2016 Nonwovens Sales: $200 million
Jørgen Bech Madsen, CEO; Mona Nielsen, CCO; Lars Bertelsen COO; Henrik Eigenbrod, CFO; Keld Lauridsen, group R&D director; Bjarne Knudsen, managing director
Denmark, Czech Republic, U.S., France, Turkey, South Africa
Needlepunch, spunlace, impregnating, coating
Acoustics, automotives bedding, building industry, composites, concrete, construction, filtration, flooring, furniture, geotextiles, home and garden horticulture, medical, wipes
Fibertex Nonwovens’ facilities, which are located around the world, continue to boost the company. In 2016, sales increased 6.5% to reach DKK1301 million ($200 million) thanks largely to the acquisition of Ribatek, a Turkish spunlace producer, in late 2015, as well as growing sales to the global automotives industry and an improved product mix featuring more advanced products.
The Turkish operation has allowed Fibertex Nonwovens to build off spunlaced assets already existing at its French location, making it one of the largest makers of crosslapped nonwovens for technical applications. These two operations are major suppliers to the specialty and technical wipes markets globally.
In addition to Turkey and France, Fibertex Nonwovens operates plants in Denmark, where it is headquartered, and the Czech Republic, South Africa and the U.S.
In the Czech Republic, Fibertex Nonwovens added a new needlepunch line in 2016. The investment has allowed the company to make lightweight nonwovens for automotive manufacturers in Europe, particularly the Eastern part of the continent. “A lot of manufacturing is popping up in Eastern Europe so it’s a good location to have assets,” Madsen says.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, Fibertex Nonwovens currently operates two manufacturing lines at a site it established in 2010. This facility mainly serves the geotextiles, industrial and automotive markets, which are not growing as quickly as expected.
Fibertex Nonwovens’ North American operation was acquired from Non Wovens Solutions, an Illinois-based needlepunch manufacturer in October 2014. The existing location, which currently houses two lines, has not only allowed the company to grow sales of its value-added products for the composite, filtration and automotives industries, it has brought Fibertex Nonwovens closer to its customers in North America.
“We will expand there but there has been no decision made yet,” Madsen says. “We are working in many segments so we are constantly looking at ways to support our customers.”
In fact, supporting customer developments has been the motivation behind Fibertex Nonwovens’ acquisition and investment activities around the world during the past decade.
“We follow our customers’ developments. If they move geographies, then we will move to new geographies,” Madsen says.
Asia will is also in the company’s sites. The company has recently started development and logistic companies in both India and China. “Our plan is to absolutely have lines there,” says CEO Jørgen Bech Madsen. “But we are taking absolute baby steps.”
In India, capacity would likely serve infrastructure improvements with materials for geotextile and construction applications, while any Chinese lines would service Fibertex’s key global accounts in the automotives market.