Coronavirus testing boosts SYNLAB's profits up five-fold

Synlab headquarters in Tallinn.
Synlab headquarters in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

While worldwide coronavirus spread and the accompanying restrictions swept the ground from under the feet of many companies, clinical laboratory SYNLAB has seen its profits go up five-fold during the pandemic.

The company's turnover in 2020 finished at €73.6 million, up from €27 million the year prior. SYNLAB's profits went from €5.7 million to €29.7 million in 2020.

SYNLAB's laboratories began preparing for coronavirus testing in the start of 2020 and the company began conducting analyses in March last year, while having to reorganize much of its regular operations and setting up round-the-clock shifts to analyze coronavirus tests.

The company announced that major investments into equipment and accessories made in the start of 2020 paid off well. "The initial fears of having to write off goods bought in bulk did not realize. At the same time, we were also able to provide services during a time, in which acquiring certain goods was almost impossible in the global deficit," SYNLAB's yearly overview reads.

The company's management announced that growth numbers cannot be viewed at from a one-year perspective, since acquiring specific equipment, extending labs and increased operating costs will remain high for some time. "What can also happen is that we might be forced to write off certain major investments in the future, since the need for this equipment and these rooms will drop after the pandemic withdraws and testing demand decreases."

180 new employment contracts, both open-ended and temporary, were signed in the previous year. The company had 222 employees in 2019, but increased staff to 266 workers. By the end of 2020, the 419 people were employed by SYNLAB.

Increased demand from Finland helped turnover growth

More than half of the analyses conducted in Tallinn from March to fall were commissioned by Finland. Although the prices of coronavirus test analyses were significantly higher in Finland and there were more service providers, demand still exceeded supply. In fall, SYNLAB also set up a coronavirus testing lab in Helsinki.

The company earned €50 million in sales revenue in Estonia and €23.6 million from other countries, meaning Finland and Lithuania.

SYNLAB's client list consists more than half of Estonia's family physicians, private clinics, ambulatory health care establishments, occupational health centers, multiple hospitals, different research institutions and state institutions. The company also offers laboratory diagnostics directly to patients.

The company's operations decreased in April-May, but significantly exceeded volumes in previous years in the following months. The company paid €3.2 million in dividends last year, it did not pay dividends the year before.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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