Annual Report 2020

Stability from tradition – change as principle1)

The rationale for transforming Zürcher Ziegeleien into Conzzeta, to which the title refers, remains relevant. As then, we are facing major uncertainties today. The longer-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic can hardly be estimated. At the same time, digitalization is creating new challenges for the work world, right up for the call for an unconditional basic income. Climate change is also adding to the demands placed on us, while at the same time opportunities are arising.

The decision by the Board of Directors in December 2019 to focus Conzzeta’s activities on Bystronic is largely attributable to Bystronic’s solid performance and its existing critical size. Bystronic has a global presence and is well positioned in a promising market. Thanks to its increasingly integrated and energy-efficient solutions, customers are able to manufacture more productively and more sustainably at the same time. For the other business units, new owners will be better equipped to cope with the challenges of the time.

To take advantage of opportunities, a stable foundation and a willingness to adapt early are a must. As early as in 1999, when Zürcher Ziegeleien was sold, changes in the market demanded spirited “let go and get going”. This can also be quite painful. The employees of FoamPartner, Schmid Rhyner and Mammut have developed their businesses over the decades and put their hearts and souls into moving them forward. The fundamental transformation that is about to be completed in 2021, was therefore also emotionally demanding.

It is already clear that the management team, led by Michael Willome, has successfully implemented the recent transformation in a challenging, pandemic-affected environment. I very much want to thank the entire team and employees at all levels for their efforts. It is impressive to see how, over the last few years, they have laid the foundations with innovative solutions and operational improvements for making this step one that adds value for all parties involved.

With Bystronic as its new focus, Conzzeta will also change its name. The Board of Directors will propose to the upcoming Annual General Meeting that Conzzeta AG be renamed Bystronic AG. The appointment of a new Executive Committee under the leadership of Alex Waser, current CEO of the Bystronic business unit, and his promotion to Group CEO, is also a logical consequence. We wish Alex Waser, his management team and all Bystronic employees the expected success with the implementation of their growth strategy.

Ernst Bärtschi

Chairman of the Board of Directors

  1. Title from the jubilee book, published in 2012, “Let Go and Get Going”.
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