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Demand remains weak in some divisions at Sioen
15
May '09
In the first quarter of 2009 Sioen Industries posted consolidated sales of EUR 67.3 million, compared with EUR 99.8 million in Q1 2008. With the worldwide recession, demand remains weak in certain divisions, which directly impacts our figures.

COATING DIVISION
The coating division is the largest division in the group and is also fully vertically integrated. This starts with the extrusion of technical yarns, which are woven into technical fabric and then coated with various polymers. It is these coated fabrics that our customers process into tents, tarpaulins, swimming pool covers, protective clothing, mattress covers, etc.

This division achieved in Q1 2009 external sales of EUR 27.3 million as against EUR 44.7 million in Q1 2008.

Transportation, construction and publicity are the sectors which have been hardest hit by the recession, with sales down up to 35% compared with 2008. All other product lines (including textile architecture, camping, transfer coating) are managing to keep their sales at acceptable levels.

APPAREL DIVISION
The Apparel division is an innovative producer of high-quality technical protective clothing. Sioen operates in sectors where attention to safety and comfort are of central importance. This includes firefighting clothing, chainsaw protection, flotation suits, bullet-resistant clothing, chemical protection suits, operating theatre clothing and technical industrial protective clothing such as rainwear, high-visibility clothing, flame-retardant and anti-static clothing and protective clothing against electric arcs and chemicals.

Those production lines which concentrate on industrial protective clothing had a slightly weaker first quarter (external sales of EUR 17.8 million in 2009 compared with EUR 19.7 million in 2008). The more specialized product lines (firefighting, army, bullet-proof vests, etc.), where the technical specifications are extremely important, continued to perform well.

CHEMICALS DIVISION
The Chemicals division produces pigment pastes, inks, varnishes and dispersions. This division posted external sales of EUR 8.2 million in Q1 2009 compared with EUR 13.1 million in Q1 2008. The downturn in industrial activities was also felt in this division.

Almost every market in which this division operates is confronted to a greater or lesser extent with the current economic recession.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS
The Industrial Applications division processes technical textiles and PVC film into heavy-duty applications.

The transport-related activities fell back sharply. In this division this impacted the production of truck tarpaulins and curtains and the cutting of airbags and car interior parts. Production of pond foils, filters, filter cloth and kadors remained more or less stable. This division posted external sales of EUR 14.0 million in Q1 2009 as against EUR 22.3 million in Q1 2008.

Sioen Industries is a leading world producer of coated technical textiles, a market leader in industrial protective clothing, a niche specialist in fine chemicals and a major world player in processing technical textiles into semi-finished products and technical end products.

Sioen Industries n.v.

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