Location: GATINEAU, QUEBEC, CANADA
Sales: $212 million
Description: Key Personnel
Corporate: Pierre McNeil, president and chief executive officer; Rolf Hövelmann, executive senior vice president and COO; Don Habbick, chief financial officer ;Barry Downing, vice president.
European Operations: Rolf Hövelmann, managing director of Concert Europe GmbH and AAT Systems GmbH; Jorg Schlautmann, managing director, sales, R&D and quality; Torsten Gartner, managing director, manufacturing & business systems.
Canadian Operations: Barry Downing, vice president and general manager; Ken Squires, vice president director of sales; Alain Mercier, vice president director of operations
Airlaid capability for thermal, latex, multi- and hydrogen-bonded. Festooner capacity for finishing and packaging.
Feminine hygiene, home care, food pads and premium wipes
Airlaid capability for thermal, latex, multi and hydrogen-bonded. Festooner capacity for finishing and packaging
Feminine hygiene, premium wipes, food pads, home care, table top, adult incontinence and cosmetic towels.
Sales continue to rise for Gatineau, Quebec-based Concert Industries—a company that five years ago was in such dire straits it was forced to seek protection under the Canadian version of Chapter 11. That was before the company was purchased by Tricap Partners, a restructuring fund under the management of Brookfield Asset Management, which has put the company through a successful turnaround program. This program included the closure of certain assets as well as the exit of unprofitable businesses.
“Our sales have increased significantly during the past two years and are now in excess of CDN $225 million,” said CEO Pierre McNeil. “The productivity of both of our plants has grown significantly at the same time as we have brought several new products forward at both plants to meet our customers increasing demands.”
While Concert has room for growth in Gatineau, its operation in Falkenhagen, Germany has been operating at a sold-out status and Concert has responded to this growth by increasing output of its two side-by-side lines in Gatineau, Quebec and starting a large-scale investment at its German operations.. “Global demand for airlaid continues to grow each year,” Mr. McNeil said. “Currently, the supply situation is tighter in Europe than in North America, which is why the company chose Europe for its next expansion.”
Representing a €60 million investment, the European expansion will be the site’s third airlaid line. The expansion will increase Concert’s overall annual production capacity by 30% when it comes onstream in September 2009 and will add about 100 jobs to the facility, which is Concert's largest airlaid site.
The expansion will help the company meet existing and future growing demand of customers in Europe and Asia, and will also enable it to better serve its customers in North America from its production facility in Gatineau, Quebec.
“Our German plant has done an exceptional job at adding capacity through productivity improvements year over year. However, demand in the region and adjacent regions has increased at such a rapid pace that it was forecast that we would not be able to meet demand without adding an additional line in 2009,” Mr. McNeil said.
Meanwhile, Concert has several global customers who have operations in Asia. “In some cases our customers request a standard global product while others have adopted a more regional product focus.” Each of these situations provides Concert with interesting opportunities in this growing market.
In terms of end-use markets, Concert’s key focus is personal care including feminine hygiene and adult incontinence items for both the branded and private label markets. Other areas of interest include household cleaning applications and food pads, as well as emerging niche applications.
“Our R&D efforts are focused both on new products within our existing key markets and on applications where airlaid is not currently being used,” he said. “Both these markets represent significant potential tonnage in the coming year. In terms of niche markets, we currently sell into the construction and filtration markets.”
As it awaits its new German line to be complete, Concert will continue to focus on growth in both traditional and emerging markets, Mr. McNeil concluded.
“Growth is certainly the right term for Concert these days,” he said. “We continue to partner with our key customers globally, who rely on us to deliver top quality products today as well as be their development partner for many of their key initiatives in the future. We place a high priority on quality and innovation with our products, processes and services in order to meet our sophisticated customers’ evolving needs.”