2014 Nonwovens Sales: $293 million
Mikael Staal Axelsen, group CEO; Peter Andersen, CEO, Malaysia; Claus Svanberg, group CFO; Mette Due Sogaard, group quality and sustainability director; Kenneth Mynster Dolmer, group supply chain director; Anders Sogaard, operations director, Denmark; Peter Bach Sigvardt, operations director, Malaysia; Ong Soo Fen, CFO, Malaysia
Three lines in Denmark, four in Malaysia
Comfort, Elite, Dual
Hygiene—applications within baby diapers, feminine care and adult incontinence
Reporting a strong 2014 was Fibertex Personal Care. The Aalborg, Denmark-based producer of spunmelt nonwovens for the global hygiene market, reported that its sales increased 15% to reach DKK 1.78 billion ($293 million) thanks largely to increased volumes of its Malaysian operation.
That operation’s fourth line came onstream in late 2013, adding 22,000 tons and helping to boost Fibertex Personal Care’s total sales. The company’s Malaysian capacity is now 70,000 tons.
CEO Mikael Staal Axelsen says that this ambitious investment schedule follows strength in the Asian market, which is growing at about 10% per year. “All of the markets are growing across the board,” he says. “We are particularly strong in Southeast Asia. Being in Malaysia has been a good strategy for us.”
In August, the company announced it would establish an Innowo Print facility near its Malaysian operation in response to growing demand for printed nonwovens in Asia. Fibertex Personal Care acquired the remaining 85% shares in Innowo Print, a nonwovens printing operation it helped found in 2007, in October 2014. According to Axelsen, the demand for printed nonwovens continues to grow and this business is targeting both internal and external demand.
“At Fibertex Personal Care, we mostly manufacture standardized products in very large volumes,” Axelsen says. “That makes it important for us to offer a uniformly high quality and provide excellent service to our customers. Direct printing on nonwovens is a field where we can differentiate from our competitors in the rest of the market and provide a service that complements our core product.”
Innowo Print operates two lines in Ilsenburg, Germany generating about DKK50 million ($8 million) in 2014. Although its first customer was Fibertex Peronal Care, it has built an independent customer portfolio and developed a brand recognized in the market. Fibertex Personal Care purchased Innowo only after its other two shareholders decided to sell.
In August, Fibertex Personal Care and Innowo Print received Kimberly-Clark’s Supplier of the Year award.
Back to Fibertex’s spunmelt operation, which also includes a three-line site in Aalborg, process optimization and innovation continue to be the top priority. “Our customers want products that can help them differentiate themselves and we are meeting this need as efficiently as possible,” Axelsen adds.