Independent lubricants blender Fuchs Petrolub SE reported large increases in profit and sales for the second quarter, compared to results in 2020’s second quarter, reflecting rebounds in business since the deepest economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Earnings after tax for the Mannheim, Germany-based company grew 132% to €65 million (U.S. $77.2 million) for the quarter ending June 30, improving from €28 million in last year’s second quarter. “After a strong start to the year, our business performed well again the second quarter of 2021,” Stefan Fuchs, chairman of Fuchs Petrolub’s executive board, said in the company’s earnings news release.
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Sales increased 42% to €714 million, rising from 504 million. Among regions, sales jumped 49% to €431 million in Europe, Middle East and Africa; rose 21% to €211 million in Asia-Pacific; and grew 59% to €113 million in North and South America.
During the first half of this year, Stefan Fuchs said, the automotive industry drove growth rates in China, while the Americas and combined region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions also improved their performance compared to 2020’s first half, which was economically burdened by the pandemic.
The company noted that it experienced significant growth in in earnings in almost all countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – even compared to the first half of 2019. North America doubled its earnings over the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2020, although the company noted this was impacted by bad debts as well as the pandemic. Business experienced considerable recovery in all South American countries, Fuchs said, noting they were hit particularly hard by the pandemic’s impact.
Fuchs cautioned that the supply situation remains strained. “The persistent and severe price increases negatively affect our gross margin,” he said. “At the same time, there is no end in sight to supply bottlenecks for raw materials and packaging materials, which present our employees with new challenges on a daily basis.”