Bertschi Group ‘well positioned’ for the future despite COVID-19
The company said this was helped by the prompt and successful manner in which Bertschi China tackled the challenge at its outset.
Similarly, the Group’s major investments in its digital transformation over the past two years enabled it to shift 80% of its office-based staff to home office settings within days and with no impact on quality. Digitalisation efforts are currently being further accelerated.
The focus on combined transport, in which block trains cross the national borders rather than trucks with drivers, has enabled smooth transport operations during the border closure phase in Europe.
“Thanks to organisational precautions, a high level of awareness and great care on the part of all employees, as well as a comprehensive working-from-home structure and separate shifts in operational processes, we have so far navigated the crisis without a single case of infection within the Group,” said Jan Arnet, CEO of the Bertschi Group.
Hans-Jörg Bertschi, executive chairman of the company, added: “In addition to long-term liquidity, we have achieved our objective of attaining sufficient room for manoeuvre to proactively take advantage of opportunities offered by the market even during the crisis.”
As a result of coronavirus, business volume in Bertschi’s most important European transport segment has declined by almost 20% since April, due mainly to the slump in demand in the automotive and durable consumer goods sectors, which use many chemical products.
Recovery of the two sectors is expected to be slow, possibly lasting until the end of 2021.
Arnet added: “Even during the crisis, Bertschi is proactively seizing new opportunities in the market and investing in innovative and sustainable customer solutions. This applies to both the European market and our global services, where we see considerable potential for future growth.”
Hans-Jörg Bertschi added: “We do not expect global demand for chemicals to return to pre-crisis levels until the end of 2021. However, we do see short-term opportunities in the market and can implement the necessary investments very quickly thanks to our robust financial situation.”
With a view to the future, shareholders decided at the Annual General Meeting on 4 July to expand the Group’s board of directors to include Kurt Haerri and Jörg Berner.