Management Board Statement


Dear shareholders, customers
and business partners,

An extraordinary year lies behind us – a year we will remember for some time to come. This is because 2020 had a lasting impact on us and our society. The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus, its rapid global transmission and the subsequent economic collapse caught all of us by surprise. This was followed by unprecedented national and global measures to contain the pandemic, which largely shut down all of our lives for several weeks in the spring of 2020. Our usual globalized way of working, acting and traveling was turned upside down.

The lockdown and the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic also brought many challenges for NORMA Group last year. Protecting our employees was always our top priority. In addition, we had to secure supply chains, fundamentally change processes, and rapidly advance already-exist-ing digitalization initiatives. On top of this came the self-imposed efforts we undertook as part of our “Get on track” program in fiscal year 2020. These measures from the global change program enabled us to set an important course for optimizing our processes and increasing the flexibility and agility of the Group in 2020, despite a difficult environment. As part of this program, we also announced drastic measures such as the closure of our production site in Gerbershausen by the end of 2022. The resulting relocation of produc-tion to our plant in the Czech Republic and the elimination of a maximum of 100 jobs at our production site in Maintal are painful, but unavoidable in order to make NORMA Group competitive again in the long term.

We achieved a great deal in this difficult environment in fiscal year 2020, even though we had to contend with considerable losses in terms of both sales and earnings, as did many other companies in our industry. We were unable to compensate for the high losses we incurred in the spring of 2020 as a result of the lockdown, despite a recovery in customer demand in the second half of the year and a fourth quarter that was better than expected. By posting a 12.1% decline in sales to EUR 952.2 million, we were slightly ahead of the estimates we made in October 2020. Adjusted EBITA amounted to EUR 54.6 million and the adjusted EBITA margin to 5.7%. The decline in the margin compared to the previous year reflects both the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and the additional expenses of around EUR 29 million incurred as part of the “Get on track” program in fiscal year 2020 that were not adjusted. Adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.77, and thus significantly lower compared to the previous year.

We have learned a lot from the corona crisis. The experiences of the past year have made it all the more clear how important it is for us as a globally oper-ating Group to adapt to sometimes rapidly changing conditions and to be able to respond flexibly to them. But we also saw last year that we are right on track with our long-term strategy, the diversification of our business and our focus on future markets with the megatrends of climate change and resource scarcity. Our water business also proved to be very crisis-resistant in COVID-19 year 2020 growing by 6.7% year-on-year. Our activities in the area of electromobility also continued to gain momentum. With the eM-Twist, we developed a new quick connector for battery-powered vehicles in 2020 that is extremely lightweight and can be installed in a space-saving manner. This means it is ideally suited for use in thermal management systems in electric vehicles and hybrids. In addition, the connector saves around one third of CO2 in its production compared to similar connectors in conventional cooling systems.

We also further developed and sharpened our strategy in fiscal year 2020. By focusing on the specific market requirements in our strategic business fields of Water Management, Industrial Applications and Mobility and New Energy, we will continue to develop targeted products and solutions that meet our customers’ needs. Processes and costs will continue to be systematically optimized, and the organization will be aligned even more closely to the requirements of the respective end markets. In this way, we hope to achieve targeted and selective growth in our business fields and further improve our value creation.

Through all of these efforts, we are focusing on strengthening our innovative capabilities. After all, only innovative companies will be able to survive on the market in the long term. The fact that we have an excellent team of developers and product engineers at NORMA Group was also demonstrated by the recent example of a new product development from last year: When face coverings were in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic, an interdisciplinary team at NORMA Group developed a face shield within only a few weeks that offers functionality and wearing comfort in equal measure, protects the eyes and, in combination with a mouth-nose protector, significantly reduces the risk of droplet infection. We thus made a contribution to alleviating the acute shortage of face shields at the beginning of the pandemic.

This example shows once again how we live up to our corporate responsibil-ity by coming up with innovative ideas. And we also made important progress in other areas of sustainability last year. For example, in the environmental area, we further tightened our climate target and launched the purchase of electricity from renewable sources at our biggest European plants. In the social area, a special focus was placed on containing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting our employees. In the area of governance, we updated and further improved the compliance management system with regard to our behavioral guidelines and the associated training concept. The basis of our commitment is our commitment to the ten principles of the UN Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Employees, the Environment and Anti- corruption. Our commitment to corporate responsibility and the related measures are firmly anchored in our company strategy. Our improved rating in various external sustainability rankings confirms our approach.

Dear shareholders, the performance of the NORMA Group share reflects the ups and downs of the past year. In line with the market as a whole, our share also reacted to the news about the global spread of the novel virus in the spring of 2020 with bitter price losses. In fact, it even reached its lowest level since the IPO in mid-March. As the year progressed and the markets eased, however, the share price recovered and, at EUR 41.88 at the end of the year, was even 10.2% above the opening price at the beginning of the year.

The times are and remain out of the ordinary. Even now, it is not yet possible to foresee what challenges the pandemic will still hold in store for us. One thing is certain: COVID-19 will continue to keep us busy in the current year. Nevertheless, we look to 2021 with confidence. With our business model geared to different end markets, our focus on the megatrends of climate change and resource scarcity, and our solid financial situation, we are well positioned for the future. We remain committed to our mission of being the global market leader for joining and fluid-handling technology in today’s and tomorrow’s markets.

To express our confidence in the continued positive development of NORMA Group, we will propose a dividend of EUR 0.70 to you, dear share-holders, at this year’s virtual Annual General Meeting on May 20, 2021. We are thus paying out almost 92% of our adjusted net income this year, partly offsetting the reduced dividend from last year. In the long term, we will return to our customary dividend strategy with a payout ratio of around 30 to 35% of adjusted net income.

We would like to express our special thanks to our more than 8,700 employees worldwide. They have done a great job and have helped to steer NORMA Group through these turbulent times through their commitment, flexibility and solidarity.

Let’s successfully master the challenges in 2021 as well!



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