Brussels - Belgian polyurethane group Recticel achieved sales in 2011 of Euro 1378.1 million (+2.2 percent), driven by growth in its insulation division (+19.0 percent). The company achieved earnings (REBITDA -- EBITDA before non-recurring elements) of Euro 88.6 million (-14.8 percent), which the group said was mainly impacted by "raw material price evolutions."
Recticel said after a strong first quarter in 2011 (+7.4%), the slower growth seen in 2Q/2011 (+1.3 percent) and 3Q/2011 (+1.3 percent) was confirmed in 4Q/2011 (-1.2 percent). The business saw overall softer demand in most markets, and said this was amplified by "year-end inventory reductions in the supply chain."
The insulation business is solely responsible for the global sales increase, the company said.
Sales breakdown for the year by segment, in million Euros was: Flexible Foams 596.2 (-1.1%); Bedding 292.2 (-0.4%); Insulation 223.1 (19%); and Automotive 324.8 (0%).
Recticel said raw material prices stabilised in Q3 2011, and then fell in Q4, having reached record levels in June 2011,
Over the full year, overall raw materials costs increased by Euro 36.5 million.
According to the group, the drop in REBITDA is "primarily explained by the unavoidable lead time that has been necessary to pass the increases on to customer. Also the 2010 REBITDA included a one-off compensation amount received in the Interiors' US subsidiaries after the exit from Chapter 11.
* See more detail in the next issue of Urethanes Technology International (April/May).