Sales: $260 million
Description: Key Personnel
Emsdettern, Germany, Dierdorf, Germany; Hangzhou, China
Drylaid, chemical bonded, thermal bonded, needlepunched, air through bonded
Hygiene, household, automotives, geotextiles, building, filtration
Describing 2009 as “not an easy year,” was Michael Haddon, managing director of the TWE Group, Dierdorf, Germany. Attributing a turnover reduction largely to a substantial drop in sales to the automotives market and related areas, the company also saw reductions in many of its other markets, which include hygiene, household, geotextiles, building and filtration.
“We managed to keep our earnings healthy due to the fact that we reacted very quickly to the crisis and introduced a whole raft of measures to keep costs under control,” Mr. Haddon said. “Earnings were of course down but not critical.”
He added that the company started seeing conditions improve during the fourth quarter of 2009 and this has carried on into 2010. “It is very difficult to work out whether the crisis is fully over but we are confident for 2010, and beyond, due to new business and contracts secured over the last couple of years which are now coming onstream,” Mr. Haddon said.
To help secure itself for the future, TWE continued with its substantial investment plans and built two more new proprietary lines in its German sites of Dierdorf and Emsdetten to expand capacity in its existing technology. Additionally, TWE has just finalized plans to add another new line, featuring what Mr. Haddon would only call existing TWE technology, which will come onstream in the first quarter of next year.
Beyond Germany, the TWE Group opened a Chinese facility in Hangzhou in 2007 and added a second line there in 2008. Two years later, Mr. Haddon described its Chinese operation—which like Germany serves automotive, hygiene and technical applications—as in a consolidation phase.