Performance Review


In recent years, demand for glass packaging on the European market has increased continuously, but the Coronavirus pandemic changed demand significantly. As around 20% to 30% of glass packaging is sold by restaurants and bars to consumers (“on-premises consumption”) under normal conditions, the lockdowns triggered by the pandemic and the associated closure of catering outlets led to a temporary, yet sharp, drop in demand. This was also indirectly caused by the decline in tourism in some countries, which had a negative impact on unit sales in hospitality. At the same time, people began stockpiling food at home, which had a noticeable positive effect on demand for glass packaging. Overall, this resulted in a reduction in unit sales of 5.9% for the year under review.

Financial figures 2021






Net Sales

CHF millions





CHF millions




Consolidated Profit

CHF millions

– 21.4%



Cash Flow*

CHF millions





CHF millions





1 000 metric tons


1 629

1 416

Unit Sales

billion units




Exports (in unit terms)







3 896

3 882

* operating cash flow before change of net working capital

Sales by markets 2021

(total 5.88 billion units)

The greatest challenge for the Vetropack Group in the year under review and likely in the coming years will be rising energy costs.

Cash flow, profitability and sustainable return on capital

Vetropack’s long-term growth is largely financed from its own resources. The main performance indicator used by Vetropack for reviewing business development is the return on operating capital employed (ROOCE). Optimising the resources used and their impact on profitability is therefore given a higher weighting by Vetropack than pure profit or cash flow. The focus on sustainably boosting the return on operating capital employed means that Vetropack increasingly operates as a Group and prioritises investments with great potential for synergy – very much in keeping with the “Group first” mindset.

In 2021, operating cash flow increased by 9,1% to CHF 154,1 million (2020: CHF 141.2 million).

While Vetropack had briefly halted all non-essential investment projects in the first year of the pandemic in order to have more financial room for manoeuvre, extensive investments were made again in the year under review. At around CHF 130 million, investments in 2021 were significantly higher than in the previous year, which was characterised by pandemic-related restraint, but also above the long-term average of around CHF 80 to 90 million; in each case this corresponded to a share of just under 10% of sales. Above-average investments are also planned for 2022.

The most significant investment projects in the year under review were the start of construction of a new plant in Italy, the installation of a completely new production line in Croatia, as well as the installation of a new production line and the replacement of a furnace at the plant acquired in the Republic of Moldova at the end of 2020. These projects will increase Vetropack’s production capacities - by a total of around 3*. In view of the great uncertainties in the year under review due to the pandemic and the moderate average market growth of three percent, this impressively demonstrates the medium-term growth expectations that Vetropack Group has for itself.

Vetropack Story: Renovating the white glass line at the Pöchlarn plant

Sustainable growth and market position

Customer satisfaction is crucial to Vetropack‘s ongoing commercial success.

Maintaining good customer relationships was even more important during the past two years, which were dominated by the pandemic. Vetropack worked hard to respond flexibly to customer demands for new products adapted to consumer needs, shorter supply chains and rapid product availability. The significant increase in revenue shows that this was successful. This was possible because Vetropack focused on markets in the vicinity of its production facilities, while at the same time using the Group‘ capacities to offer a broader product range and flexibility in all markets.

The Group aims to further reinforce its market position in future and has therefore improved product quality and traceability as part of the “Leader in quality” quality management programme. Production capacity was expanded thanks to the modernisation of a furnace at the Croatian production plant in Straža. Vetropack also increased its capacity for clear glass in 2020, as the trend towards glass packaging for food is growing. The strong focus on innovation, boosted by the drive to become the green pioneer of the industry, will help the Group to meet its growth targets.

The Group intends to further strengthen its market position in the future. Vetropack products for mineral and soft drinks appear particularly promising. These segments are growing disproportionately throughout Europe. Interest in returnable glass, which unlike all other packaging materials can be recycled an infinite number of times without any loss of quality, continues to grow.

Vetropack Story: Returnable glass bottles on the rise

Production capacity was increased in the year under review through various investments. The strong focus on innovation, strengthened by the ambition to become the sustainability pioneer in the industry, will help the group achieve its growth targets.

Performance Review: Innovation and
intellectual property


Ethical and fair behaviour that forbids bribery, corruption and discrimination, amongst other things, as well as obeying the law, is one of Vetropack’s basic principles. It is essential for gaining and retaining the trust of customers, suppliers and authorities. For Vetropack, complying with all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards and responding immediately if any deviations are identified is a matter of course. The relevant guidelines are laid down in the Code of Conduct and in the Business Ethics Policy. The Supplier Code also regulates compliance with human rights in the value chain and is checked regularly during audits. This ensures that an awareness of how to behave in compliance with the rules is firmly established in the company. On this basis, Vetropack has been able to achieve a consistent and very high level of compliance over the past few years.

In the year under review, Vetropack implemented the requirements of EU Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of EU law (“whistleblowers”) on time.

Vetropack‘s Supplier Code regulates compliance with human rights in the value chain and is regularly reviewed as part of on-site audits. Acceptance of this code is mandatory. As a result, the sensitivity for compliant behaviour is deeply anchored in the company. On this basis, Vetropack has been able to achieve a consistently very high level of compliance over the past few years.