In spite of the globally tight economic situation, Sandler AG is able to report for the year 2009 an increase in production output of 13%. The centralization of all business units at the company's location and the global distribution with an export rate of 60%, which Sandler was able to maintain despite the general trend, contributed to this positive development. Turnover was increased to €168 million, whereby the record revenue of €166 million in 2008 was surpassed once again. The company management is extraordinarily pleased with this result. Regarding its turnover Sandler AG is today ranked 13th of all nonwoven producers globally. The company is the only larger nonwovens' producer in Europe which is still family-owned.
Sandler utilizes a wide range of production technologies and sells its materials to a multitude of sectors. For example, the company continued its successful business in the market for wet wipes and wipes for cleaning and disinfection. Already in 2007, Sandler AG set a trend towards environmentally friendly production in this sector with a new product series Less is Best to Nature. By means of ongoing process optimization, Sandler succeeded in sustainably reducing the consumption of raw materials in production and thereby ushering in a new product standard featuring consistent quality and functionality. For a long time, Sandler has not only been producing standardized products, but is also able to realise individual designs by means of hydro and thermo-embossing, aperturing and printing of these wipes with various patterns.
Sandler nonwovens for hygiene applications primarily feature a special softness; the textile character of these products which are pleasing to the skin results in a high wearing comfort for example in diapers as well as products for adult incontinence and feminine hygiene. Another speciality within the Sandler portfolio are nonwovens with higher CD elongation for stretch applications and fastening systems which guarantee flexible and optimal fit in diapers and adult incontinence products. In the medical sector optimization of products for the treatment of wounds is being achieved by these qualities.
Application areas in the filtration industry are very versatile. While the economic situation induced slight decreases in the sales of industrial filters, Sandler was able to offset the effects of this development with nonwovens for vacuum cleaner bags and face masks. Filter media made from paper or glass fibres are step by step successfully being replaced by synthetic filters. Particularly pleatable filter nonwovens with a large surface, which allow for the conditioning of air and liquid filters for climate and automotive filtration in small installation spaces, represent innovations with a promising future. In cabin and engine air filters as well as fuel filters, for example, Sandler nonwovens are already used.
More than 40 automotive models worldwide are equipped with special nonwovens manufactured by Sandler AG. Amongst others, these lightweight absorber nonwovens made of 100% polyester are included in sound and heat insulation systems in the engine compartment; furthermore, as textile wheel house liners which are particularly resistant to the fluids which can be found there. For example, water and oil repellent specialty fibers prevent the accumulation of dirt and snow below the fender. The material dries quickly and features excellent temperature stability. Also Sandler AG was confronted with decreases when it comes to established product series. However, owing to the start of several new projects declines in revenues could be compensated and overall turnover also in this business unit was increased slightly.
In the growing market for construction applications, nonwovens have versatile applications in the exterior and interior part of buildings. They enable the clients to save energy costs through specific heat insulation or to cover cracks in walls. By means of optimal isolation of interior walls, the noise level is reduced and thereby a comfortable atmosphere and acoustics are achieved. Simultaneously, building owners may profit from the convenient handling and processing of the material polyester as well as its positive properties.
The turnover in the sectors of upholstery, bedding and fashion which are consolidated in the market segment "home textiles" were also very satisfactory.
In spring 2009, Sandler decided to pull forward a large investment at the company premises in Schwarzenbach/Saale which had originally been scheduled for 2011 in the context of long-term corporate planning. In autumn last year, preparatory excavation works for the new building began. Thereby, Sandler AG is again remaining true to its strategy of concentrating know how, resources and technologies at one location. This large investment will result in additional qualified work-places in the long-run.
As of January 1, 2010, Wolfgang Höflich (Dipl. Ing. FH) was appointed to Sandler AG's management board. He joined the company as Assistant of the Production Management in 1976. In 1995, he became Vice President of Production; since 2001 he is Chief Representative within the company. He is managing the company together with Christian Heinrich Sandler and Dieter Magiera.
Today, Sandler AG employs 490 qualified and motivated staff members who are fully committed to the company and its goals. This is a very important condition for maintaining the established level of quality and innovation as well as the reliability.
Each year, Sandler provides apprenticeship positions for various professions, places theses and offers junior employees interesting tasks, for example in research and development, IT or sales. Last year, one third of the trainees passed their final exams with distinction – this also shows the great importance of a qualified apprenticeship programme at Sandler AG.
Due to the market oriented and strategic alignment as well as the sound financial structure of the company, Sandler AG's management board is optimistically looking forward to the business development in 2010.