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Annual Report 2020

CeramTec well positioned despite difficult conditions thanks to broad diversification

  • Technical ceramics in medical technology products increased in importance during the Corona pandemic
  • Further strengthening of the Medical Division through company acquisition
  • Numerous initiatives and product launches in the Industrial Division

The CeramTec Group, a leading developer and globally active manufacturer and supplier of special solutions made of advanced ceramics, produces well over 10,000 highly specialised products, components and parts for medical products, medical technology, automotive, electronics, the environment, and the automotive industry. With around 3,400 employees at 20 production sites in Europe, North and South America as well as Asia, the company is continuously expanding its international business activities. The development of the US and Chinese markets in particular are gaining importance. In the last fiscal year, the hidden champion, headquartered in Plochingen, Germany, achieved a turnover of almost 553 million euros (620 million euros in the previous year) despite the difficult market environment caused by the pandemic.

We encounter CeramTec's products made of technical ceramics countless times in everyday life. Whether at home, during leisure time, in the office, in hospitals, at production facilities or on the road - high-performance ceramics are used wherever other materials such as metal and polymers reach their limits. Thanks to their diverse properties, ranging from wear and corrosion resistant to hard, dimensionally stable, and chemically resistant to biocompatible and high temperature resistant, ceramic material types with specific profiles can be used for high-tech applications, whether it is in the human body or industrial production.

CeramTec expands ceramic MedTech innovation leadership and access to the dental market

The company further expanded its sales for medical applications as a share of total group sales and thus broaden its profile as a MedTech company. With the acquisition of Dentalpoint AG, the Swiss specialist for ceramic dental implants, CeramTec is expanding its range as a supplier in the field of ceramic dental implants. This combines the highest product quality in terms of compatibility and aesthetics.

Another focus is on the development and production of ceramic components for orthopaedics, such as hip joint heads and inserts made of the material BIOLOX®delta. The Material BIOLOX® has become a symbol of high quality and innovation and is increasingly preferred by surgeons and other medical professionals. As a result, more than 20 million BIOLOX® ceramic components have been implanted in patients
worldwide to date. CeramTec has over 45 years of experience with high-performance ceramic solutions for medical technology applications.

Ceramic components in medical devices

CeramTec's ceramic solutions for industry are often used in performance-critical areas in which demanding conditions exist and many requirements must be met. For example, in the automotive, electrical engineering and electronics, energy and environmental technology, apparatus, mechanical and plant engineering as well as in the medical technology sectors. In order to develop customised and innovative solutions and production processes, teams of scientists and engineers work together closely with customers.

During the first phase of the Corona pandemic, ceramic components played a significant role in medical devices. Ceramic components from CeramTec were for example used in dialysis machines, infusion pumps or in PCR diagnostic devices. Furthermore, CeramTec developed dipping moulds made of technical ceramics to produce medical gloves.

Solid financial result despite a difficult market environment

As a supplier and solution developer, CeramTec had to report significant declines in revenue in the second quarter of 2020. A solid result was nevertheless achieved thanks to the recovery of important industrial sectors and relevant medical markets in the third and fourth quarters of 2020, which had a positive effect on the Group. A significant reduction in costs helped as well.

The positive trend at the end of 2020 continued at the beginning of this year. CeramTec considers itself well equipped for the current fiscal year due to the large number of international projects and initiatives. Innovations, such as in 3D printing, as well as the expansion of business activities in Asia and the USA, contribute to this. In May, a self-configuration tool, the CeramCreator, will be introduced. It allows customers to digitally assemble their ceramic components in two product categories. This simplifies the processes and speeds up the order process.

At the internationally renowned PCIM Europe trade fair (03.-07.05.2021), CeramTec will present a ceramic power module for drive inverters in the field of e-mobility, which was developed together with the Fraunhofer Institute.  

"We experienced strong fluctuations in demand last year. Compared to other industries and companies, however, we came out of the pandemic quite well," says Dr. Hadi Saleh, CEO of the CeramTec Group. "This is where our diversity and range of application in our business model pays off, through which we reach a diversified customer base and end-user market."

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