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The International Top 40



annual survey profiles the top nonwoven roll goods producers worldwide



Published August 17, 2005
Related Searches: Top 40 Buckeye nonwoven bba

The year 2000 was described by one roll goods manufacturer as “a tale of two cities,” meaning that the first half was excellent and the second half was difficult. This description was not surprising, considering the rapid downturn of the U.S. economy—after several years of unprecedented prosperity—beginning in Spring 2000. While the nonwovens industry has certainly fared better than its paper and textile relatives during these uncertain times, there is no question the economy, both in the U.S. and abroad, has negatively affected roll good sales around the world. Among the difficulties facing nearly every roll good manufacturer interviewed for this report are heightened competition in the hygiene segment, price pressures in industrial areas, increased raw materials prices and overcapacity in many nonwoven areas.

Despite these problems, many of this year’s Top Companies were able to report significant sales growth as well as the successful startup of new production lines and capacities.


Who’s Who Among The Leading Players
This year’s Top 40 includes 17 European companies, 15 North American manufacturers, six Japanese producers, one Brazilian company, one Taiwanese producer and one Middle Eastern firm. Making its debut this year is Canadian company Concert Industries at number 35. Also, making a return to the ranking is Precision Custom Coatings, Totowa, NJ, which stands at number 37 this year after taking a year’s hiatus due to economic problems.

Additionally, several old companies are appearing in this year’s report under new names. Most notably, the former Fort James is now known as Georgia-Pacific due to an acquisition earlier this year. In addition, Asahi Chemical is now known as Asahi Kasei; Synthetic Industries now goes by the name SI and Kang Na has changed its name to KNH Enterprises.

According to industry consultant John R. Starr, Naples, FL, in 2000 the roll goods portion of the industry totaled approximately $10.3 billion. The 41 manufacturers listed by Nonwovens Industry this year account for approximately 92% of the roll goods figure for 2000. Disposable applications accounted for 53% of the sales value while durables represented 47%.

As usual, some of the companies—notably DuPont, Kimberly-Clark, Colbond and Buckeye—do not provide sales figures for their nonwovens divisions and their sales figures are gleaned from industry sources and Nonwovens Industry estimates. When possible, sales were provided in the currency of the country in which the company is headquartered and sales figures were calculated at the 2000 average exchange rate as provided on www.oanda.com, an internet-based currency convertor. Because the rankings are done on the basis of U.S. dollars, some companies’ rankings could be affected by currency fluctuations.

Special thanks to Kin Ohmura, president of Osaka Chemical Marketing Center, for providing information on the six leading Japanese roll good producers.

TOP ROLL GOODS
MANUFACTURERS REPORT

Company (ranking last year) Worldwide Nonwovens Sales U.S. Nonwovens Sales
     
1. Freudenberg (1) $1.4 billion (Euro 1528 ) $311 million (338 million Euro)
2. DuPont (2) $1.18 billion $670 million
3. BBA (3) $850 million $574 million (N. and S. American)
4. PGI (4) $776 million $403 million
5. Kimberly-Clark (5) $743 million $674 million (N. American)
6. Johns Manville (6) $500 million  
7. Ahlstrom (7) $462 million  
8. Japan Vilene (8) $229 million  
9. Buckeye Technologies (9) $225 million  
10. Colbond bv (10) $223 million  
11. Asahi Kasei (12) $172 million (95% U.S.)
12. Western Nonwovens (13) $161 million  
13. Toyobo (18) $153 million  
14. Hollingsworth & Vose (16) $150 million  
15. Foss Manufacturing (15) $146 million $125 million
16. SI (17) $139 million $125 million
17. Georgia-Pacific (Ft. James) (19) $135 million $89 million
18. Lydall, Inc. (20) $131 million $119 million
19. BP Fabrics & Fibers (11) $130 million $92 million
20. IMP Group (13) $120 million  
21. Companhia Providência (30) $110 million  
     C.H. Sandler (22) $110 million  
23. Mitsui Chemicals (25) $99 million  
24. Libeltex (23) $97 million  
25. Unitika (26) $91 million  
26. J.W. Suominen Oy (24) $83 million  
27. Kuraray (27) $79 million  
28. Polyfelt (28) $75 million  
29. Tenotex (34) $66 million  
30. Textilgruppe Hof (29) $65 million  
31. Fibertex (31) $64 million  
32. Tex Tech (33) $61 million $40 million
33. Avgol (37) $60 million  
      Orlandi (38) $60 million  
35. Concert $59 million  
36. KNH (36) $55 million  
37. PCC $52 million  
38. Lantor/IPT Group (21) $46 million  
39. Pantex (31) $45 million  
40. Lohmann (40) $43 million  

Honorable Mention—Stearns (32)

$42 million