Brussels -- Belgian foamer Recticel has reported an increase of 1.8% to Eur 64.0m ($86.4m) in its automotive sales during this quarter, bucking 2013's trend for losses in the sector.
Combined automotive sales were down 13.6% from Eur 224.2m to Eur 193.7m over the first nine months of the year, however based on predictions that the EU27 automotive industry is stabilizing, the company performed in line with trends.
The company's third quarter total combined sales decreased by Eur 10m to Eur 307.9m compared to Eur 316.4m in the equivalent quarter in 2012. The combined sales figures saw the negative sales trend observed in this year's first and second quarters, (-9.5% and -4.4% respectively) soften further to -2.7% in the third quarter.
Sales in all business lines were broadly stable versus last year, with the exception of bedding, where external sales decreased in the third quarter by 9.1% in a very depressed market.
Flexible foams were down 1.5% on the first nine months of 2013 - from Eur 443.7m to Eur 436.9m while insulation was down 0.5% - from Eur 168.0m to Eur 167.2m.
Only the bedding segment saw a direct increase on the first nine months in the previous year, a 2.7% hike from Eur 201.8m to Eur 207.2m. The hike is explained by an "internal transfer of activities which were previously reported in the flexible foams segment but which are now reported under bedding. Without this transfer, underlying bedding sales to third parties decreased by 5.5% over the first nine months." said Michel De Smedt investment relations manager at Recticel.