Zurich, Switzerland - Conzzeta Group, which owns the FoamPartner operation, said in a 2 April statement that it had "an excellent year" in 2007, with consolidated net revenues up 18.3 percent to CHF 1507.0 million ($1490 million, previous year: CHF 1273.6 million).
Operating margin was 8.8 percent and group profit was up from CHF 71.1 million to CHF 161.4 million, including an extraordinary profit of CHF 56.5 million, arising primarily from a real estate sale in Wallisellen, the group said.
But in its polyurethane foam materials business, which makes up about ten percent of Conzzeta's sales, "2007 was a difficult year," the group commented in its results release. Although sales rose by 6.1 percent to CHF 156.5 million, higher raw materials costs were only "partially offset by increasing product prices," Conzzeta said.
FoamPartner also saw "promising growth" in technical foams for the automotive industry and other industrial uses - a segment that accounts for almost two-thirds of the business unit's overall sales.
But, Conzzeta said "serious problems with the start-up of a new production facility for natural latex mattresses," meant that the foam units results "fell well short of the targets."
Also, know-how transfer to the joint venture partner in the US was slow. Despite these issues, FoamPartner's sales were almost at the previous year's level, the group observed.
By contrast, FoamPartner's joint venture in China made progress, with "a significant increase in sales," and local foam production at Changzhou (China) should come on stream during summer 2008, said Conzzeta.
Conzzeta's other interests include systems for sheet metal processing, its biggest business unit, with record sales of CHF 793.5 million in 2007, a rise of 25.6 percent over sales in 2006. Other interests are in glass processing, automation and sporting goods.