The Movers and the Shakers
There’s been quite a bit of movement in this year’s top company report, brought on largely by mergers, acquisitions and divestments. Fitesa reappeared on the top company list at number six thanks to its purchase of Fiberweb’s hygiene-related assets, which propelled its sales to about $670 million. Fiberweb, meanwhile dropped from number six to nine. Additionally, Ahlstrom’s sale of its wipes business to Suominen impacted both of those companies’ positions. Lastly, this year Danish company Fibertex appears in the rankings twice because last year parent Schow & Co. split it into two companies—Fibertex Personal Care and Fibertex Nonwovens, which appear at numbers 18 and 35, respectively, compared to last year’s 17.
Another influence to movement, something we will continue to see in the next couple of years, is investment. As we reported last year, there has been an unprecedented amount of new capacity announcements in the global spunmelt market with massive new lines coming in across the globe. Already, these investments have helped drive sales at companies like Avgol, Companhia Providencia, PGI, Toray Advanced Materials and Fibertex, and this trend will continue as several companies are still waiting for construction to be complete on new lines.
This year we welcome a couple of new companies to the Top Companies report, which show not only the growth of the nonwovens industry but also its expansion into new markets. Nan Liu Enterprise, based in Taiwan, debuts at number 38, thanks to an impressive investment philosophy, including a 6.2-meter-wide spunlace line that is set to come on-stream in China next year. Also new this year is the Hassan Group, the first Turkish company to crack the report. Of course, it most likely won’t be long before another Turkish producer is included. For a list of contenders, see managing editor Sean Moloughney’s report on Turkish nonwoven producers here.
As has been the case since Nonwovens Industry started ranking producers, Freudenberg Nonwovens was the world’s largest producer of nonwovens this year. This position continues to be challenged, however, as many of the company’s fellow producers in the top five—including DuPont and PGI—continue to invest for future growth.
The Top Companies profiled in this issue are ranked in terms of their 2011 nonwovens sales (in U.S. dollars). Sales figures are taken from a variety of sources—public documents, company statements, industry estimates—and are only intended to be a guide. The real value of this report is the company profiles, which are taken from interviews with key nonwovens industry executives and provide relevant information about the largest players in the industry. Nonwovens Industry strives to make this report as comprehensive as possible. If you know of a company you think should be included in this ranking next year, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, we appreciate your comments.
2011 Nonwovens Sales
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