CEO and CFO Interview: Annual Report 2020

For companies around the world, 2020 is one of the most difficult years in recent memory. As president of the Buhler group, what do you remember most about this year?

As with the coronavirus infection, it has become as troublesome as ever. And security 2020 is, as always, our top priority. Keeping people healthy when serious illness begins is our number one priority. But the safety culture established since the Buhler group helped us meet the challenge. The few diseases that we discovered were immediate and we prevented the appearance of clusters. This has allowed us to keep our operations on the brink of collapse in almost all of our global assets, even if there is a crisis. Our people have been smart and intelligent people. At Kallo, a fire inspection app was installed to monitor projectors and guests at our facility during the changeover. At Linz, our blown candle production line is being redesigned in time to produce high-quality masks in these rare times. So when I look back on this turbulent year, I am very proud of what our community can accomplish.

I am not entirely satisfied with the track record we have combined with occupational health and safety. One safety feature at Stenungsund is the unfortunate setback on the accident-free Goal Zero ride. Increases in health, safety, and employment in the second half of the year undermined our records. But our TRI rate of 1.7 million project hours per hour in 2020 is still world-class or slightly lower than 1.6 years ago.

Last year will also be remembered for a license change announced at the end of October: OMV bought 39% of Buhler group shares from Mubadala and is now the majority shareholder with 75%. This major change will bring many promising business opportunities, as well as a social impact for OMV and Buhler group in the future.

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