Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment delivered a strong performance in the first quarter of this year.
The Segment increased its first-quarter sales by 4.5% over the same quarter of last year to CHF 254 million, which was contributed mainly by the filament equipment and polymerization businesses and supported by sales at low double-digit millions for nonwoven systems. Sales growth was mainly led by business wins in China and the rest of Asia.
A high level of orders were sustained across all product lines, specifically in filament and texturing, while growth was registered for staple fiber systems compared to the previous year. Compared to the year before, the total order intake declined by 20.6% to CHF 296 million, due to the exceptionally high level of orders secured in the first quarter of 2018. However, the order intake amount was the second highest since the fourth quarter of 2011, which provided a strong basis for sustaining a high level of sales in the following quarters.
Supported by the steady high level of sales and disciplined cost management, the Segment’s EBITDA grew by 25.9% to CHF 34 million, which is also reflected in the higher EBITDA margin of 13.2%. EBIT rose to CHF 27 million from CHF 22 million in the year before, and the EBIT margin improved to 10.7% from 8.9%.
To strengthen its position in the nonwovens market, the Segment has launched the Oerlikon Nonwoven brand. The brand was introduced at the IDEA exhibition in Florida (U.S.), and the Segment kicked off its participation in the show with the signing of a contract with a renowned European company specializing in the manufacturing of nonwovens for filtration.