Sales: $211 million
Description: Key Personnel
Michael Haddon, managing director
Emsdetten, Germany, Kierdorf, Germany, Hangzhou, China
Drylaid, chemical bonded, thermal bonded, needlepunched, air through bonded
hygiene, household, automotives, geotextiles, building, filtration
Reporting a slight increase in 2007 was Germany’s The TWE Group, which characterized the year as a consolidation year. “2007 was very much a consolidation year for our three main German production sites with no new lines being built, however a couple of lines were upgraded,” said spokesman Michael Haddon. “Given the amount of investment and new lines built over the last few years, this investment time out in Germany enabled us to really revisit the major markets we are serving to ensure that we are progressing in the manner we had planned. We are still following a policy of spreading the risk with the markets that we are active in and fortunately our four key markets, namely household, hygiene, filtration and automotive all performed as expected.”
TWE also completed the closure of its Hildener Filz site, which was purchased in 2003—and integrated this production into other TWE manufacturing sites.
The major project for the group in 2007 was building its Chinese plant where its first line came onstream at the end of the year. “We are currently building the second line in 2008 and this will be finished before year-end. The lines we have invested in are based on the current technologies operated in the group,” Mr. Haddon said. “We are also open to new technologies to TWE and this may play a role in future investment in China where we have space for a further two lines.”
Beyond Germany and China, TWE continues to pursue its stated intend of developing sites beyond Europe. China, was a first step to this plan but other opportunities are being examined in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Haddon added.
Beyond expansion, TWE, like everyone else, has been focusing on rising raw material and energy costs. “This is true for the whole industry, and in fact all industries, but we have tried to deal with this in a responsible manner by passing it on in the market. It is a dangerous game to play by companies who feel they do not have to react to these substantial increases,” Mr. Haddon concluded. “Having said that, 2008 turnover has progressed satisfactorily so we are expecting another solid year.”