Fiberweb plc, the leading international nonwoven fabrics producer, has published a trading update for the 17 week period from 1 July 2009 to 27 October 2009.
The statement says that the Company has continued to trade in line with expectations. Sales trends have continued to improve with third quarter volumes flat versus prior year on a like-for-like basis. This good performance reduces the year-to-date like for like volume decline to 11% from the 17% reported at the half-year.
The European Industrial business has performed robustly benefiting from good demand for medical products and the successful launch of new roofing products. Americas Industrial benefited from the first significant shipments of new DefenCell products, while still contending with depressed construction and industrial markets.
Consumer Fabrics performed well, with strong volumes in both North America and Europe and good progress in delivering the cost reduction programme, which will be complete, as planned, by the year end.
Underlying(1) operating profit for the third quarter was ahead of the same period last year. Operating margin has continued to improve, notwithstanding some headwind from increased raw material prices in the period. Steady trading and a further improvement in working capital performance have contributed to net debt as of end-September being slightly better than forecast at £135 million.
Fiberweb plc (Fiberweb) is a leading international manufacturer of speciality nonwoven materials, with a total of 16 plants operating in eight countries across Europe, North America and Asia. The Group comprises businesses supplying tailored solutions to Industrial and Hygiene nonwovens markets. The Industrial businesses focus on growing niche markets in filtration, speciality construction and agriculture, with technologically differentiated products and strong brands. DefenCell is an innovative multi-cell barrier and force protection system designed for both military and civil use.
The Hygiene businesses focus on supplying leading producers of diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products with value-added and reliable nonwoven components. The Hygiene division is made up of Consumer Fabrics which supplies a full range of hygiene products from its spunbond and carded production technologies and Airlaid, which provides products principally for feminine care applications.
(1)Underlying profit measures are before restructuring costs and other non-recurring items.
Author: Billy Hunter