For many companies, 2020 was a difficult year. Also for Proviron. Firstly, there was Covid-19, of course. We saw the economic consequences of the pandemic in almost all our business units. 2020 was also the warmest year since records began. This of course made it more difficult for our de-icing products. In addition, as in 2019, the automotive sector struggled and so reduced its product volumes. But our employees showed resilience and most of our businesses recorded a nice recovery towards the end of the year.
We achieved some nice goals. In the area of safety and the environment, for example, it was a very good year without any major incidents. In fact, 2020 was the year with the fewest environmental incidents in a long time. We kept everyone on board and even welcomed some new faces. Moreover, we managed to end 2020 with no Covid-19 outbreaks. However, our product developments in 2020 were delayed by the corona crisis. One of the measures surrounding the corona virus was, of course, telework. Our IT department deserves a big shout out for the smooth organisation of this. They provided the necessary infrastructure in a short timeframe so that many colleagues could start working from home quickly. Since we belong to an essential sector, our production could continue. For the production staff, the right measures were always taken to fully guarantee their safety. Everyone respected these measures and showed the necessary flexibility. Even during the summer period, which was a bit more difficult, everything went smoothly. Naturally, we would like to thank all our employees profusely for this.
We are also doing our bit in the fight against the coronavirus. We donated mouth masks, fully enclosed suits and full face shields to hospitals, and drums of disinfectant to local non-profit organisations. In addition, one of our products is used in the research regarding COVID-19.
At the end of January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. For us, the Brexit has had no major impact on sales. There is, however, extra administrative work to be done. Many things now have to be registered twice, which mainly takes up time. Shipments to the UK are running well thanks to a smooth cooperation with the port of Zeebrugge, which has prepared itself perfectly for the Brexit.
Chairman of the Board