It is interesting to note that—despite widespread reports of troubles, including unprecedented raw material price hikes, increased competition and difficulty in passing price increases on to customers—the nonwovens industry appears to be booming. Just ask the 42 leading companies profiled in this issue's Top Company report. Most have reported sales figures for 2004 on par with or ahead of 2003 results, and many have committed to continuing this growth with large-scale machinery construction, acquisitions or other investment strategies.
Each year, the editorial staff at Nonwovens Industry faces the challenge of reaching out to executives across the globe to update our top company report—a process that usually begins in March. In addition to reaching out to companies that have appeared in the past, we are always on the look out for new companies to make our report more comprehensive. This year, our search brought us two new "Top Companies"—Brazil's Fitesa and North America-based construction specialist Owens-Corning.
Yet, despite our best efforts, we know there are plenty of companies being left out of our report. For instance, this year's report contains not one Chinese company despite reports of significant growth within the country. Additionally, there are several companies located in more developed areas that certainly sell enough nonwovens to be included. These companies, however, have not cooperated with us by providing necessary sales figures and other company information.
That said, we want to know if you think your company should be included in next year's Top Company report. In fact, we will even offer a free subscription to Nonwovens Industry to anyone who brings us a new company for next year. Now, I'll just sit back and wait for the prospects to pour in.
Karen Bitz McIntyre