Here are the top 10 themes:
1. Developments in end markets
Since the pandemic, customers have been deferring large projects to conserve liquidity. On the other hand, packaging, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and household products continue to drive demand. And as expected, there has been a high demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits and medical supplies — boosting sales of specialized materials.
2. Financial initiatives
R&D investments have varied widely over the last quarter. Some manufacturers are maintaining their commitments to R&D spending in preparation for a gradual return to industrial growth. Others are pulling back by as much as 30% to reduce operating costs or are investing exclusively in high-growth product categories. Another interesting trend is debt maturing being replaced with longer-term maturity dates. Meanwhile, share buyback and dividend activity is resuming, though liquidity and balance sheet strength remain top of mind.