Increasing the value of the company and solidifying its future prospects are the key pillars that define our strategy at Symrise. For us, economic success and sustainability go hand in hand. Our business is inspired by the biodiversity of nature. We contribute to securing the livelihoods of future generations through climate protection measures. We understand that business activities involve social responsibility. That is why we actively support the principles of responsible management enshrined in the United Nations Global Compact. In this regard, we foster relationships in the spirit of partnership with all the stakeholders of our company and take their interests into account when making decisions. Holistic thinking and acting is what makes us strong. The strength we gain shapes and supports the sustainable growth of our company.
2020, on which we report, was unusual in many respects. The rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic forced governments worldwide to drastically curtail public and personal life as well as economic activity. The global economy fell into a deep recession. Symrise performed very solidly in this daunting market environment. We obviously first focused on protecting employees, customers and partners from infection. Who would have thought at the start of 2020 that we would end up producing tons of disinfectant in our Holzminden production facility and supplying some of it to public institutions? The pandemic had both positive and negative effects on the operating business: For example, sales fell for luxury items such as perfumes or sun protection and people visited restaurants less often. At the same time, demand increased for products in the personal care, hygiene and healthy nutrition categories. Growth was particularly strong in the pet food segment. Our company’s broad portfolio once again proved its value in the crisis as it enables us to clearly distinguish ourselves from the competition.
For Symrise, 2020 was nevertheless not just about managing crises; it was also about continued development, new ideas and innovative solutions.
In late 2020, we faced another unforeseen challenge: A criminal cyber attack on Symrise conducted with the intention of extorting the company. It was out of the question for us to give in. The attack temporarily slowed our business processes and production and logistics operations. For that reason, we were not able to fully achieve our 2020 growth targets. In view of this, however, an organic sales increase of 2.7 % and an EBITDA margin of 21.1 % are all the more impressive. Achieving such reputable results was only possible through the extraordinary commitment and great flexibility of our employees. We would like to expressly thank them for having gone the extra mile in 2020 – whether because of the coronavirus pandemic or the cyber attack.
For Symrise, 2020 was nevertheless not just about managing crises; it was also about continued development, new ideas and innovative solutions. Our sights are still set on our targets: We intend to increase our sales to € 5.5 to 6 billion and significantly improve our sustainability performance by 2025, and to be climate-positive by 2030. We are working toward these goals in many large and small projects – a selection of them is presented in our Corporate Report 2020.
The Executive Board of Symrise AG
CEO, President Scent & Care
President Flavor & Nutrition
Symrise products provide exciting flavor and fragrance experiences, improve food characteristics, and contribute to the health and well-being of consumers in more than 150 countries around the world.Read more >
At Symrise, shared values form the basis for shared goals: We strive for economic success and, at the same time, embrace our responsibility to the environment, our employees and society.Read more >
Sustainability is an integral component of the Symrise business model and corporate strategy.Read more >
The business activities of Symrise will contribute to preventing or sequestering more greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere than we produce through our operating activities.Read more >
The power of holistic action: In 2020, Symrise put the stability of its business model and resilience in times of crisis to the test amid a difficult environment.Read more >