Ivoclar Group, the Liechtenstein-based dental and medical technology company, experienced strong growth in the 2021 fiscal year, achieving a turnover of more than 840 million Swiss francs. The following factors all contributed to the gain in market share of the Ivoclar Group and the achievement of the highest sales turnover in the company’s history: the introduction of a series of successful new products, expansion into new geographical areas, rebranding and an increased demand from customers.
Over the past year, following the industry-wide slump in the challenging 2020 fiscal year, the Ivoclar Group managed not only to achieve considerable gains, but also surpass its previous turnover record which was set in 2019. The overall sales volume of the Group in 2021 was more than 840 million Swiss francs currency adjusted: 31.2 per cent over 2020 and 7.8 per cent over 2019.
While in 2020, many dental offices and laboratories had to close temporarily or work only on an emergency basis, the world economy had to deal with supply bottlenecks due to a shortage of raw materials and cargo capacities in 2021. Nevertheless, the Group was only minimally affected by these challenges as a result of a foresighted procurement policy, careful logistics planning and highly motivated employees. As a result, the Group was able to supply products from all its categories throughout the world.
Successful products for the workflows of dental offices and laboratories
The Ivoclar Group manufactures medical and medical technology products and supports the work of dentists, dental technicians and dental hygienists by offering integrated solutions. The focus in the development of the relevant products is to enhance efficiency, aesthetics and quality. This approach helped the family-owned business to grow its sales of integrated solutions for dental offices as well as laboratories in the 2021 fiscal year.
The dentist business grew by 39.2 per cent compared with the previous year. Direct restoratives were primarily responsible for this excellent result due to a high demand for filling materials. Accompanying products that are used in the restorative treatment process also saw an increase in sales: for example, the Adhese Universal bonding agent, which has been available in a new user-friendly pen-like design since 2021 and OptraGate, which offers a proven solution for heightening the comfort of patients and the efficiency of the operator. An increase in turnover was also registered for prosthetic products. The company is a leading supplier of millable ceramic blanks including the furnaces needed for the corresponding workflow. These efficient machines further reduce the process time in the fabrication of restorations. A new furnace, the Programat CS6, was introduced in 2021.
The laboratory business grew by +23.1 per cent, primarily due to digital solutions. Ivoclar manufactures the zirconia discs, such as IPS e.max ZirCAD Prime Esthetic launched in 2021. Specialised equipment for the digital workflow of this target group, for example, the new PrograScan PS3 and PS5 scanners, optimise the
manufacturing process in the laboratory.
Growing faster than the market
In 2021, sales of the Ivoclar Group increased in all its business regions: +61.3 per cent in Latin America, +36 per cent in North America, +31 per cent in EMEA (Europe, Near East and Africa) and +17.2 per cent in Asia Pacific. In all four regions, the Group grew faster than the market, enabling it to acquire new market shares. The growing markets within these regions also contributed to this development – in particular India (+89.6 per cent), Brazil (+72.2 per cent), Mexico (+46.8 per cent) and China (+16 per cent).
Over the past two years, the Ivoclar Group has been unable to participate in trade shows or conduct face-to-face training courses at its 71 training centres around the world. “Nonetheless, we were able to provide optimum service to our customers in all areas during these challenging times by developing creative solutions,” said Diego Gabathuler, CEO of the Group. For example, the company offered extensive remote learning opportunities through its new Ivoclar Academy online knowledge platform. Furthermore, an international event series “The Live Experience Tour” created a safe environment in which people could meet, interact, inspire, learn and network.
Investing in the success factor of people
Mr Gabathuler is convinced that the success of the 2021 fiscal year must be largely attributed to the exceptional expertise and commitment of the company’s employees throughout the world, because they were able to satisfy the high demand of the customers and realise the company’s forward-looking projects.
At the end of December 2021, the Ivoclar Group had a global staff complement of 3,548 employees. After only a few selected positions were filled in 2020, more than 200 jobs were created in the 2021 fiscal year. About 100 of these positions are still being advertised throughout the world.
The company heavily invests in modern working conditions and infrastructure at all its facilities worldwide. The new global distribution centre which started operating in Ellwangen (Germany) in 2021 is a case in point. From there, around 17,000 products
are sent to more than 130 countries.
As a result of the current uncertain geopolitical situation, the Ivoclar Group is cautiously optimistic about the future, despite very positive sales figures in the first three months of the new fiscal year. Further new products will be launched in 2022, which will highlight the innovative spirit of the company. The corresponding product, training and service offerings are already being developed.
About the Ivoclar Group
The Ivoclar Group’s success is based on a comprehensive portfolio of products, systems and services, strong research and development capabilities and a clear
commitment to training and further education.