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August 26, 2021

First half year: Financial results in line with guidance despite continued impact from COVID-19 pandemic

  • First half year with solid increase in earnings (EBIT before special items) going up 8% to DKK 525 million compared to the first half of 2020.
  • Revenue decreased by 9% to DKK 2.9 billion as expected due to continued impact in the European refining business from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Solid progress on new vision execution with the formation of a dedicated Green Hydrogen organization and continued growth in our renewable business.
  • Full-year guidance of revenue close to DKK 6 billion reconfirmed. We foresee continued uncertainty with the resurgence of COVID-19 infection rates negatively impacting catalyst demand and causing supply chain challenges.


“We have delivered solid financial results by increasing our earnings despite challenging circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many refinery and technology projects in Europe have been delayed due to low demand, and this has negatively impacted our revenue. We are, however, encouraged by the renewed momentum in the technology business and by the fact that there’s a huge interest for green solutions, which our renewable business is benefitting from,” says Roeland Baan, CEO, Topsoe.

Roeland Baan continues: “We are taking a very active role in supporting our customers in accelerating their transition towards clean products and processes. Our solutions in renewable fuels continue to drive growth. This has prompted our decision to build an additional production plant in the US to cover the increasing global demand for catalysts for producing ultra-low sulfur diesel and renewable diesel. Our relentless focus on carbon emission reduction technologies for hard-to-abate sectors such as steel production and long-haul aviation and shipping is attracting tremendous interest from global players. To increase our drive even more, we have launched a green hydrogen organization, fully focused on delivering market-leading solutions based on our SOEC electrolysis technology.

In the first half of 2021, Topsoe’s earnings were up versus last year. This is driven by lower operational costs, resulting from the labor restructuring implemented in the fourth quarter of 2020, as well as ongoing cost optimization actions initiated as part of executing on our 2024 vision. Favorable fluctuations in raw material prices and high production levels in our factories have also positively impacted our earnings for the first half of 2021.

Topsoe’s technology business saw a positive development in order intake, which will drive future revenue growth. On the other hand, the first six months of 2021 were impacted by COVID-19 related supply chain challenges, including logistics issues and temporary production shutdowns within our partner network, delaying our deliveries to customer projects. Overall, we managed to deliver flat revenue year-on-year, while several key segments even delivered solid growth. We saw significant strategic wins within renewable fuels, where our renewable diesel hydroprocessing technology, HydroFlex™, has been in high demand in the important US market.

Topsoe’s catalyst business has to a larger extent been affected by the demand situation, especially in Europe, where the demand for replacement catalysts has yet to reach pre-COVID-19 levels. Overall, our catalyst business saw a 12% decline in the first half of 2021 versus the strong first half of 2020. This was expected, but the pace of the market recovery has been slightly slower than anticipated. We do, however, see signs of recovery in the market and demand is on the rise, not least in China where the demand for high-quality methanol catalysts is significant.

Topsoe is committed to safety and we expect to continuously improve our safety measures going forward, guided by the company’s ‘Zero Harm’ policy. In 2021, we have continued to improve, and the total recordable incident frequency has decreased by 10% in the first half of 2021 versus 2020.

Major events in the first half of 2021

  • June 25: Topsoe and partners received support from the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP) for the world’s first industrial-scale dynamic green ammonia demonstration plant.
  • June 1: Topsoe established green hydrogen organization to further accelerate electrolysis business.
  • May 17: CEO Roeland Baan met with a delegation from the US Department of State to discuss innovation to combat climate change.
  • March 18: Topsoe and AQM Capital LLC (Aquamarine) announced Memorandum of Understanding with the purpose of building a 100 megawatt green ammonia facility based on SOEC electrolysis.
  • March 4: Topsoe communicated its intention to build a 500 megawatt SOEC production facility scheduled to start up in 2024 to produce electrolyzers supporting our green hydrogen business.
  • Throughout the first half of 2021, a multitude of refineries and fuel suppliers have chosen Topsoe’s HydroFlex™ and H2bridge™ technologies to produce low-carbon renewable diesel from biomass or waste.

Major events after the half-year period:

  • July 22: Air Products chose Topsoe’s low-carbon SynCORTM technology for a blue hydrogen energy complex in Canada. Topsoe’s technology will enable capture of over 95 percent of CO2emissions from the world-scale complex.
  • July 13: Topsoe took final investment decision on building a catalyst plant in Texas to meet demand for refining catalysts.

More information
Ulrik Frøhlke, Media Relations Manager
Phone: +45 27 77 99 68

Financial highlights (DKK million)


The half-year figures have not been reviewed by the company’s auditors. The audited Annual Report 2021 will be published by Haldor Topsoe A/S on March 3, 2022. 


  1. For 2020, significant income and costs which cannot be attributed directly to the Group's ordinary operating activities have been reclassified to Special items. The impact in the first half of 2020 is DKK 65 million. Please see the Annual Report 2020 for further information.
  2. For 2020, the accounting policy for land and buildings has been changed from measurement in accordance with the revaluation model to measurement at cost less accumulated depreciation and impairment losses. Please see the Annual Report 2020 for further information.
  3. Financial ratios have been calculated as follows:
    1. Return on equity: Net profit 12 months rolling x 100 / Average equity attributed to the owners of the parent company
    2. Equity ratio: Equity attributed to the owners of the parent company x 100 / Total assets
    3. Net interest cover ratio: EBITDA 12 months rolling / Net interest 12 months rolling
    4. Leverage ratio: Net interest-bearing debt / EBITDA 12 months rolling
    5. R&D spend (of revenue): Research & Development costs in percentage of revenue

About Haldor Topsoe A/S
Haldor Topsoe is a global leader in supply of catalysts, technology, and services to the chemical and refining industries. Topsoe aims to be the global leader within carbon emission reduction technologies by 2024. By perfecting chemistry for a better world, we enable our customers to succeed in the transition towards renewable energy. Topsoe is headquartered in Denmark and serves customers around the globe. In 2020, our revenue was approximately DKK 6.2 billion, and we employ around 2,200 employees.

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