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PGI reports marginal fall in Q1 sales
May '13
Polymer Group, Inc. reported results of operations for the first quarter ended March 30, 2013.

First Quarter 2013 Highlights:

- Overall Results Consistent with Expectations

Business fundamentals demonstrate incremental improvement

Raw material cost volatility and competitive pricing environment created expected headwind

New growth initiatives support focus on global economic leadership and cost optimization

- Revenue Up Sequentially on Strength of Europe and Asia

Net sales for the first quarter of 2013 were $287.1 million compared with $295.2 million for the first quarter of 2012 and $273.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Net sales in Europe grew 3.4% compared with the prior year as underlying demand stabilized in industrial markets along with increased demand for wipes.  Net sales in Asia increased 4.2% compared with the prior year primarily driven by the healthcare market.  Lower volumes and reduced selling prices in the Americas, particularly in Latin America, reduced segment net sales by 7.8%.

Total sales volumes decreased 1.6% compared with the prior year and increased 1.2% over the fourth quarter of 2012 driven by demand in the industrial and wipes markets.  

- Profitability Reflects Raw Material Volatility in Americas and Benefit of Cost Improvement Initiatives

Gross profit was $45.9 million during the first quarter of 2013 compared with $53.2 million in the prior year, primarily driven by lower net selling prices, higher cost of raw materials and lower volumes, partially offset by reduced labor costs reflecting the positive benefits of 2012 plant consolidation activity.  Gross profit was $45.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

PGI's chief executive officer, Veronica (Ronee) M. Hagen, stated, "Consistent with our outlook for the first half of the year, we are experiencing incremental gains in the fundamentals of our business. 

"The raw material cost volatility and a competitive pricing environment provided headwinds, as expected.  However, we are gaining momentum with our new investment underway in Asia, extension of our economic leadership in all markets and execution of global cost optimization, all of which are now supported by new growth initiatives in each segment."

Polymer Group

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