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Fiberweb preliminary results 2007
Mar '08
Fiberweb plc, the international nonwoven fabrics producer, announces its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2007.

Operational Highlights:
- Turnaround programme continued throughout a challenging year, establishing sound foundations for progress in 2008
- Underlying gross margin and operating margin recovery in the second half driven by Industrial with Hygiene under pressure from raw materials
- Portfolio simplified – 2 hygiene business disposals, 1 industrial site closure
- Industrial growth maintained with revenue growth of 4.6% at constant currency. Industrial now accounts for 42% of Group revenue, up from 32% in 2005
- Trade working capital as a percentage of sales reduced by 1.0% to 17.9%
- Debt reduction of £33.1 million at constant currency from disposals and working capital reduction
- Impairments and write-downs of £95 million

Commenting on the results, Daniel Dayan, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“2007 was a challenging first year as a public company. We continued to pursue the turnaround programme outlined at demerger and have made progress in maintaining growth in our differentiated industrial businesses and simplifying the hygiene portfolio.

The significant inventory and margin management issues identified in April were a major disappointment. In response, we rapidly strengthened management and systems and saw some recovery during the second half.

We continued to invest in our most attractive businesses to improve competitiveness, to increase value for customers by tailoring products more precisely to their needs and to increase profitable capacity.

Despite the overall margin decline during the year, the restructuring and investment actions undertaken during 2007 have created a sound foundation for progress in 2008.

Following our statement of 21 January 2008 regarding a possible offer by Avgol, we are enabling a due diligence process. We will keep shareholders informed as to the progress of any possible offer for the Company.”

Fiberweb plc

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