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Haldor Topsøe raises revenue

The Danish chemicals and catalysis group meets expectations and managed to boost revenue by 5 percent in the pandemic year.

Photo: Haldor Topsøe

Haldor Topsøe achieves its annual guidance for 2020 and even managed to amass 5 percent more in revenue year-over-year, the group's full-year financial statement shows.

Specifically, annual revenue totaled to DKK 6.2bn (EUR 833.7m) against DKK 5.9bn in 2019, while earnings before interest and taxes increased from DKK 806m to DKK 853m.

"Despite a 2020 dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have managed to deliver a strong financial performance for the full year 2020. Revenue and EBIT before special items were in line with our outlook, and this is very positive in a year characterized by uncertainty and rapid change on a global scale. It proves the resilience of our business model," writes Haldor Topsøe Chief Executive Roeland Baan in a statement on he report.

The annual result ended sightly under the preceding year's: DKK 480m in 2020 relative to DKK 714m from the year prior.

This slide, management says, is mainly due to a series of extraordinary accountancy items, including "restructuring costs (DKK -162m), legal costs regarding two special cases (DKK -71m), and adjustments of scrap values on buildings (DKK -42m)". Moreover, fiscal 2019 was marked by a gain made from selling land, which played a role in lifting annual revenue, the report shows.

New green strategy

Beyond Covid-19, Topsøe's 2020 saw the CEO replacement and the launch of a new corporate strategy, perfecting chemistry for a better world, which seeks to make the group a world leader within green technology by 2024.

The ambition is to make the company a forerunner in the market for CO2-reducing technologies and to, for instance, be first and best in the transition away from fossil energy to cleaner fuels with the development of ammonia, methanol and hydrogen.

To achieve that goal, Topsøe has reorganized into a more commercially focused company building upon the three business pillars Global Strategy & Innovation, Global Commercial and Global Supply, and focusing more on providing tech for clean fuels -- though still underpinned by production of more conventional fuels and chemicals.

Haldor Topsøe intends to be a green tech leader before 2024 

The reorganization of its business also meant that around 200 positions at the chemicals and catalysis group faced redundancy, and Topsøe thus had to dismiss these employees at the start of November last year.

The man behind the global strategy is Topsøe's still relatively new CEO, who in an untraditional move for the group was recruited externally to take over the helm from Bjerne S. Clausen, who opted for retirement after eight years in the position.

A Dutch national, Baan came with great international experience, which was a deciding factor in his recruitment, said Topsøe Chair Jeppe Christiansen in connection with the announcement last year.

Baan was previously CEO at Finnish steel group Outokumpu and began his new position with Topsøe in early June.

English Edit: Daniel  Frank Christensen & Jonas Sahl Jørgensen

(This article was provided by our sister media, CleantechWatch)

Haldor Topsøe to lay off 200 employees 

Haldor Topsøe joins global climate initiative 

Haldor Topsøe, Morrow Batteries pursue Norwegian pilot plant  

World's first green ammonia plant a "big step" in Topsøe's PtX efforts 

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