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Fiberweb: financial results for 2010 very encouraging

03
Mar '11
Fiberweb announces annual results in 2010.

Highlights:
• 10% like-for-like sales growth on a constant currency basis.
• Continued improvement in underlying operating margin: FY10 6.3% (FY09: 5.1%; FY08: 3.7%).
• 25.5% increase in underlying operating profit to £29.0 million (2009: £23.1 million).
• 11.3% increase in adjusted earnings per share to 10.8p (2009: 9.7p).
• Final dividend maintained at 2.5p, making a full year payment of 4.2p.
• Refinancing of c. £210m successfully completed.

Commenting on the results, Malcolm Coster, Chairman, said:
“Fiberweb delivered another much improved set of financial and operational results in 2010. 10% like-for-like sales growth demonstrates that our focus on product innovation and sales and marketing is delivering for customers, while the 26% increase in underlying operating profit demonstrates that the continuing heavy investment in competitive manufacturing capacity is producing attractive returns. The recent acquisition of Boddingtons is a further demonstration of Fiberweb implementing a strategy of optimising its business portfolio, seeking opportunities to grow in market areas where differentiation is sustainable and strengthening its management resources and technical capabilities. The Board is looking forward to further progress.”

Daniel Dayan, Chief Executive Officer, added:
“We are pleased to deliver a seventh consecutive half-year of improved profitability and return on capital and would highlight that we have returned to growth, in the face of continuing challenges from raw material cost increases and market weakness in several areas. The investments we are making now in operational improvement, in differentiated manufacturing capacity and in developing Fiberweb people will strengthen the secure foundations we have laid to support future top-line and bottom-line growth. We will look at every opportunity to improve our return on capital further and to improve our product and service proposition to customers.”

During 2010 Fiberweb saw a continuation of sustained performance improvement in many areas. Financially, steady progress was delivered in sales and profitability, with strong returns to shareholders during the year.

Major investments in infrastructure in the USA, in product development and in productive assets were successfully undertaken during the year in several sites in Europe and at our major industrial site at Old Hickory in the USA. Fiberweb's portfolio was strengthened by the acquisition of Boddingtons announced in December, creating a stronger platform for the Group in the geosynthetics market.

From a management perspective, further streamlining and strengthening was accomplished, with costs further reduced and responsiveness improved, well-aligned with the evolving needs of our customers. Additionally, important initiatives in the areas of management development, lean manufacturing and total quality management were developed and launched during the course of the year, demonstrating our ability to continue to invest in Fiberweb's human and infrastructure resources.


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