By Charlotte Eyre, European Plastics News
Swiss holding company Conzetta, which manufactures a range of materials including polyurethane foams, says sales increased 3.2 percent to CHF 528.6 million ($546.1 million) during the first half of the year, despite economic problems in the Eurozone.
The company said operating profit was CHF 8.6 million during the period, lower than a year ago because of special effects totaling CHF 18.9 million. Without these effects, the result is on a par with the previous year, said the firm.
In the foam materials division, known as Foam Partner Group, net sales rose 1.7 percent to CHF 66.6 million, up from CHF 65.4 million for the same period in 2011.
Sales in the comfort segment (polyurethane pillow and mattress cores) performed well, with gains in international markets offsetting a decline in the business unit's Swiss home market, where competitors took advantage of the currency situation.
However, sales of technical foams were hit by the slowdown in the European automotive industry.
Conzetta says the debt crisis in Europe will have an impact on business in the second half of the year, making predictions impossible.
"At the present exchange rate of the franc to the euro, the margin pressure on products and services originating in Switzerland remains high," the company said in a statement. "The market situation in Europe will continue to be affected by this uncertainty in the coming months and only a definitive solution of the debt crisis will bring a tangible improvement."