Rohde and Schwarz, the independent technology company, finished its 2019/2020 fiscal year (July to June) with EUR 2.58 billion in revenue. The company has grown for the third year in a row with a 20 percent revenue increase. This proved once more that the privately owned company’s strategy focusing on sustainable business practices was the right one. The high degree of vertical integration, flexible production processes and robust supply chains helped successfully navigate the uncertain global economic environment of the past fiscal year. In addition, the clear focus on customer needs in the growth markets of connectivity, security and safety contributed to making the year a success. The number of employees grew moderately to about 12,300 worldwide.
Rohde and Schwarz benefits from large investments in wireless technologies
5G networks were set up faster than anticipated. The COVID-19 induced sales slump on the user equipment market failed to noticeably dampen investor sentiment in the first half of the year. The market size, importance and fierce competition on the device and network sides meant that both user equipment manufacturers and infrastructure providers continued to invest heavily in test and measurement solutions. Rohde and Schwarz benefited throughout the entire mobile communications value chain. The company’s T+M solutions place it in a good position for the internet of things (IoT). As part of the Industry 4.0 concept, 5G will revolutionise factory automation by connecting operating facilities wirelessly. Rohde and Schwarz has already developed a comprehensive test and measurement portfolio to set up and reliably operate 5G factory networks.
The automotive market responded positively to the company’s innovative radar sensor and vehicle connectivity solutions, putting Rohde and Schwarz in a promising position.
Mobile communications and broadcast are merging
The launch of 5G mobile communications opens up the opportunity to use terrestrial broadcast infrastructure for mobile communications. Television signals and data can be broadcast to mobile devices without burdening mobile networks. A recently sold, initial 5G TV test network set an example for the market, illustrating the potential of the technology that Rohde and Schwarz helped develop. The world market leader for TV transmitters is also driving a technological shift in satellite transmissions. The newly launched semiconductor amplifiers provide operators with a technologically and economically superior alternative to the still-dominant tube amplifiers.
Expanding connectivity in the public sector drives demand
COVID-19 clearly illustrated the value of faster and more secure internet connections – not only for private households but also in the industrial and public sectors. Germany’s digital pact for schools (DigitalPakt Schule), a well-financed federal and state program, generated a series of orders for WLAN networks at schools. Some German states also invested in the IT security of their administrative networks and equipped public authorities with BSI certified encryption technology from Rohde and Schwarz.
Security high on agenda
Despite the significant decrease in air traffic in the second half of the fiscal year, radio system sales to air traffic controllers and sales of security scanners for passenger processing remained solid. The cutting-edge CERTIUM air traffic control portfolio from Rohde and Schwarz provides complete solutions that include hardware, software and service components. The portfolio was expanded in 2020 to include a state-of-the-art radio family.
Since their launch, security scanners from Rohde and Schwarz have conquered a significant market share and are used in airports around the world. A new walk-through model for the unregulated security market serves the growing demand for security products in the private sector. Typical applications include large events, loss prevention situations and securing data centres.
Naval forces trust communications systems from Rohde and Schwarz
On the global naval market, investments in new frigates and patrol ships contrast with increasing price pressures on equipment suppliers. Thanks to the innovative product portfolios bundled under the NAVICS and SOVERON brands, Rohde and Schwarz managed to grow yet again in this segment. Supplying full NAVICS systems for the British Royal Navy’s first Type 26 frigates sent an important message to the market.
The COVID-19 pandemic confronted the world with an unprecedented challenge whose impact is virtually impossible to assess. Rohde and Schwarz business fields will be affected to varying degrees in the new fiscal year. In this context, the broad diversification of target markets that serve private and public sector customers will again prove advantageous. Rohde and Schwarz has the processes and structure to face all future scenarios.