2020 was a year unlike any other. The coronavirus pandemic affected us in ways we could never have imagined and presented us with many unprecedented challenges. How does one evaluate such a year from an entrepreneurial perspective and measure success in times like these?
We could perhaps start by examining the usual key figures from our balance sheet or the Profit & Loss statement. However, economic success seems to pale in significance at a time when people's wellbeing is the main priority. Health is and remains the most important consideration. This is why over the past year, our top priority has been to minimise the risk of infection among our employees, their families and our business partners, whilst ensuring that the business continues to run smoothly. This required an enormous effort and demanded a great deal from our employees.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees in particular. We would not have withstood the challenges of the past year without the outstanding efforts of our nearly 48,000 employees. They have shown incredible commitment under the most difficult circumstances and have demonstrated a huge amount of creativity and loyalty. We would therefore like to thank everyone at Liebherr for their contribution during these times, which are also challenging on a personal level. In view of this, we feel even more proud to report that the Group’s total turnover has exceeded well over € 10 billion.
So how should we put this year into perspective? Sales inevitably fell after three years of strong growth, which affected some of our product segments more than others. We were even forced to introduce HR policy changes in one part of our business. However, the impact of the pandemic on the Group as a whole was significantly less than we had originally thought it would be at the outset. We could even close the year with a positive operating result. Our Group has proven its strength. In a time that is characterised by social distancing, we have managed to remain close to our customers, figuratively speaking. We maintain long-standing partnerships with many of them and we know that we owe our positive year-end results to the continuing trust our customers have placed in us. Therefore, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for their loyalty. We will ensure that they can continue to count on the quality of our products and services.
In 2020, we worked on numerous future-looking solutions to ensure that we continue to achieve the highest standards for our customers. For example, we have developed many new machines, components and technologies to drive forward energy-efficient innovations in building construction, transport, air travel and refrigeration. We are also developing new fuel cell systems and automation concepts for battery pack assembly. Our digital tools, such as the Crane Planner, MyJobsite and our Remote Service App have also ushered in new and sustainable ways of working and have allowed us to explore new ways of distributing our products and providing customer service.
Today, we can therefore draw a positive overall conclusion from the year 2020. It has shown us that we will get through the pandemic together and it allows us to view the 2021 financial year with optimism.
Dr. h.c. Dipl.-Kfm. Isolde Liebherr and Dr. h.c. Dipl.-Ing. (ETH) Willi Liebherr
Presiding Committee of the administrative board of Liebherr-International AG
In the interview, Dr. h.c. Isolde Liebherr, Dr. h.c. Willi Liebherr, Sophie Albrecht and Patricia Rüf talk about turnovers, their personal impressions of 2020 and how Liebherr is developing in times of the coronavirus pandemic.
Impressive world premieres, new technologies, the assembly of a crane via remote maintenance, the first Liebherr Monobrand Store and 50 years of Liebherr in the USA: discover the Liebherr highlights of 2020.
The Liebherr Group achieved a turnover of € 10,341 million in the 2020 business year. In view of the particular challenges and more difficult general conditions of the year, this can be considered a success.