In 2017, the Lenzing Group reports its best financial performance ever with record revenue and earnings due to a better product mix and higher selling prices in combination with a generally favorable market environment.
Group revenue grew by 5.9% in the 2017 financial year to 2.26 billion euro. Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved 17.3% to 502.5 million euro. The corresponding EBITDA margin rose to 22.2% from 20.1% in 2016. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased by 25.2% to 371 million euro, resulting in a higher EBIT margin of 16.4%. Net profits for the year totaled 281.7 million euro, a rise of 23% from the prior-year figure of 229.1 million euro. Earnings per share in the 2017 financial year amounted to 10.47 euro, as compared with 8.48 euro in 2016.
“The Lenzing Group looks back at a very successful year 2017. We continued to implement our corporate strategy sCore TEN with great discipline and focus on our investment projects, and successfully captured value in a positive market environment. Our commitment to innovation and customer centricity was underpinned by the opening of an application innovation center in Hong Kong and the creation of the new sales and marketing office in Turkey. In line with sCore TEN, we decided to revamp our brand architecture and image to sharpen Lenzing’s corporate and product profiles for customers and consumers. We want to put a stronger emphasis on our ambition to make the textile and nonwoven market more sustainable”, says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group. “We are very positive about our chosen strategy as it will help us to be more resilient as we expect more headwinds in the upcoming quarters”, he adds.
The group’s capital expenditures more than doubled in 2017 to 238.8 million euro from 107.2 million euro in light of capacity expansions. The increase in working capital, primarily due to the discontinuation of the factoring program, resulted in an operating cash flow in 2017 of 271.1 million euro, down from 473.4 million euro in 2016.
The Lenzing Group aims to increase the share of specialty fibers as a percentage of revenue to 50% by 2020. Next to the capacity expansion in Heiligenkreuz (Austria), to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, and the new plant in Mobile, Alabama (the U.S.), with a start-up in 2019, Lenzing announced its intention to construct the next world-scale plant to produce Lenzing branded lyocell fibers in Thailand.
Lenzing is sharpening its corporate and product portfolio profile for customers and partners as well as consumers as a sustainable innovation leader. Consequently, Lenzing decided in 2017 on a new brand strategy, the backbone of which is a brand architecture focused on fewer brands and a strong message to consumers.