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Fiberweb to introduce new products in Hygiene & Industrial segments
19
May '08
Fiberweb's Annual General Meeting will take place at 11.30 a.m. at the offices of Baker & McKenzie LLP, 100 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6JA.

At the AGM, Malcolm Coster, Chairman, will make the following comments, which constitute the Company's first Interim Management Statement, covering the period from 1 January 2008 to 2 May 2008, as required by the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.

Trading:
The start of trading in 2008 has been steady with the margin benefits of actions taken in 2007 coming through. Sales are flat compared to prior year at constant currency.

Underlying(1) gross margins are in line with the improvement seen in the second half of 2007 and underlying(1) operating profit is in line with our expectations.

Brazilian Divestment:
Earlier this week, the divestment of Bidim, our Brazilian subsidiary, was announced, for £16.6 million in cash, subject to shareholder approval.

The sale of Bidim is part of Fiberweb's ongoing programme of business simplification and debt reduction.

Outlook:
Following the termination of recent discussions with Avgol, the Company intends to address a number of cost reduction opportunities identified during the due diligence process.

We expect to achieve these savings from 2009 onwards, with one-off implementation costs to be incurred in 2008 and 2009.

Trading prospects for the remainder of 2008 remain in line with our expectations. Two new airlaid lines, in China and in Italy, are expected to make a first-time contribution in the second half.

Hygiene spunbond volumes in North America are expected to grow and in Industrial, margin growth is expected from continued improvements in mix and cost base.

New product introductions are progressing as planned in both Hygiene and Industrial segments.

Fiberweb plc

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