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The International Top 40



annual survey profiles the top nonwoven roll goods producers worldwide



Published August 17, 2005
Related Searches: Wipes Top 40 Ahlstrom Textilgruppe Hof
The International Top 40
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$9,544,000,000
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he above value represents the total estimated sales of the 40 companies that comprise this year’s Top Companies report. Representing more than $9.5 billion of worldwide roll goods sales, these companies are responsible for more than 90% of total nonwovens output around the globe. This means several things. For one, the overwhelming majority of the nonwovens industry is controlled by these 40 companies, meaning that there is currently little production generated by the smaller players in the industry. This situation can probably be attributed to the severe pricing pressures and competition problems plaguing the industry today.
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rn The negative factors affecting the world economy, as well as the nonwovens industry, were a common theme among this year’s top companies, but executives at these firms remain optimistic that the nonwovens industry will reclaim the glory it achieved in the past. Most of these companies cited new product development, innovation and customer service as part of their strategy for future growth. Additionally, globalization, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and capital investment continued to be prime areas of interest for nonwovens producers.
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rn In fact, the amount of newsworthy items included in this year’s Top Companies report was somewhat surprising. The many companies investing capital within their businesses, whether it be new production machinery, new plants or the acquisition of smaller companies, considerably outweighed more negative factors such as plant closings and financial troubles. It looks like the nonwovens industry really is somewhat impervious to recession.
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rn Who’s Who Among The Leading Players
rn This year’s Top Companies report includes 16 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 Jacob Holm Industries, at number 35. A producer of spunlaced and needlepunched nonwovens, primarily for wipes applications, Jacob Holm reported sales of $60 million last year. The company is reportedly focusing on composite structures and other innovative products to penetrate new markets. Its strong commitment to expanding the role of nonwovens into a variety of markets makes Jacob Holm a welcome addition to our survey.
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rn In addition to new companies, this year also saw the exit of two Top Companies regulars. North American companies Tex Tech Industries, Portland, ME, and Stearns Technical Textiles, Cincinnati, OH, were not included in this year’s survey due to structural changes currently underway at both companies. Tex Tech declined inclusion in this year’s report citing management and restructuring changes, but the company hopes to return next year stronger than ever. Plagued by financial problems, Stearns Technical Textiles, which received an honorable mention last year with sales of $42 million, is currently involved in bankruptcy protection. We hope to see this company in our report again in the future.
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rn Other changes to this year’s survey include a new name for Finnish company, J.W. Suominen Oy. The company changed its name to Suominen Nonwovens last year. Also, Belgian nonwovens producer Libeltex has chosen to be designated under its parent company’s name, Vita Nonwovens, a division of British Vita LLC.
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rn Nonwovens Industry’s annual Top Companies report is compiled by our editorial staff and is the result of personal interviews with top executives at the companies profiled. As usual, many of the companies listed in the survey do not provide sales figures, and their sales figures are culled from industry sources as well as Nonwovens Industry estimates. When possible, sales were provided in the currency of the country in which the company is headquartered and converted to U.S. dollars using the average 2001 exchange rates provided by www.oanda.com. 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 Japanese roll goods producers included in this year’s report.
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TOP ROLL GOODS MANUFACTURERS LISTING
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Alphabetical Listingcompany
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 Company
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rn Worldwide Nonwovens Sales
Ahlstrom61.Freudenberg (1) $1.4 billion
Asahi Kasei 122.DuPont (2) $1.2 billion
Avgol29
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3.Kimberly-Clark (5) $850 million
BBA44.BBA (3) $750 million
BP Fabrics & Fibers 235.PGI Nonwovens (4) $734 million
Buckeye 8
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6.Ahlstrom (7) $596 million
Colbond 97.Johns Manville (6) $500 million
Companhia Providencia 388.Buckeye Technologies (9) $225 million
Concert Industries309.Colbond bv (10) $223 million
DuPont 210.Japan Vilene (8) $194 million
Fibertex 2711.IMP Group (13) $189 million
Foss Manufacturing1512.Asahi Kasei (12) $167 million
Freudenberg113.Hollingsworth & Vose (14) $150 million
Georgia-Pacific 1814.Western Nonwovens (12) $150 million
Hollingsworth & Vose1315.Foss Manufacturing (15) $146 million
Jacob Holm 3516.Toyobo (13) $141 million
IMP Group1117.SI (16) $139 million
Japan Vilene 1018.Georgia-Pacific (17) $135 million
Johns Manville 719.Lydall, Inc. (18) $120 million
Kimberly-Clark320.Sandler AG (21) $112 million
KNH 3721.Mitsui Chemicals (23) $101 million
Kuraray3022.Vita Nonwovens (formerly Libeltex) (24) $100 million
Lantor 4023.BP Fabrics & Fibers (19) $92 million
Lohmann 24
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24.Lohmann (40) $89 million
Lydall 1925.Polyfelt (28) $86 million
Mitsui Chemicals 2126.Unitika (25) $84 million
Orlandi3227.Fibertex (31) $78 million
Pantex 3928.Suominen Nonwovens (26) $76 million
PGI529.Avgol (33) $75 million
Precision Custom Coatings 3630.Concert Industries (35)
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$70 million
Polyfelt2531.Kuraray (27) $70 million
Sandler AG2032.Orlandi (33) $68 million
SI 1733.Textilgruppe Hof (30) $67 million
Suominen Nonwovens 2834.Tenotex (29) $61 million
Tenotex 3435.Jacob Holm Industries (*) $60 million
Textilgruppe Hof 3336.PCC (37) $57 million
Toyobo1637.KNH (36) $55 million
Unitika 2638.Companhia Providência (21) $46 million
Vita Nonwovens 2239.Pantex (40) $45 million
Western Nonwovens 1340.Lantor (39) $43 million
   (*) first appearance in top company report
   (**) somes sales figures are estimated
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