Fuchs Petrolub AG, the world’s largest independent lubricants maker, reported annual results. Fuchs’s business development in 2020 was strongly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The shutdown of economic activities led to drastic declines in sales revenues, which took effect particularly in the second quarter. Sales revenues fell by 8% to 2.4 billion euros. The company counteracted the substantial decline in sales revenues with cost discipline. Despite the decline in sales revenues, the gross margin improved.
Fuchs, which is majority owned by the Fuchs family, announced the 19th consecutive dividend increase. The company is going to continue to return cash to shareholders through a strong dividend. Management declared a dividend of 0.99 (0.97) euros per preferred share and 0.98 (0.96) euros per common share. In addition, Fuchs completed its acquisition of NYE, a manufacturer of synthetic high-performance lubricants in the U.S. However, the sharp increase in material prices will further burden the cost structure.
Fuchs’s stock is down 10% for 2021 through Tuesday’s close.