Financial Highlights

2023 was another year of strong performance for Lonza with CHF 6.7 billion sales (7.9% AER; 10.9% CER sales growth) and CHF 2.0 billion CORE EBITDA, resulting in a margin of 29.8%. The solid financial results were driven by the Biologics and Small Molecules divisions, with a softer performance in Cell & Gene and Capsules & Health Ingredients.

Between 2022 and 2023, absolute CORE EBITDA remained flat, resulting in a CORE EBITDA margin decline of 2.3%pts. This was driven by softness in the early stage CDMO business in Biologics and Cell & Gene Technologies and customer destocking in the nutraceutical capsules market impacting our Capsules & Health Ingredients division. The ramp-up of multiple growth projects also diluted margins year-on-year.

Throughout 2023, we continued our accelerated investment program to support future growth. For the Full-Year, total capital expenditures (CAPEX) reached CHF 1.7 billion or 25% of sales, of which around 70% was deployed for growth projects, mainly for Biologics which continues to be the growth engine of the company. At the end of 2023 we were delivering more than 20 large growth projects, each designed to deliver an attractive risk and return profile.

In 2023, we delivered a strong operational free cash flow (FCF) before acquisitions and divestments of CHF 329 million, supported by Net Working Capital improvements and CAPEX prioritization. Before growth CAPEX, we delivered a cash conversion of more than 20%.

We saw an increase in leverage compared to 2022 (from -0.1x Net Debt/ CORE EBITDA to 0.5x for 2023). This was driven by an increase in net debt of CHF 1.1 billion due to investments in organic growth and the execution of the share buyback program. Our balance sheet provides significant headroom for organic growth investments, bolt-on acquisitions and shareholder returns. We also remain fully committed to maintaining our current BBB+ investment rating and target a mid-term leverage of between 1.5x and 2x.

Personal Highlight

Philippe Deecke

Chief Financial Officer

Our capacity to deliver long-term value is supported by our strong balance sheet and our sustained approach to organic growth investments to meet customer needs.

Historic Progression


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Capital Expenditures (CAPEX)

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CORE EPS diluted


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  1. Lonza continuing operations excluding the Speciality Ingredients business that was sold on 1 July 2021

  2. CORE results for the Full-Year 2020 were restated to reflect the changes from the revised Alternative Performance Measures policy that was introduced on 1 January 2021

  3. “Net debt”, “Net debt / CORE EBITDA” reflect total group including discontinued operations from 2019 to 2020 and continuing operations (excluding Lonza Specialty Ingredients business) from 2021 onwards

million CHF20142015201620172018 12019 22020 2,32021 220222023
CORE EBITDA7437939181,1961,5111,3341,3791,6651,9951,999
Margin in %20.420.922.226.527.331.730.630.832.129.8
Margin in %20.220.520.523.825.830.030.625.234.428.9
Result from operating activities (EBIT)4234284866738428259018511,541880
Margin in %11.611.311.814.815.219.620.015.724.813.1
ROIC in % 4n.a.n.a.n.a.
CORE EPS (diluted) in CHF6.766.768.3810.7811.9811.409.7812.6314.7112.39
EPS (diluted) in CHF4.545.265.699.708.778.689.779.0516.348.88
Operational free cash flow (bef. acquisitions)476693638658884371504399(465)329
Net debt / (net cash) 52,0111,6601,5843,7623,5342,9612,813(958)(186)922
Net debt / CORE EBITDA 52.702.091.732.702.281.831.66(0.53)(0.1)0.5
Number of employees (Full-Time Equivalent) 69,8099,82910,13014,61815,37515,46814,06216,21817,49418,000
  1. Lonza continuing operations, excluding the Water Care business classified as discontinued operation.

  2. Lonza continuing operations, excluding the Specialty Ingredients business classified as discontinued operations and disposed of effective 1, July 2021

  3. CORE results for the Full-year 2020 (CORE EBITDA, ROIC, CORE EPS) were restated to reflect the changes from the revised Alternative Performance Measures policy that was introduced on 1 January 2021

  4. Refer to section “Alternative Performance Measures” of the Financial Report for more details on the calculation methodology

  5. “Net debt”, “Net debt / CORE EBITDA” reflect total group including discontinued operations from 2014 to 2023, except for 2021 and 2022 where we reflected Lonza continuing operations basis (excluding Lonza Specialty Ingredients business)

  6. "Number of employees (Full-time Equivalent)" reflect total group (including discontinued operations) from 2014 to 2023, except for the year 2020 where Lonza Specialty Ingredients business was excluded