Airlaid Materials’ net sales were in line with the fourth quarter of the prior year. Shipping volumes increased 6.4% compared to the prior year quarter and selling prices were $4.3 million lower, reflecting the contractual pass-through of lower raw material prices. Currency translation was $1.7 million unfavorable.
“Glatfelter continued to deliver solid performance in the fourth quarter and closed a remarkable year as we took several important steps toward transforming to a higher-margin, growth-oriented engineered materials company,” says Dante C. Parrini, chairman and CEO. “This was a breakthrough year for our Airlaid Materials segment, delivering record EBITDA from increased shipments of 11% within its legacy business, above the targeted range, and reporting full-year operating profit from our Steinfurt acquisition at the high end of the projected range. We made major improvements to our corporate cost base and reduced interest expense by restructuring our debt.”
In Airlaid Materials, Parrini adds, “shipments improved by 6% during the quarter compared to last year based on continued strong demand for adult incontinence and table top products.
“We made substantial progress on our ongoing business transformation in 2019, with more to accomplish in 2020. Coming off a record year for Airlaid Materials, we expect the segment to grow in line with market levels.”
Corporate Headquarters Relocation
Glatfelter plans to relocate the company’s corporate headquarters from York, PA, to Charlotte, NC, in mid-2020. Following the sale of the Specialty Papers business in 2018, Glatfelter no longer has any manufacturing presence in York and reduced its Pennsylvania workforce by over 90%.
Parrini says, “Our decision to move Glatfelter’s headquarters to a larger metropolitan area is another important step in our ongoing transformation. Charlotte provides enhanced access to a larger pool of critical resources and talent for future growth, and the Carolinas are a leading hub for the broader nonwovens industry. Additionally, being near a premier airport like Charlotte Douglas International allows for easier and more efficient business travel. Since the company’s founding, Glatfelter has had a long and rich tradition in York County and benefitted from the positive impact on our history, culture and people. We also value the strong relationships we have built with our local communities and business partners over the years and will continue to operate a satellite office in York to facilitate a more thoughtful and planned transition to our new headquarters.”