Nonwovens producer Polymer Group reported net sales were $295.2 million compared to $291.9 million during the first quarter. The increase reflected higher volumes in the U.S. hygiene market as well as a better performance in Latin America and Asia due to demand from both healthcare and hygiene customers. Profit was $53.2 million compared to $48.1 million. Other highlights of the quarter included increased sales of consumer disposable applications in the Americas and improved wipes and industrial related sales in Europe. The company’s carded operations in the U.S. and Europe yielded improved operational efficiencies offset somewhat by the additional lease expense associations with a new U.S. spunmelt line.
“While the underlying fundamentals of our business remain strong throughout the world, we face an increasingly competitive environment due to excess industry capacity and continued volatility in raw material costs,” says CEO Veronica Hagen. “The growth investments we ramped up in the past year and the manufacturing efficiencies we have implemented are yielding sequential improvement in sales and profitability. To carry this momentum even further and realize the full potential of our unique, diverse business model and global scale we possess, we are boldly moving the company to new levels of competency, readiness and capabilities with a new internal operating framework."