Annual Report 2021

Enterprise strategy*

Our ambition

Our ambition is to become the global 21st century science and technology pioneer, and we have four key priorities to deliver on this ambition.

  • Mobilizing for Efficient Growth
  • Leveraging Innovation in the “Big 3”1
  • Driving Culture & Leadership
  • Focusing on Sustainability

In all three business sectors – Life Science, Healthcare and Electronics – the course has been set for sustainable, profitable growth.

For the Life Science business sector, we expect in the medium-term growth forecast average organic sales growth of 7% to 10%2 per year. The main driver will be Process Solutions, contributing around 80% to the planned growth.

In the Healthcare business sector, we expect medium-term average annual organic sales growth in the mid-single-digit percentage range. New products should contribute around 75% to growth in the coming years up to 2025.

The Electronics business sector is now aiming to grow organically by 3% to 6% per year on average between 2021 and 2025. The Semiconductor Solutions business is to contribute around 80% to the planned growth of Electronics in the coming years.

We will continue to consistently and purposefully invest in areas that make us strong and thus aim to increase our Group sales to approximately € 25 billion by 2025. We expect Group sales to grow organically by more than 6% annually on average up to 2025. Around 80% of the planned sales growth is to come from the “Big 3” businesses – the Process Solutions business within the Life Science business sector, new products from the Healthcare business sector, as well as the Semiconductor Solutions business within the Electronics business sector.

Thanks to the rapid reduction of net financial debt, our financial flexibility is increasing significantly. For this reason, we are planning to increase total investments between 2021 and 2025 by more than 50% compared with the period from 2016 to 2020. More than 70% of this is to be invested in the “Big 3.”

We will look into novel transformative technologies beyond our core products and markets while keeping in strategic proximity to our business sectors to leverage our existing assets and capabilities. Our new Group Science & Technology Office is leading the implementation of our combined strategy for innovation and “data & digital,” enabling innovation across our business sectors while harnessing the power of cutting-edge data and digital capacities. It aims to identify and integrate transformative technology trends into our business sectors while maintaining a company-wide view of our tech roadmap and innovation portfolio.

We are paying particular attention to the ability of our organization to best support future growth by further developing our operating model to enable new ways of working and even quicker decision making. Moreover, our focus is on the areas of talent development and leadership culture as well as diversity and inclusion. Our voluntary aim is to achieve gender parity in leadership positions by 2030. We are also constantly working to increase efficiency regarding processes and systems as well as continuing to emphasize a culture of cost consciousness.

We have made clear progress on our sustainability strategy, incorporating sustainability even more strongly as an essential component of our corporate strategy and all company processes. For example, we have set ourselves the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2040. The Executive Board has now decided that the company will join the Science Based Targets initiative. With this step, we have committed ourselves to helping achieve the Paris Agreement goals through concrete actions.

* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.

1 As of April 1, 2022, the Big 3 include the following businesses: Process Solutions & Life Science Services in Life Science, new Healthcare products and Semiconductor Solutions in Electronics.

2 Including an expected decline in pandemic-related demand

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