Nonwovens Turnaround For British Vita
British Vita Reported that 2004 sales increased 2% to £959 million while profit was £49 million, down 3% on challenging raw material prices. The company's nonwovens division, including facility in the U.K., Europe and the U.S., enjoyed progressive recovery in 2004 following a difficult 2003. Operating profit rose to £1.5 million following a £1.1 million loss last year. Sales fell 1% to £92.9 million. Losses in the U.S. were reduced significantly during the year, in line with a recovery plan announced early in 2004. Net sales grew 17% and additional capacity will allow further growth in 2005 and 2006. Operating conditions in the U.K. remained difficult particularly in the fiberfill markets despite delivery of further production efficiencies and cost rationalization. By contrast the medical products business continues to be successful.