Looking back at another successful year, we have proved to be robust and resilient to challenges. It was a year of operational and strategic advances, including the decision to divest the Specialty Ingredients business and refocus our position as a leading partner for the pharma, biotech and nutrition industries.
"We are pleased and proud of our progress in 2020, and we are confident that we can use this as a strong foundation to drive further success in the coming year."
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In a uniquely challenging year, our business has delivered a strong financial performance while effectively executing on key growth projects. We remain confident that we can maintain our strong momentum in the future, and will continue investing ambitiously in opportunities to support future growth while optimizing performance across the business.
While the pandemic has caused multiple global challenges, it has also demonstrated that our work can make a significant difference to people’s lives. We have been proud to support not only our customers through continuous business operations, but also our employees and their families by promoting safety in the workplace.
We have worked with great care and perseverance on a hiring strategy to meet our ambitious growth plans, with new hiring records reached in 2020. Turning to our existing employee community, we are working to develop a more robust approach to Diversity and Inclusion, while establishing an Employee Assistance Program.
In 2020, our Technical Operations community has shown strong progress on execution performance, which has enabled us to successfully deliver more than 1,000 customer projects across 37 sites worldwide. While maintaining our base operations throughout the year, we have established new facilities to upscale worldwide production of vaccines against COVID-19.
In 2020, we demonstrated the strength of our strategic direction and resilience of our business. As we move forward, we will continue to build on our existing expertise and assets to support more complex biologics. We will also continue to invest in expanding our capacity and capabilities to meet customer needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented increase in demand for us as consumers continued to focus on their health during the pandemic. As we look to 2021, we are focused on continuing to strengthen our global manufacturing network and innovation capability, as well as becoming a more customer-centric organization.
The Small Molecules business saw the continued advancement of our commercial pipeline with multiple products reaching commercial status in 2020, while our clinical pipeline also increased. Moving into 2021, we look forward to both bringing new capacity online, as well as investing in additional capacity expansion.
Across the Cell & Gene Technologies, Personalized Medicine and Bioscience businesses, we continue to grow in response to market demand, while developing new and differentiated tools and technologies for emerging modalities. As an important milestone, our Cocoon® Platform was used for the first time to treat a patient with CAR-T therapy.
As we make progress with the divestment of the Specialty Ingredients business, we are working to accelerate our growth momentum, while also leveraging our strong regulatory expertise, our leadership in Microbial Control Solutions and our niche growth in Specialty Chemical Services. All while maintaining good profitability in more mature businesses.