Rohde & Schwarz’s commercial performance remains positive despite a difficult economic environment


Tech company Rohde & Schwarz ends a successful 2019/2020 despite a difficult global economic environment and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to constant diversification in the fields of communications, information technology and security activities, the company has experienced another successful year of growth. Rohde & Schwarz has thus proved to be a reliable technology partner, even in difficult times.

Rohde & Schwarz, the independent technology company, closed its 2019/2020 financial year (July to June) with a turnover of 2.58 billion euros. The company grew for the third year in a row with a 20 percent increase in revenue. This proved once again that the private company’s strategy of focusing on sustainable business practices was the right one. The high degree of vertical integration, flexible production processes and robust supply chains have helped successfully navigate the uncertain global economic environment of the past year. In addition, the clear focus on customer needs in the growing markets of
connectivity, security and safety contributed to the success of the year. The number of employees increased moderately to around 12,300 worldwide.

Rohde & Schwarz benefits from significant investments in wireless technologies 5G networks have been implemented faster than expected. The COVID-19-induced drop in sales in the user equipment market did not significantly dampen investor sentiment in the first half of the year. The size, importance and fierce competition of the market on the device and network side means that user equipment manufacturers and infrastructure providers have continued to invest heavily in test and measurement solutions. Rohde & Schwarz has benefited from this throughout the mobile communications value chain. The company’s T&M solutions put it in a good position for the Internet of Things (IoT). As part of the Industry 4.0 concept, 5G
revolutionize factory automation by connecting operating facilities wirelessly. Rohde & Schwarz has already developed a comprehensive portfolio of tests and measurements to reliably configure and operate 5G factory networks.

The automotive market has responded positively to the company’s innovative radar sensor and vehicle connectivity solutions, placing Rohde & Schwarz in a promising position.

Mobile communications and broadcasting merge

The launch of 5G mobile communications opens up the possibility of using the terrestrial broadcast infrastructure for mobile communications. TV signals and data can be streamed to mobile devices without overloading mobile networks. A recently sold first 5G TV test network set an example in the market, illustrating the potential of the technology that Rohde & Schwarz helped develop. The world market leader in TV transmitters is also behind a technological change in satellite transmissions. The recently launched solid-state amplifiers offer operators a technologically and economically superior alternative to
still dominant tube amplifiers.

Expansion of connectivity in the public sector drives demand

COVID-19 has clearly illustrated the value of faster and more secure internet connections – not only for private households but also in the industrial and public sectors. The German Digital Pact for Schools (DigitalPakt Schule), a well-funded federal and state program, has generated a series of orders for WLAN networks in schools. Some German states have also invested in the IT security of their administrative networks and have equipped the public authorities with BSI certified encryption technology from Rohde & Schwarz.

Safety on the agenda

Despite the significant decline in air traffic in the second half of the year, sales of radio systems to air traffic controllers and sales of security scanners for passenger handling remained strong. Rohde & Schwarz’s state-of-the-art CERTIUM® air traffic control portfolio provides complete solutions that include hardware, software and service components. The portfolio was expanded in 2020 to include a family of state-of-the-art radios.

Since their launch, Rohde & Schwarz security scanners have captured a significant market share and are in use at airports around the world. A new gateway model for the unregulated security market responds to the growing demand for security products in the private sector. Typical applications include large events, loss prevention situations, and securing data centers.

Naval forces trust Rohde & Schwarz communication systems

In the global naval market, investments in new frigates and patrol boats contrast with increasing price pressure on equipment manufacturers. Thanks to the innovative product portfolios grouped under the NAVICS® and SOVERON® brands, Rohde & Schwarz has succeeded in growing again in this segment. The supply of complete NAVICS® systems for the first British Royal Navy Type 26 frigates sent an important message to the market.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world with an unprecedented challenge, the impact of which is virtually impossible to assess. The business areas of Rohde & Schwarz will be affected to varying degrees in the new financial year. In this context, the wide diversification of target markets that serve private and public sector clients will again prove beneficial. Rohde & Schwarz has the advanced processes and structure to face all future scenarios.

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