Brussels - Belgian foamer Recticel has seen a sharp rise in sales of insulation (+15.7 percent) and in sales for its automotive seating and spray skins business (+7.2 percent) in the first nine months of 2008, compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, sales were stable in its flexible foams (+1.0 percent) and bedding businesses (+0.3 percent), Recticel added.
Rectice's trading update said total sales rose 3.8 percent compared to first nine months of 2007.
For the third quarter (Q3), however, sales rose only in insulation, with all other units seeing falling results "as a result of less favourable macroeconomic market conditions," the group commented.
Also, Recticel said "unforeseen start-up difficulties in the new Indepol plant in Spain (automotive)," coupled with its inability to pass on "a number of price rises of chemical raw materials in the sales prices in time," during Q3, contributed to the lower figures.
Recticel noted that is also currently in the process of selling its polyurethane compounding business for car window encapsulation to BASF SE.
In terms of future prospects, Recticel said the economic slowdown, which has strongly affected the automotive sector, has already affected Q3's figures, but, "Its precise impact at year-end on the different business lines of the Group is currently difficult to assess."
Recticel is reacting "by postponing planned investments where appropriate, adopting a critical approach once more to cost structures and managing working capital as efficiently as possible."