Messer, the largest family-run industrial gases specialist in the world, has released its figures for the financial year 2020, revealing strong growth despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

With sales of €3.1bn, Messer was able to sustain even stronger growth than its 2019 figures of €2.79bn, an increase of 12%.

Following its acquisition of parts of the Americas business of Linde and Praxair in 2019, Messer invested nearly half a million euros into 2020’s business expansion operations. This investment was reflected in its total sales numbers, with 10,800 employees generating sales of €3.13bn.

Successful growth was also seen in China and the ASEAN Region with sales increasing by 3.8% to €636m.

Despite initial losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, sales in China recovered to grow by 1.7% in local currency. The final quarters saw steel production operating at near full capacity and a consistently high market price level within the liquefied gases market.

A 40.3% increase in local currency was seen in Vietnamese sales versus the previous year, largely due to increased demand and liquefied gas production.

Thailand and Malaysia contributed €4.9m to total sales.

Eastern Europe saw Messer’s sales grow by 3.5% to €460m, including a sales increase in local currency in nearly all national activities.

Growth in the fourth quarter negated initial negative effects due to the Covid-19 partial lockdowns that affected the country early on in the year.

Regions listed below are the business activities of Messer Industries Group, which has been carried as an at-equity holding of Messer Group with effect from March 1, 2019.

Companies within Western Europe saw a revenue of 354 million euros in 2020 versus €296m in 2019. In addition to pandemic related reasons, those revenues were also affected by a serious accident at a major customer of the pipeline in Tarragona, Spain.

Strong pricing and high demand volumes in specialty and medical gases meant that Messer’s North American companies generated sales of €1.35bn in 2020, versus €1.12bn in 2019.

Sales revenues of €250m in 2020 were seen in the business unit South America, unchanged from the previous year. With €150m earned in Brazil, revenues were characterised by a very high demand for medical oxygen.

In a strong position economically, Messer looks ahead to the new financial year 2021.