Annual Report 2020

Chemical Specialties – FoamPartner

Polyurethane foams.

The Chemical Specialties segment (FoamPartner and Schmid Rhyner) generated net revenue of CHF 264.0 million in 2020 (previous year: CHF 346.6 million). On a comparable basis, i.e. adjusted for changes in the scope of consolidation and at stable exchange rates, revenue declined by 9.0%. A divestment gain of CHF 47.4 million resulted from the sale of the Schmid Rhyner business unit at the end of February 2020. Without this one-off effect, the operating result amounted to CHF 14.8 million (CHF 14.2 million) with an EBIT margin of 5.6% (4.2%). In the first half of the year, the FoamPartner business unit had to temporarily close various production sites in China, Europe and the USA due to the pandemic. As far as customers were concerned, the adverse effects of temporary production shutdowns in the automotive industry were particularly relevant. In the second half of the year, and despite additional challenges due to production disruptions experienced by suppliers of isocyanates and polyols, the business recovered from the mid-year pandemic-induced slump. Revenue continued to increase across the board in all regions and was, at stable exchange rates, 9.8% higher in the fourth quarter than in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The impact on results from the decline in revenue at FoamPartner was mitigated through disciplined cost management, including recourse to assistance packages, selective organizational adjustments and accelerated process digitalization. The progress made with the infrastructure and innovation projects commenced before 2020 also provided structural benefits in terms of the earnings situation. The new converting center with additional capacity at the German facility in Duderstadt was commissioned on time in April and the Stadtallendorf site was closed as of mid-year. Both, the production and storage areas, were extended at the Changzhou site in China in order to significantly improve logistics processes and enable future growth. The ongoing business excellence programs at the various sites progressed steadily, with the aim of further optimizing foaming and foam processing processes.

Overview FoamPartner

Head: Michael Riedel

Presence: worldwide sales network in 54 countries; 12 production, processing and sales locations in Europe, Asia/Pacific and America

Net revenue


The market responded positively to various marketing initiatives to implement strategic development projects along the value chains, strengthening the product portfolio for future earnings. With RegiSeal® e-Thermo, a new solution for electric mobility was presented that reduces energy consumption and extends the range of vehicles thanks to improved insulation. Product innovations also include the OBoNature™ product family for vehicle interiors, manufactured from sustainable raw materials, which improves interior air quality and is more efficiently produced. Another innovation is the resource-saving B 2240 Eco packaging foam for the reliable protection of goods during transport.

As part of the Conzzeta Group’s strategic transformation, a binding agreement was signed in November 2020 with Recticel, a Belgian polyurethane chemicals specialist based in Brussels and listed on Euronext, to sell the FoamPartner business unit for an enterprise value of CHF 270 million. The transaction is expected to be concluded by the end of the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval.

1 Excluding capital gain of CHF 47.4 million.
Segment Outdoor Segment Sheet Metal Processing

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