After a challenging finish to 2019, Songwon has experienced a solid start to the new year with sound growth and increased revenue.
Compared to the same reporting period in 2019, the Group’s Divisions Industrial Chemicals and Performance Chemicals, both recorded higher sales in Q1/2020. This was mainly caused by customers increasing their stocking up activities beyond the usual seasonal inventory buildup due to concern for potential supply disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. During Q1/2020, the Group benefited from the increased demand particularly in its key business, Polymer Stabilizers.
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic leading to an extended Chinese New Year and paralysing China’s automotive industry, Division Performance Chemicals started 2020 stronger than expected. Positively impacted by European competitors’ line stoppages, the Division increased its capacities in Q1/2020 to meet the higher demand especially for Tin Intermediates.
By the time COVID-19 reached Korea at the beginning of February, Songwon had its continuity plan well in place to counteract possible raw material shortages. It also increased capacity levels to match the rise in demand and to ensure that an optimal cost position for the Group was maintained. In addition, Songwon’s plant in Pingdu, Shandong Province, China was granted special permission by the government to remain open to support the production of protective respiratory face masks by continuing to supply the necessary chemicals.
Although Q2 and Q3 are historically strong quarters and usually bring an increase in demand, the Coronavirus pandemic has led to higher levels of uncertainty and disruption across global markets. In light of this and a possible global recession, Songwon says it can no longer be certain that its previously announced business expectations or growth prospects for the 2020 fiscal year are now achievable. Looking ahead, the Group expects to see its global activities negatively impacted and the generation of new business delayed. Despite this, the company is aligning its pricing strategies accordingly and continuing to make operational improvements as well as seeking ways through its comprehensive global distributor network to further market penetration and capitalise on opportunities.
While focusing on minimising the impact of COVID-19 on both its own business and that of its customers, Songwon says it will remain cautious and committed to improving profitability going forward by drawing upon its key strengths and leveraging its technology expertise. Confident in the future of the industry, the Group believes it is well-positioned to face and overcome future challenges, further its long-term strategy and remain a strong, leading industry player.