Nonwovens Industry
Welcome to Nonwovens Industry


Published September 1, 2011
Related Searches: Wipes food pads Glatfelter Adult Incontinence
York, PA
2011 Nonwovens Sales: $538 million

Key Personnel: Dante Parrini, chairman and CEO; John Jacunski, senior vice president and CFO; Christopher Astley, vice president, corporate strategy; Jonathan Bourget, vice president and general manager, Advanced Airlaid Materials; Martin Rapp, vice president and general manager, Composite Fibres

Plants: Canada, Germany, France, U.K., Philippines

Processes: Airlaid, wetlaid

With the integration of Concert Industries completed, Glatfelter has seen strong growth, despite a turbulent economic environment, thanks in part to increased volumes in the feminine hygiene market, which is the company’s core business.

As some other airlaid companies have faltered, closing plants or teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Glatfelter has seen volumes increase 18% from 2009-2010 and 7.5% from 2010-2011. Profitability has almost doubled from 2010 to 2011, and results in the first half of 2012 are again 55% higher than those in the first half of 2011.

Jonathan Bourget, vice president and general manager, Advanced Airlaid Materials, notes that the company mostly operates in the mature markets of North America and Europe, which have only been growing about 2%. “We’ve been very fortunate to be able to grow faster than the market within a weak economic environment. This is testimony to the trust our customers have put into us.”

The company reported $252 million in airlaid sales for 2011, about 82% coming from feminine hygiene. “That’s been growing pretty healthfully, thanks to private label growth, particularly in North America,” says Bourget. “Private label in general, including Europe, has some very good traction to it nowadays. I think there is recognition from the private label industry that there’s no better way to imitate the leaders than to use the same raw materials. So they come to us and we try to find solutions for them.”

Like most companies in the nonwovens industry, Glatfelter has an eye on emerging nations, which offer great potential for future consumption. Bourget noted that usage rates of feminine hygiene products in North America and Western Europe are about 170 grams per capita, while just 70 grams per capita in the Asia-Pacific region. “There’s just a massive opportunity for penetration in this market,” he says, adding that some major players in the industry have launched educational campaigns to promote awareness among developing nations.

Meanwhile, Glatfelter has increased its exposure to the wipes market in North America. The company offers an array of basis weights along with a broad manufacturer competency within different segments.

In addition to feminine hygiene and wipes for the personal care industry, other important airlaid markets for Glatfelter include home care, food pads and adult incontinence.

As for the company’s composite fibers business (wetlaid), Glatfelter reported $476 million in sales in 2011. The company has continued to build on its market leading position in single-serve coffee and tea products, growing shipping volumes by 9%. The business segment’s profitability has been increasing significantly (20% over the previous year).

Alongside food and beverage (60% of wetlaid sales), other important markets include metallized (20%), composite laminates (11%) and technical specialties (9%).

Bourget notes that Glatfelter’s goal is to continue growing these two divisions, expanding geographical and market presence over the foreseeable future and capitalizing on the strong relationships that exist with global market makers.