For the Hamburg-based Eppendorf Group, a globally active life science company, 2019 proved to be a very good fiscal year. Consolidated revenue rose to €803.9 million (prior year: €729.2 million), corresponding to a revenue increase from operating business of 10.2% compared with the same period last year. Organic growth measured in local currencies totaled 7.2%. All major product groups and all worldwide sales regions contributed to this very positive growth. In order to ensure further long-term growth, the company invested disproportionately strongly in its worldwide site infrastructure in 2019 and in projects to realign the Group. As expected, this led to a drop in EBIT to €144.2 million (prior year: €153.7 million). The EBIT margin totaled 17.9% (prior year: 21.1%).
“The Eppendorf Group developed very well in 2019 and was able to systematically leverage the growth trend in the industry,” stated the company’s Co-CEOs, Eva van Pelt and Dr. Peter Fruhstorfer. “The positive business development demonstrates that Eppendorf is continuing to successfully implement its ambitious growth strategy and achieve its growth targets. It’s especially pleasing to see that Eppendorf has been able to outpace the industry average and gain additional relevant market share.”
Growth in all sales regions
At 14.0%, revenue in the applicable markets in the Americas region in particular grew markedly. “By rigorously implementing our multichannel strategy, which we have improved even further, and expanding our dealer structure, Eppendorf has gained significant additional market share,” van Pelt stated, adding: “This development confirms we’ve made the right decision in realigning our sales organization so that we can respond to our customers even more effectively.” This proved especially successful in the newly created sales region of China, which saw revenue climb by 16.9% in comparison with the same period last year. Here, too, growth was substantially boosted through targeted measures tailored to the needs of customers. Europe also developed well, seeing a sales plus of 6.7%. Only the Asia/Pacific/Africa region fell short of expectations with growth of 2.4%. This was attributable to such external factors as, for example, the delayed release of government budgets due to elections in India and Australia.
Systematic intensification of global R&D activities
“In 2019, Eppendorf worked successfully on developing more product innovations in shorter periods of time and bringing them to market,” Fruhstorfer said. “Last year, about 20 new products were launched on the market that had a marked effect on the company’s positive business development.” These were largely developed by applying agile working methods that have meanwhile been adopted by the entire R&D organization at Eppendorf, Fruhstorfer said, adding: “In addition, we’ve increased our investments in research and development once again. At €50.3 million, the R&D budget for the previous fiscal year was 11.2% higher than in 2018.” This represents a conscious decision and an investment strategy that systematically advances the ongoing continuous development and innovations of the company’s product portfolio.
Outlook for 2020
As a result of the rapid spread of the coronavirus since the beginning of 2020, the entire world has been experiencing significant economic upheaval. It is not possible at this time to issue a statement about the effect of the corona pandemic on this year’s business development and on the results of the Eppendorf Group. In line with the company’s mission, the Eppendorf Group will do its part to support research aiming to combat the corona pandemic with its devices, consumables and services. With its competitive products for various markets and countless applications, Eppendorf is both well and strongly positioned.