2020 was an extraordinary year. The Covid-19 outbreak turned our world upside down. We immediately took the necessary measures, primarily to ensure the safety of our employees. Working digitally was something we soon learned a lot about and not only for online meetings: service and installation are now being done more remotely and this experience should serve us well in the future.
Another ramification of the Covid-19 outbreak was the sudden drop in demand from the market, at least for some of our products. A number of substantial cost-saving operations were put in place and we took advantage of the Dutch government’s wage subsidy scheme, NOW, to be able to retain jobs, at least in the short term.
An exchange of shares with Wadinko halfway through the year meant that we have now become the sole owner of Rollepaal Pipe Extrusion Technology. The consequences of Covid-19 affected Rollepaal badly, forcing us to implement major restructuring at this company. That does not detract from the fact that we also had to make astute choices at our other companies too over the past year.
“Emerging stronger from the crisis through decisive choices”
All of the developments in 2020 have affected our financial results for the year, but given the circumstances, we have actually managed to generate a reasonable operating result. We are convinced that we will emerge from the crisis stronger. Strategic agility is crucial in this hectic period. Our organisational set-up with independent operating companies close to the market has proved itself to be well suited for these dynamics.
Hydratec Industries intends to make a sustainable contribution worldwide to the demand for food, health and mobility. The world’s population will continue to grow significantly in the coming years, increasing demand for these basic needs. Hydratec Industries wants to meet these needs and, by providing smart, sustainable solutions, contribute to a world without waste. All our companies are working to achieve that ultimate goal.
We collaborate intensively with knowledge centres and universities and our search for improvements to products and production processes is unrelentless. Even in times like these, we are actively making internship and graduation places available and our staff keep on learning. Our focus on innovations to combat waste is a major success factor for Hydratec Industries. It produces concrete results which benefit our customers. Although 2021 is still uncertain due to Covid-19, we are looking to the future with confidence.
We have made adjustments to our annual report and the website. Paying more attention to content and design has made the presentation of our results more accessible.
We would like to thank all our colleagues for their sterling efforts, flexibility, passion and dedication, particularly in this extraordinary year. We are grateful to our customers, partners, Supervisory Boards and shareholders for their confidence and support which enable us to continue developing Hydratec Industries.