Brussels - Belgian polyurethane foam group Recticel has announced continued improvement in its interim results for the first half of 2008.
Sales were up 5.6 percent to Euro 823.9 million in 2008. Earnings (EBITDA) rose to Euro 63.1 million in the first half of 2008. The company said the largest increases were in automotive (34.6 percent increase), and insulation (23.1 percent increase). Net profit was up 12.9 percent to Euro 17.8 million.
A breakdown of sales by business line showed that flexible foam sales were up by 1.8 percent to Euro 335.5 million, insulation was also up by 15.1 percent but bedding was down by 11.1 percent to Euro 168.7 million. Earnings fell from 2007's figures in both flexible foams and bedding but the company recorded a record high level of earnings in its insulation business line.
The report also details the conclusion of a deal between Recticel and ten major European banks in February for a new 5-year multi currency loan of Euro 230 million. Recticel said, "this loan was concluded at more favourable conditions than the previous syndicated loan of 2004 and in the meantime has been used to repay in full the amounts still outstanding under the previous loan, which was due to expire at the end of 2008. This new loan will also refinance the Euro 50 million subordinated loan at 10 percent, which expires in July 2009."
Thus, net debt rose from Euro 271 million to Euro 320 million at the end of June 2008, Recticel said this was mainly attributable to a higher level of working capital.