Kremsmunster, Austria – Privately held conglomerate Greiner, had sales in its polyurethane foam division of EUR 407m in 2018. This is 5.2% up from EUR 387m in 2017.
Greiner Foam plans consolidation of Europe's flexible sector
The revenue was accounted for in its 50% share of Eurofoam. This is a joint venture with Recticel.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2019, Greiner's annual report said it's foam business plans to 'accommodate consolidation in the European market.'
Overall the company had sales of EUR 1.6bn in 2018 up 3% on the previous year.
Turning to performance in its PU flexible foams business, Greiner said: 'The surge in prices and the related massive fluctuations triggered lasting uncertainty at least in Europe. The market for PU foam showed a downward tendency.'
There was a 'genuine slump in mattress demand in Germany' in 2018, and the competitive position in Poland became harder for Eurofoam, Greiner added. Despite this, the business 'was able to improve its overall result markedly while retaining the same market shares.'
All of this made the flexible foam business more competitive in 2018, the company added.
Greiner also worked at M&A projects in Mexico, Dubai, Egypt, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. Although, none of these came to fruition in 2018, Greiner will keep trying to close deals in 2019.
Greiner's Unifoam business in South Africa, overcame 'criminality, corruption, unemployment and poverty' in the country in 2018. The business managed to grow faster than the competition. It also started It developed its technical foams business, mattresses for hotel and hospital and compressed mattresses. Greiner was contractually obliged to increase its stake in Unifoam from 50% to 80% in the year.
Volvo became a new customer for the division's Preform business. Greiner sold engine and transmission encapsulation technology to the car maker.
Turning to car interiors, beam-form-foam for boot lids of e-Cars from Jaguar BMW and Audi were also focuses of development in the year.
Greiner also makes aircraft seat cushions and covers in its aerospace business. Here sales rose from EUR 36m in 2017 to EUR 44m in 2018. Production broke records and delivery punctuality improved as the year progressed, Greiner added.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2019, 'we are investing in new product solutions and services,' said Michael Schleiss, CEO of Greiner Foam International.
It will also expand and update PU foam production in Sajobabony, Hungary. The Perfoam business is working to start production at joint ventures in China and Mexico. These will make interior components for BMW and Mercedes.