Accrington, UK-Vita Technical Foams, part of the British Vita Group, is raising prices to customers by 8 percent from 1 June 2007. The foam-producing group said in an 11 May announcement that this follows price rises for PU raw materials totalling around 60 percent in the past three years.
Prices rises in raw materials used in the production of polyurethane foam have been "particularly significant" over the last 12 months, the VTF statement said. Since these prices account for "a considerable proportion of total manufacturing costs, this has only served to compound the issue for the industry," Vita added.
VTF pointed out that, despite successful moves to increase internal productivity, it has not been to offset the impact of the individual cost hikes, some of which exceed 15 percent. The company said its margins have been squeezed and return on investment has fallen to "unsustainable levels."
"Nobody wants to put increases through to customers, but we really have no choice in light of the raw material price and cost escalations that we have had to absorb ourselves," said Steve Taylor, VTF's managing director, in the company statement.
VTF consists of 17 units, including Caligen Foam facilities in the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa and Australia, three Kay-Metzeler units in the UK, and Metzeler Schaum in Germany and four Tramico units in France, as well as one in Slovakia. The business also has Vitec in the UK, Pullflex in France, Koepp Schaum in Germany, and SA Isofel in Spain. "