Charlotte-based nonwovens producer Polymer Group Inc. (PGI) reported record sales and increased
gross profit for the fiscal year 2008 first quarter (Q1) ended March 29, 2008.
Net sales increased to a record $273.8 million in Q1 2008 from $267 million in Q1 2007 and
from $265.4 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2007. Sales growth reflects the increased price
of raw materials as well as the higher value of most foreign currencies against the US dollar. Also
contributing to the increase were volume increases from PGI’s new China-based medical business and
in Latin American markets, and increased sales in North America.
PGI reported a Q1 2008 gross profit of $42.9 million and gross profit margin of 15.7 percent,
compared with a Q4 2007 gross profit of $38.9 million and 14.6-percent margin, and a $46 million
profit and 17.2-percent margin in Q1 2007. The company noted increased raw material costs
negatively impacted profitability in the last two quarters.
Q1 2008 net income was $1.4 million, compared with Q1 2007 net income of $0.3 million. The
company also reduced debt levels by $14 million during the latest quarter to $412.9 million.
Veronica “Ronee” Hagen, CEO, said the company expects to improve its profit picture beginning
in the second quarter of this year and into next year. “The improvement will be supported by our
new spunbond line in Argentina and Spinlace™ line in the US, continued growth in the Asia medical
business, and implementing initiatives to better match the way we buy and sell products,” she
stated. “Additionally, we are continuing to invest for future growth with the initiation of
construction on our previously announced barrier spunmelt capacity expansion in Mexico. This line
is targeted to serve the hygiene and medical markets in the US as well as in Mexico and is
projected to begin commercial production by mid-year 2009.”
May 13, 2008