Lockdowns in several countries were accompanied by the closure of medical practices and clinics, resulting in significant drops in revenue by May 2020 compared with last year. After adjusting for currency effects, turnover in 2020 fell in the single digit range year on year. The stronger position of the Swiss franc added more strain to an already difficult situation and put pressure on margins. However revenues showed a marked upward trend from the summer onwards, with a better performance gradually being seen across all Business Units (BU). The Asia-Pacific region with its expanding Chinese market made a strong contribution to the company’s recovery. Associated with the measures introduced worldwide to optimize costs and achieve greater flexibility, Geistlich’s very good annual results in 2020 are impressive given the environment in which the organization has been operating. Geistlich retained its entire workforce in 2020 and got through the financial year without any downsizing.
Challenges of the pandemic and the Swiss franc
The strength of the Swiss franc remains as great a challenge as the ongoing handling of the coronavirus crisis. Against the backdrop of both these developments, it is impossible to give a reliable forecast for 2021. The executive committee at Geistlich Pharma is confident for when the economy recovers following the suppression of the pandemic and general consumer confidence returns. According to Geistlich CFO Jürg Roth, “The stimulus for growth has been very positive since mid-2020 and is making us optimistic for 2021.”
Geistlich responds to the lockdown with its own online congress
Geistlich’s answer to the cancellation of conventional congresses, workshops and symposia around the world was to organize its own congress for the dental community: “Geistlich + YOU”. Some 8,500 professionals accepted the invitation and convened around the virtual stage of an international program. In February 2021, another successful online congress was held in the form of “Geistlich + YOU2”, which welcomed 6,000 participants. As well as featuring renowned speakers, it was remarkable for offering what is presumably the largest virtual workshop dental training has ever seen: 1,050 people took part.