2016 Nonwovens Sales: $589 million
Dante Parrini, chairman and CEO; John Jacunski, executive vice president and CFO; Christopher Astley, senior vice president & business unit president, Advanced Airlaid Materials; Martin Rapp, senior vice president & business unit president, Composite Fibers
Canada, Germany, France, UK, Philippines
As it waits for its new North American airlaid line to come onstream, Glatfelter continues to increase its volumes thanks to improvements on its existing lines. In 2016, the company’s Advanced Airlaid Materials business achieved record volumes thanks to increases out of its Gatineau, Quebec, facility, which holds two side-by-side airlaid lines. Airlaid sales represented 15.2%, or $244 million, of Glatfelter’s total sales.
Other bright spots of the business included 12% growth in the company’s wipes business thanks to a new specialty wipes business, which will likely be a key target market for Glatfelter’s new airlaid line, which is set to come onstream in Fort Mill, AR, later this year. Glatfelter announced in December 2015 it would invest $80 million in the new facility which will meet unmet demand in North America for materials used in lighter weight hygiene and disposable wipes products, according to Dante Parrini, chairman and CEO.
“Our plan to build this new facility is in direct response to customer needs for increased capacity in a tightening North American airlaid market,” he adds.
The new facility will have an annual capacity of approximately 22,000 short tons, which will increase the company’s total global airlaid materials capacity to approximately 129,000 short tons. The investment, which was only finalized after a customer committed to purchasing a significant amount of the capacity, will establish a specialty asset base in the U.S. and create a center of excellence for other lighter basis weight products. It will be complete in early 2018. It will be located in close proximity to several key customers and highly efficient transportation routes in the southern U.S., as well as where it will have additional access to a high-quality, skilled workforce.
In addition to the new Fort Smith facility, Glatfelter has airlaid operations in Canada and Germany as well as other facilities in the U.S., France, the U.K. and the Philippines. The company, headquartered in York, PA, employs more than 4300 people worldwide.
Glatfelter’s most recent airlaid investment was a new line in Falkenhagen, Germany, in 2010. Its current airlaid capacity is approximately 100,000 tons of nonwovens per year.
Even though airlaid sales reached record volumes, in dollar terms they decreased from $281 million to $244 million due to currency fluctuations. The feminine hygiene market accounted for the majority, 71% of sales, and customers include a few large, leading consumer products companies. Other key markets include wipes, adult incontinence and home care.
In addition to airlaid, Glatfelter makes wetlaid nonwovens for markets including food and beverage and wall coverings. These businesses are contained within the company’s Composite Fibers business, where nonwovens-related sales were about $350 million last year.
The largest market within this business, representing about $258 million in sales, is food and beverage, which primarily serves the single serve coffee and tea market. This year, Glatfelter was named “Supplier of the Year” by Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig), a leader in specialty coffee and innovative single serve brewing systems. The award recognizes both Glatfelter’s high performance and its demonstrated commitment to Keurig’s values.
Paul Iaderosa, Keurig’s senior vice president, Procurement, says, “Being named Keurig’s Supplier of the Year is a significant achievement and a recognition that Glatfelter continues to go above and beyond expectations. In 2016, Glatfelter displayed superior responsiveness to our evolving business needs, leading to improvement of the materials it provides and optimization of our supply chain.”
“At Glatfelter, we are focused on the innovation, quality and service we bring to each of our products and customers around the world, every single day,” Parrini says. “We are committed to fulfilling our vision of becoming the global supplier of choice in specialty papers and engineered materials.”
Another important business within the Composite Fibers business is wall coverings, a business that was acquired from Dresden Papier in 2013. Sales of wall coverings have begun to rebound in late 2016 and 2017 thanks to better socioeconomic conditions in Russia and the Ukraine as well as the closure of a major competitor in Europe.
Earlier this year, the Dresden facility in Heidenau, Germany, was recognized for service excellence, consistent high quality, and long-term cooperation by Russia’s largest wall cover producer, KOF Palitra. Glatfelter was presented this award during Palitra’s 15-year anniversary reception held last month in Moscow, Russia. The award recognizes the premium quality, efficient convertibility, and overall consistency of Glatfelter’s nonwoven wall cover substrates.