Brussels - Polyurethane foam group Recticel said 9 Nov that its total sales in the third quarter of this year rose from Euro 313.4 million to Euro 332.2 million (a rise of 6.0 percent), compared to Q3 2009.
For the first three quarters of 2010, the foamer's total sales rose from Euro 946.0 million to Euro 1000 million, also a 6.0 percent rise over the same period of 2009, the group added.
On a like-for-like basis, accounting for selling its 50 percent stake in bedding company Cofel, Recticel's sales increased by 9.2 percent.
"Trading conditions have improved in all business lines, especially ininsulation and bedding, and in all markets, with the exception ofSpain," during the quarter, Recticel commented.
But it also noted, as it had in its previous trading report, that "the polyurethane market has again been subject to further raw material price increases, which are now in the process to be passed on in the selling prices."
In its insulation business, Recticel emphasised a strong increase in turnover, which rose 18 percent in Q3/2010 and 13.3 percent in the year up to September 2010.
Looking at trends, Recticel said sales in flexible foams increased by 6.2 percent as a result of higher volumes, mainly attributable to the 'Technical foams' division. The comfort division stabilised its global sales level in a very competitive market, while technical foams benefited from a much higher demand from industrial and automotive markets.
Composite foams improved on the back of higher volumes and better world market prices for trim foam, while demand for bonded foam also started to improve.
Bedding sales decreased by 9.2 percent following the Cofel divestment. On a comparable basis, and despite difficult market conditions, sales increased by 6.6 percent. Higher sales were recorded in most markets. Sales in Germany, the Group's largest market, improved in the third quarter after a relatively slow first half-year.
Sales in its automotive business increased by 15.2 percent, mainly from higher sales in the group's Interior Solutions (a rise of 31.3 percent), which supplies high-quality spray skins for instrument panels and doors. Recticel noted that the premium car market "remained strong, and was pulled by the demand in emerging economies such as China."
Sales in its Proseat JV with Woodbridge seating unit, which focuses more on the low-to-mid segment of the car market, increased by only 3.2 percent. Recticel sees this as a result of the progressive reduction of various government incentive schemes.
Recticel said it expects 2010's operational results to be in line with those of 2009, with a further reduction of its net financial debt.