VAT achieves record EBITDA, EBITDA margin and free cash flow while further expanding its leading market position
VAT Group reported substantially higher net sales, profitability and cash flow in 2020 and further expanded its leading market share despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. The recovery in the semiconductor industry – VAT’s largest end market – continued during the year, buoyed by its designation as system-relevant during the pandemic. The shift to home office and the sharp increase in online commerce that resulted from pandemic-related lockdown restrictions accelerated some of the longer-term megatrends that drive this business, such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Demand was further supported by technology advances in logic and memory chips that require new production platforms: as node sizes shrink and chip architectures change, the need for purer vacuums and the number of process steps under vacuum also increase. As the leading supplier to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), VAT achieved a record number of specification wins on these new platforms, forming a basis for future revenue growth. In 2020, R&D investments amounted to CHF 41 million, or 6% of net sales. At the same time, VAT continued its focus on internal measures by improving operational efficiency and reducing costs, resulting in a record EBITDA margin of 31.4%.