temperature sensitive substrates such as MDF, plywood, thermoplastics and composites.
I’m really proud we showed resilience in a year of extremes and were able to deliver excellent results.Daniela VladDirector of Powder Coatings
Other key developments
- Achieved a significant recovery overall for the business, particularly in China in the second half of the year, following the COVID-19 outbreak
- Added antimicrobial properties to our Interpon D1000 and 2000 range of architectural powder coatings. It means building interiors can now be given increased protection against microbes such as bacteria and mold
- Launched a unique 3D color tool to help architects and specifiers find exactly the right product for their needs. By allowing people to rotate samples digitally and view them in the context of different environments, we can deliver a truly realistic impression of what the powder finish would look like in real life
- Through our strong Resicoat brand and technology, we’re opening up new markets in electric vehicles, renewable energy and drinking water, which will help us capture future trends and opportunities
- Introduced additions to our Interpon D2525 Flex line of products, the first and only powder coatings range to combine the weatherability of superdurable powder coatings with the flexibility or mechanical performance advantages of standard durable systems
- Strengthened all our digital channels, including e-commerce. For example, we partnered with Prismatic Powders to enable customers to place orders for less than a single box of selected Interpon Ready-to-Ship (RTS) powders and have them shipped within three business days
- Continued to invest in our factory footprint to keep up with increasing global demand for powder coatings
- Started building a €20 million facility at our multi-site in Chungli, Taiwan. The fully automated plant will help us meet growing demand in many markets
Expansion brings sustainable new life to historic building
In September, we announced a €20 million investment at our Como site in Italy. The facility – our biggest plant in Europe for producing powder coatings – will house a major capacity expansion for the production of automotive products. It will additionally provide strategic back-up for our Arnsberg site in Germany (where a new line is also being added), helping to secure customer supply.
The extra capacity in Como is being installed in a renovated building, ensuring a sustainable reuse of an historic part of the site. As well as introducing advanced equipment and technology to deliver higher productivity rates and efficiency gains, the new operation in Como will also use heat recovery to reduce energy consumption.