Brussels – Sales at Recticel, the Belgian flexible and rigid foam maker, grew by 8.3% to EUR 1.1 bn in 2017.
Recticel sales benefit from higher isocyanate prices in 2017
Recurring earnings before interest taxation, amortisation and depreciation rose by 13.9% to EUR 82.8m in 2017.
All business segments, apart from bedding, reported higher sales.
There was strong 21% growth in automotive because of new interiors programmes, and increased average selling prices because of the steep rise in prices of TDI and MDI.
Flexible foam sales were up 3.1% to EUR 626m in 2017. However, the inability of the Eurofoam joint venture to fully pass on raw material price rises led to a fall in segment Rebitda of 12.4% to EUR 40 m. In 2016, the division had Rebitda of EUR46.3m.
Insulation sales were up 16.3% to EUR 272m. In the fourth quarter of 2017, prices rose by 24.2% as the company passed on higher raw materials costs to customers. Rebitda in the insulation segment grew from EUR 26.1m in 2016 to EUR 40m in 2017. This was despite slightly lower volumes because of MDI shortages.
Bedding sales fell by 7.1% to EUR 272 m. The segment further contracted in the fourth quarter of 2017 as a result of lower demand, influenced by TDI quality issues at BASF, the company said. Recticel added that it had focused on higher margin business and cost reduction during the course of 2017.
The company recorded a loss of EUR 7.8 m following the fire at its automotive facility in Most, Czech Republic. This includes additional expenses, losses on assets, impairment, reinsurance cost and insurance payments.
The company has spent, or plans to spend, a further EUR 3.7m to reorganise its flexible foams business.
Olivier Chapelle, CEO said: 'We are satisfied with our sales and profit growth in 2017. These were achieved under a combination of very challenging market conditions and exceptional events.'