Brussels - Belgian faomer, Recticel, reported automotive sales down 23% in the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2012 and has withdrawn guidance for financial performance over the remainder of the year.
Sales were Euro 317.9m ($417,8m) compared with Euro 351.1 in the first quarter of 2011.
Automotive sales were Euro 63.5m in the quarter compared with Euro 82.4m in the equivalent quarter in 2012. Flexible foams were down 3.8% in the quarter at Euro 151.5m.
Recticel says the weak economic environment in Europe, low consumer confidence and poor weather conditions have weighed on all of its end use markets.
In automotive the decline is due to existing programmes finishing in the interiors sector. This hit sales in the sector by 32.2%. In the Proseat 51:49 jv with Woodbridge saw sales fall by 14.8%.
Recticell said its debt rose by 10.8% between the final quarter of 2012 and the the first quarter of 2013 to Euro 191.3. Recicel attributed this to a seasonal increase in working capital.
Exchange rate Euro1=$1.31 on 9 May 2012