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Polymer Group announces results of operations for Q1

11
May '07
Polymer Group Inc announced results of operations for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2007 were $267.0 million compared to $260.4 million in the first quarter of 2006. Sales growth was driven primarily by improved volumes in the nonwovens businesses offset somewhat by lower sales prices reflecting the impact of changes in relative raw material costs compared to the prior year.

Volume increased significantly in Asia as the company's new spunmelt line was ramping up during the quarter and as the U.S. and Latin American regions benefited from full run rate volumes from the previously installed spunbond lines.

Additionally, the nonwovens base business improved over the prior year period, with gains in the cable and wipes markets in the European region driving a 5.4% increase in sales volumes for the region. Industrial market volumes were higher in the U.S. as new products ramped up during the quarter.

Offsetting the volume gains in the nonwovens segment were lower volumes in the oriented polymers segment, primarily as a result of the continued lower levels of lumberwrap sales first experienced during 2006.

Sales were also positively impacted during the quarter by currency translation improvements as a result of a weaker US dollar.

Gross profit was $46.0 million for the first quarter, representing a gross profit margin of 17.2%, compared to $41.4 million and 15.7%, respectively, for the previous quarter and $43.2 million and 16.6%, respectively, for the same period in 2006.


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