Stable sales in 2018
In the nonwovens and filtration business segment, sales amounted to €1.90 billion (2017: €1.91 billion). Although the Business Group achieved organic sales growth, sales expressed in euros were lower as a result of negative exchange rate effects. On the cost side, the profit margin in all divisions was affected by further rises in raw material and energy prices, particularly in the 2nd half of the year.
The carpet tiles business and the “Advanced Wound Care” segments were the only operations to record growth in all world regions. While the “Automotive” segment grew in Asia, business tailed off in the USA and Europe after a good start to the year.
There was growth in the apparel market in Turkey, China, India and South East Asia, but the market still faltered in Western Europe and the USA.
There was business growth in shoe components and special applications such as Evolon, energy cables and adsorption products.
Business for Japan Vilene Company in its important Japanese market was mixed. Developments in the Air Filters Materials and Electrical Materials business remained positive, while the situation in Medical Materials continued to be difficult.