Brussels, Belgium - Despite declines in sales, Recticel, a polyurethane foam specialist, has reported signs of stabilisation in its financial results for the first half of 2009 (H1).
The company's flexible foams business recorded sales down by 18.6 percent to Euro 278.1 million ($395.2 million) in H1, compared to H1 2008, due to the generally weak economic climate and "significant falls in volumes in Western Europe," the company said. Recticel did note, however, that in Central Europe volumes had started to stabilise from the second quarter of 2009.
Comfort foam sales declined 8 percent to Euro 190.5 million, compared to the same period last year, while technical foam sales were down by 37.8 percent to Euro 77.1 million due to "particular falling demand from the markets for industrial equipment and the automotive sector," Recticel said. Composite foam sales however stabilised, falling only 0.7 percent, compared to the same period last year, to Euro 10.5 million.
The company's bedding unit managed to improve sales by 0.8 percent to Euro 170.1 million, compared to H1 2008, despite weak consumer confidence. The rise, Recticel said, is attributable to higher volumes in the 'private label' and 'brand' segments.
Despite a decreasing demand in the market, insulation sales fell by only 0.8 percent, compared to H1 2008, with building insulation sales increasing 3.6 percent to Euro 71.9 million. Industrial insulation sales were down 19 percent to Euro 8 million.
Recticel's automotive sales fell by 48.5 percent to Euro 138.2 million in H1, compared to the same period last year, because of the global crisis in the automotive industry, the company said. Gradually, however, Recticel said it has recorded a "tentative improvement in market demand" month-by-month.
Proseat, a seating foam joint venture between Recticel and Canadian group Woodbridge, recorded sales down by 23 percent to Euro 67 million. (RD)