Today Polymer Group, Inc. (PGI) reported third quarter and nine-month results. Sales for the quarter grew 3.1% to $256.2 million over the third quarter of 2006 and were $794.2 million, up 4.8%, for the first nine months compared to the prior year. At $39.7 million, gross profit for the quarter was up 12.9% compared to the third quarter of 2006. For the first nine months, gross profit was $130 million compared to $114.8 million the prior year, representing a 13.3% increase.
Sales increases during the quarter were primarily driven by the impact of higher comparable selling prices resulting from an improved mix of sales and price increases to mitigate the effect of higher raw material costs as well as foreign currency movement. During the quarter, the company completed its previously announced consolidation of two U.S. plants into other locations. As a result of the plant closures and the company’s decision to exit certain lines of business with unacceptable profit levels, volumes in those businesses were lower.
“PGI continued to produce year-over-year improvement in underlying performance,” stated Ronee Hagen, CEO. “Given the third quarter is seasonally the company’s weakest period, coupled with the impact of rising raw material costs during the quarter, I am pleased with our overall results and year-over-year growth.”