The Lenzing Group has reported what it says is the most successful first half-year in the company’s history. Following a very good first quarter 2011, sales and earnings could be significantly surpassed again in the second quarter of 2011. Thus Lenzing has set its guidance for the entire year 2011 at the upper end of the initial guidance announced in the first quarter, thus forecasting an EBITDA of €470 million to €500 million and consolidated sales between€2.1 billion and €2.2 billion
In the first half of 2011, consolidated sales rose by 31.0%, from EUR 821.4 mill. to EUR 1,076.2 mill. The reasons underlying the revenue increase were mainly considerably higher fiber prices compared to the prior-year level, as well as the higher fiber shipment volumes and the consolidation effects from the acquisition of the Biocel Paskov pulp plant.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the first six months of 2011 rose by 65.1% to the new record level of EUR 247.8 mill. This resulted in an all-time high EBITDA margin of 23.0% (H1 2010: 18.3%). Operating profit (EBIT) was almost doubled, rising by 84.5% to EUR 199.2 mill. (compared to the already excellent EBIT of EUR 108.0 mill. achieved in the first half of 2010). This corresponds to an EBIT margin of 18.5% (H1 2010: 13.1%).
The second quarter of 2011 featured consolidated sales of€544.1 million and an EBITDA of€132.9 million (margin of 24.4%), an outstanding performance which comprises the best quarterly results in the company’s history. The EBIT of€108.5 mill. (margin of 19.9%) also represents a new all-time high for Lenzing.
“Our global growth strategy together with our intensified specialization in high value fibers such as Lenzing Modal and Tencel, for which we have a unique position on the market, has really paid off." says Lenzing CEO Peter Untersperger, commenting on the group’s business development. In any case, the long-term positive development in the form of excess demand for cellulose fibers (“cellulose gap“) will continue and will not be seriously impeded by the latest decline in cotton prices to a realistic price level again, Untersperger adds.
In the core business segment of the Lenzing Group, Segment Fibers, Lenzing was able to carry out several selling price increases in the first half-year, most recently for its specialty fibers, against the backdrop of the full utilization of its production capacities. These price hikes more than compensated for the expected price consolidation for standard viscose fibers for the Asian textile industry which took place in the second quarter. Thus Lenzing’s average fiber prices for textile applications in the second quarter of 2011 were higher than in the first quarter. Volume demand for textile fibers remained strong throughout the entire half-year.