1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020
The Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer for AddLife AB (publ), Company Registration No. 556995-8126, hereby present the annual report and consolidated financial statements for the 2020 financial year. The Corporate Governance report is part of the administration report and is presented on pages 49-65. The Company’s sustainability report is incorporated into the annual report and Consolidated Financial Statements on pages 6-10 and 24-34.
AddLife is a Swedish-listed medical technology company operating mainly in the European market and consisting of 52 operating subsidiaries in the Labtech and Medtech business areas. The Group has 1,112 employees in 24 countries and offers high-quality, cost-effective solutions and products. The product portfolio consists partly of self-manufactured products and partly of products that are made by other manufacturers. The service portfolio includes advice, service and education.
The customers are primarily active in the healthcare sector – from research to medical care. AddLife currently has a presence in over 25 countries, mainly in the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe, as well in China and Australia. AddLife shares have been listed on Nasdaq Stockholm since March 2016.
Key events during the year
2020 has been an unusual year for everyone and COVID-19 has had a major impact on the Life Science market. For most of our companies, operations changed radically as the COVID-19 outbreak hit Europe. From mid-March, demand increased significantly with orders from health services and diagnostic laboratories in particular. During the spring it was difficult to obtain products from various manufacturers and to get distribution to work in response to the exceptional increase in demand for similar products simultaneously, all over the world. It has been an intense hard work, ensuring that all products meet both regulatory requirements and the quality that customers expect. In the summer the pressure on hospitals eased somewhat as the number of patients in ICU units declined, but in the autumn the second wave hit hard in most of Europe.
The autumn has not been characterised by the same acute shortage of personal protective equipment, since many hospitals were able to build up a certain number of stockpile, but there was still high pressure on the market. In the summer and autumn, testing capacity for COVID-19 was expanded in most European countries and testing is expected to continue for an extended period of time. The trend entailed a surge in sales for our diagnostics companies during the remainder of the year.
The year has also been turbulent for our companies in research, where many academic customers, such as colleges and universities, temporarily shut down in the spring and summer because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, throughout the year and especially in the second half we have seen increased demand from COVID-19 related research projects, which have received increased funding. Demand has been high for both instruments and various research reagents related to virus research. Sales of our own advanced instruments in the US and China, however, were lower than in previous years.
During the year our companies in home care had difficulties delivering and completing projects because of infection control measures in eldercare. At the same time, the demographic trend with a growing aging population, as well as technological developments also continued to drive underlying growth. One effect of the demographic trend is the growing need for elderly care, which is causing the home care area to grow as healthcare providers streamline services. For the patient, home care provides the opportunity to live at home longer, which is expected to provide a higher quality of life for the individual.
The COVID-19 pandemic left its mark on 2020, clarifying the opportunities that AddLife has to make a difference by helping to benefit both patients and society. AddLife’s offer to healthcare services is attractive on the market and we will continue to offer new treatment options, proactive diagnostics, technical aids and digital solutions for both institutional care and care at home. There is a huge backlog of patients waiting for health care in all countries in the wake of the pandemic, which will take a long time to manage.