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Fiberweb makes steady progress in volatile markets
Aug '10
Fiberweb plc, the leading international nonwoven fabrics producer, announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2010.


• Sixth consecutive half-year of growth in underlying operating profit and margin, with ROCE up 100 bps to 8.2%
• Steady performance improvement with gradual recovery in some key markets
• Trading volumes 7% ahead of the equivalent period last year on a like-for-like basis: Industrial volumes up 9% and like-for-like Hygiene volumes up 4%
• Revenues of £231.7 million, 9% ahead like-for-like at constant currency, down 5% as reported (H1 2009: £242.5 million)
• Underlying operating margin of 5.9% up 10 bps on H2 2009, despite £4.7 million adverse net raw material impact; 150bps ahead of H1 2009
• Underlying operating profit increase of 27% to £13.6 million (H1 2009: £10.7 million); ahead by one-third at constant currency
• Cashflow from operations of £25.2 million (H1 2009: £34.0 million), including reduction of working capital of £6.0 million; working capital as a percentage of annualised sales reduced to 12.8% (H1 2009: 14.8%)
• Net debt of £141.8 million increased by £5.2 million from year end (31 December 2009: £136.6 million), after H1-weighted capital expenditure of £22.2 million
• Adjusted earnings per share up 44% at 5.6p (H1 2009: 3.9p), giving dividend cover of 3.3x for the maintained 1.7p interim dividend

Commenting on the results, Malcolm Coster, Chairman of Fiberweb plc, said:“These positive first-half results demonstrate Fiberweb's ability to deliver continued, steady progress in volatile product and raw material markets. The balanced business portfolio, competitive asset base and exciting pipeline of new and improved products created in recent years are delivering consistent performance improvement. We look forward to further operational progress.”

Daniel Dayan, Chief Executive of Fiberweb plc, added:“Volume gains in both hygiene and industrial businesses and a sixth successive half-year of steady improvement in underlying operating profit and margin mark a strong set of interim results for Fiberweb. Our industrial businesses are now beginning to earn a reasonable return on sales and on capital, despite markets that remain under pressure.

“While our hygiene businesses have been impacted by rising raw material prices, the improvement in their competitive position in this challenging environment has been demonstrated. The investments in people, skills and assets made in recent years are delivering this success and we intend to continue following the same focused strategy.”

Fiberweb plc

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