The consolidated earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 23.9 per cent to €397.1 million, corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 23 percent, up from 20.3 per cent in the prior-year period.
In September 2017, the company opened a new application innovation centre in Hong Kong, thus setting a further milestone in strengthening its innovation offering to all partners along the value chain. New applications for Lenzing fibres will be developed and tested at the new facility, among them applications for recent innovations such as the TENCELTM Luxe branded lyocell filament, the RefibraTM branded lyocell fibre and the EcoVeroTM branded viscose fibre.
"In the first three quarters of 2017, we successfully captured value in a very positive market environment and we continue to implement the sCore TEN strategy with great discipline. The opening of our new application innovation centre in Hong Kong is an important step to boost our regional innovation capabilities. We were particularly proud to launch TENCELTM Luxe as a sign of Lenzing’s ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability," said Stefan Doboczky, chief executive officer of the Lenzing Group. "After three excellent quarters we are confident to deliver substantially better operating results in 2017 compared to 2016, but at the same time we do expect more headwinds in 2018."
The group aims to increase the share of specialty fibres as a percentage of revenue to 50 per cent by 2020. Following the capacity expansion initiatives in Heiligenkreuz (Austria) and Mobile, Alabama (USA) which are both underway, Lenzing announced its intention to construct the next plant to produce TENCEL fibres in Thailand.
For 2018, overall market demand is expected to remain high. However, the group expects a substantial increase on the supply side, especially for viscose but also for cotton. Price trends for selected key raw materials, especially caustic soda, are difficult to predict. Against this background Lenzing expects a much more challenging market environment for standard viscose during the upcoming quarters. (RR)
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