Brussels -- Belgian polyurethane group Recticel reports that its 2009 sales were down by 17.9 percent to Euro 1276.7 million, compared to the previous year, in a 5 March statement.
The automotive unit of Recticel, which produces polyurethane sprayed interior skins, reported 2009 sales down by 39 percent to Euro 289.4 million, compared to the previous year, largely due to a downturn in the automotive market and a loss of turnover in the exteriors business as a result of the sale to BASF of its specialised compounds portfolio.
The company's Proseat automotive seating business reported sales down "on a comparable basis" by 17.4 percent to Euro 130.7 million, mainly due to lower volumes, although this was partially offset by the integration of Spanish mould manufacturer, Indepol, in July 2008. Recticel noted that it will be producing interior skins for the successors of the present BMW 1 and BMW 3 series and, in China, will supply interior skins for the new Peugeot 408.
Sales in Recticel's flexible foams business were down 11.6 percent to Euro 570.6 million as a result of a generally weak economic climate and a significant decline in sales volumes in Western Europe, the statement said. Some positive sales, however, were seen in Norway, Finland and Estonia, as a result of a 2008 take over of Norwegian group Brekke Industrier. Recticel also noted that the second half of 2009 saw an increase in sales volumes in most markets. Earnings were up 44.2 percent to Euro 45.1 million due to cost-saving measures, the Brekke integration and a capital gain on the sale of the company's stake in medical foam maker Corpura.
The company's bedding business line reported sales of Euro 312.6 million, a decrease of 10.6 percent compared to 2008. However, Recticel noted, the sale figures of its 50-percent interest in the recently sold Cofel, France, are not included in the sales figures result. Disregarding the divestment sales, total sales would have risen by 0.4 percent. The rise, Recticel said, is due to higher volumes in private label and brand segments, particularly in Germany, Austria and Poland. Earnings were up 143.6 percent to Euro 41.1 million in 2009, including around Euro 17.9 million from the Cofel divestment.
In Recticel's insulation business, 2009 sales improved 6.4 percent to Euro 166.5 million as a result of sustained demand from the construction industry, the Belgian company said, adding that higher volumes resulted in an increase in earnings of 47.9 percent to Euro 40.3 million, compared to the previous year. (RD)