2018 Nonwovens Sales: $765 million
Allen Bodford, CEO; Fratisek Klaska, CTO; Marian Rasik, CFO
Znojmo and Bucovice, Czech Republic; 6th of October City, Egypt; Capetown, South Africa
Spunbond, meltblown, SMS, bicomponent
Hygiene, agriculture, healthcare, ecology, furniture, building, protective apparel, industrial
Sales increased significantly for PFNonwovens Group due largely to the acquisition of First Quality Nonwovens in mid 2018 and will increase even more in 2019, the first full year that the businesses formerly operating as Pegas Nonwovens and First Quality Nonwovens combine to be one of the largest global producers of spunmelt nonwovens.
“Our production ran at full capacity without any major operational issues and sales kept up with the strong production volume,” says CEO Allen Bodford. “For 2019, we have budgeted annual sales to exceed $600 million due to the fact that the ex-FQN business will, for the first time, contribute with full twelve-month results.”
PFNonwovens, which was known as Pegas Nonwovens before it was purchased by Czech-based private equity group R2G Group, acquired the nonwovens business belonging to First Quality Enterprises in May 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The combination of two of the world’s largest spunmelt nonwovens manufacturers created a global operation with facilities in the U.S., the Czech Republic and China.
Even though the businesses have a lot in common, starting from production technology to common customers, Bodford admits that integration has not been without its challenges.
“Integration of the two businesses is not an easy task and will certainly take some time,” he says. “Especially the first year is the most difficult. We have, however, made good progress and are already seeing results, in the R&D area, best practices in operations, and corporate services. We are working on a global strategy that will add more common goals and objectives and bring a stronger presence of innovation for our customers globally. We will also continue to bring our systems together to operate seamlessly across all sites.”
Recent investments include a new line in South Africa, which has started commercial deliveries to its clients, and the installation of the new semi-commercial line in the Czech Republic.
“South Africa provides us with the potential to supply not only our current global clients but also smaller ones, local producers of disposable hygiene products, and thereby to broaden our customer portfolio,” Bodford says. “The semi commercial line in Znojmo brings new innovative products. We are very optimistic for our semi commercial line to bring new innovative products to our customers.”
The new semi-commercial line is based on the Reicofil 5 platform. It uses proven bicomponent technologies, offers a wide range of fiber types and fiber profiles, while enabling the use of input raw materials different to those that it currently processes. A significant element of this technology is also the nonwoven textile bonding system, which is an alternative to the presently used conventional systems.
“Due to its development potential, we consider this semi-commercial technology to be the fundamental building block for our newly built global innovation center and believe that it will help us to achieve significant success in research, testing and subsequent commercialisation of new products with applications for current as well as new markets,” Bodford says.