The year 2020 will make history as a year when a very unusual order was built, and almost the entire world population was affected from healthcare, social, cultural and economic standpoint not only in Turkey but also in the entire world. Impacts of Covid-19 virus that broke out in the Far East in late 2019 jumped to the pother regions of the world, starting from early 2020, and turned into a pandemic. Thanks to Covid-19 committee we established for closely following latest developments and taking necessary measures before March when our country heard the news on the first positive case, we, Olmuksan IP, started acting with the awareness that looking out for health and safety of our employees is our most important responsibility and we're still keeping an eye on this matter.
Throughout this process, we realized, once again, how important the corrugated cardboard box, our product, is as a link during the supply chain process for the sake of reaching basic materials such as healthcare products, hygiene and foodstuff which are required for sustainability of the community.
In this framework, 2020 was a year with lots of ups and downs during which we managed several uncertainties in general and we faced different fluctuations during every quarter. During the first quarter of the year, we started off with a really strong growth, recording an increase in our sales volume with 20% in terms of tonnage. During the second quarter, however, increased demand for basic necessities, driven by the pandemic, had a positive reflection, yet we suffered from a drastic demand shrinkage in machinery industry and sectors based on export. The tourism sector that almost came to a standstill, during the Q3, due to the pandemic, had a negative impact upon many sectors. In the last quarter of the year, recovery in our economy also had a positive reflection upon us, predominantly driven by loosening of restrictions across countries. In the meantime, fluctuations faced not only in Turkey but also on a global scale gave rise to raw material supply problems to a certain extent.
2020 was a year when we completed some investments initiated in the preceding year and we commissioned such investments. Our investments that helped increase the capacity and enabled us to improve our high quality printing capability were completed and we started taking a share from the market in the field of high quality printed product groups. Our processes in this regard are getting stronger and stronger and we're broadening our range of products that may cater to our customers' expectations.
We have set targets for us not only in domestic sales but also export. Our export department new structuring process of which we have just finished recorded a growth higher than the overall company growth with some limited customer contacts, despite travel and international trade restrictions introduced during the pandemic.
Thanks to self-sacrificing efforts of our employees in an environment filled with uncertainties, we, Olmuksan IP, completed the year 2020 with a growth by 12.5% in sales volume by tonnage and by 21% in turnover when compared to the previous year. Strong cost management, portfolio structuring and pricing discipline we demonstrated helped us enter into the year 2021 with more confident steps.
I do believe that, in the days to come, we'll be able to produce products adding value to our customers and further strengthen our existence in the market and we'll record a profitable and sustainable growth, and I would like to thank all of our employees and stakeholders.
The IP Way Forward is our strategic framework to pursue our vision to be one of the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world and create value for all stakeholders for generations to come.