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Fiber World

Lenzing Reports Increased Sales

Despite what it called “a difficult fiber business environment,” Austria-based Lenzing AG reported its group sales for 2005, at 942.6 million euros, were 8.2-percent higher than its prior-year sales of 871.1 million euros, while its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), at 81.8 million euros, were lower than its record EBIT of 104.3 million euros the year before. Shareholders’ share of net income totaled 56.9 million euros, compared with 67.7 million euros in 2004. Eighty-one percent of the group’s sales came from its core fiber and pulp business.

The company attributed 60 percent of its fiber business expansion to systematic growth and 40 percent to consolidation following its 2004 acquisition of the Tencel Group from The Netherlands-based Corsadi BV. Cellulose fiber production for the year increased by 9.5 percent to approximately 454,000 tons. Lenzing reported that although demand was good, falling fiber prices and increased production costs, including 35 million euros in additional raw material and energy costs, affected the core fibers business.

“[O]ur successful countersteering strategy produced a satisfactory result for Lenzing in 2005,” said Thomas Fahnemann, chairman of Lenzing’s Management Board. He added that the company improved its textile market position through the development of new application areas and global marketing strategies. The company also noted it increased its nonwovens market share and launched new products for medical and technical applications.

Looking forward, Lenzing expects to complete construction of a viscose fiber plant in China around the end of 2006.

May/June 2006