Brussels - Recticel, a Belgium-based polyurethane foamer, has seen sales drop by 3.5 percent to Euro 1 555 million ($1 949 million) in 2008, the company reported in its annual financial results. The company has seen sales drop in all but one of its businesses, with its insulation unit reporting a 12 percent increase in sales.
In terms of sales breakdown by business unit, the company's Flexible Foams unit's sales were down 3 percent to Euro 646 million, Bedding was down 11.8 percent to 349 million, Insulation was up 12 percent to Euro 156 million, and Automotive was down 3.3 percent to Euro 474 million in 2008.
The company said that "the abrupt slowdown in the economy in general and in the automotive sector in particular depressed the results of the final months" of 2008, in comparison to a more positive first half of 2008.
In February 2008, Recticel concluded a club deal transaction with 10 major European banks for a new 5-year, maturing in 2013, multi-currency loan of Euro 230 million. "This loan was concluded at more favourable conditions than the previous syndicated loan of 2004 and in the meantime has been used to repay in full the amounts still outstanding under the previous loan," the company said. This new loan will also refinance the Euro 50 million subordinated loan at 10 percent, which expires in July 2009.
Recticel has also announced the intention of reorganising a number of production sites. These reorganisations, in Spain, France, the UK and Germany, could affect a total of about 375 jobs, the company said. (RD)