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9th November 2009, Lenzing

Lenzing at full capacity as upturn continues

 

The Lenzing Group’s business upturn in the second quarter has continued into the third quarter due to improving demand for cellulose fibres, the company said today. However, the global economic crisis made a significant negative impact on the company’s first quarter figures which has had a knock on effect on sales and results for the first nine months of 2009.

Consolidated sales in the first nine months of 2009 declined by 10% from EUR 1,012.1 million in the corresponding period of 2008, to EUR 912.3 million. The quarter-to-quarter comparison, however, shows almost unchanged sales figures (EUR 322.4 million in the third quarter 2009 compared to EUR 322.6 million in same period 2008), indicating that business stabilized in the second quarter of the year.

Nine-month EBIT came to EUR 51.7 million (2008: EUR 107.1 million). The quarter-to-quarter comparison actually shows a slight improvement of EBIT from EUR 35.0 million to EUR 36.3 million Likewise, period net income improved to EUR 24.6 mill. (2008: EUR 16.0 mill.).

Peter Untersperger, chairman of the management board, said:  “In the third quarter Lenzing made optimum use of the continuing stabilization of the global fibre market. We are running production at all sites at almost full capacity and the market has accepted first price increases. After the positive second quarter, our results have again improved in the third quarter. “

At the end of the third quarter of 2009 the Lenzing Group employed a staff of 5,881 (31 December 2008: 5,945). This decline is mainly due to capacity adjustments in the Plastics segment due to the general economic situation. During the same period Lenzing’s majority holding PT. South Pacific Viscose hired 70 people for operating the new production line 4.

By the end of the second quarter latest Lenzing was operating fibre production almost at full capacity at all sites. At the same time rising demand led to a significant reduction in stock and first price increases were accepted by the market. From the second quarter on, The company’s Textile Fibres business unit again managed to achieve very good sales results for standard fibres as well as for special fibres, such as Lenzing Modal, flame retardant Lenzing FR and Tencel. The production facilities for textile applications have been well utilized for many weeks now, the company said.

 The improvement of Lenzing’s Nonwoven Fibers business unit was characterized by a recent significant rise in the demand for cellulose nonwovens products at slightly rising fibre prices. Fear of a new influenza wave, for example, led to increased demand for hygienic wipes and medical face masks, Lenzing said.

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