Avintiv’s investment strategy has done more than just change the No. 1 position in the rankings. Former top companies like Fiberweb, Companhia Providencia and Dounor are now a part of Berry, opening up the door for a slew of new companies.
This year, we welcome three new companies to the report—Israel’s Shalag Nonwovens; Saudi German Nonwovens and Japan’s Daiwabo. The international scope of these companies reflects just how global the nonwovens industry has become. New manufacturers are appearing all over the world, looking for new customers of hygiene products, filtration media, geotextiles and more.
In addition to new companies, there are a lot of changes among the existing players in this report. DuPont, this year the world’s fourth largest producer, is preparing a merger with chemical giant Dow, a move that will create a powerful force across many industries. Filtration specialist Lydall continues its focus on expansion through the acquisition of needlepunch manufacturer Texel. This move not only expands its capacity in this segment, but it opens up the door to new markets for the material.
Like in past years, investment is a major theme of this year’s report. New lines are being planned by more than half of this year’s companies. Many of these are spunmelt—see Avgol, Fitesa, Avintiv and Fibertex Personal Care to name a few—but expansions are also being seen in the airlaid market (see Glatfelter), spunlace (see Mogul) and wetlaid (see Suominen). All of this investment must mean manufacturers are optimistic about the future.
And this optimism is not without cause. While many companies reported lower sales—due to decreasing raw material prices—volumes and profits are up and they’re expected to continue their climb throughout 2016 and beyond.
By The Numbers
The year’s top companies report includes 40 nonwoven producers located around the world. While many of the leading companies are based in established markets like the U.S. and Western Europe, less developed areas are increasing their role in the report. This year, we have two Israeli companies, two Turkish companies and four companies that are based in China/Taiwan. As companies based in emerging markets continue to invest and grow, surely we will see their ranking position climb in future years.
As is always the case, each company is ranked on the basis of their 2015 sales, which were translated from local currencies into U.S. dollars using the average 2015 exchange rates provided by www.oanda.com. Many economic factors like exchange rates and raw material pricing can skew the ranking so, while ranking companies by sales is necessary for the nature of this report, it is really the activities of these companies, as reported in the profiles, that should be considered. All sales figures were provided by the companies themselves except in come instances, such as Kimberly-Clark, Saudi German Nonwovens, First Quality and Johns Manville, which were estimated based on discussions with several industry sources.
2015 Nonwovens Sales
1. Berry Plastics $2 billion
2. Freudenberg Performance Materials $1.7 billion
3. Kimberly-Clark $1.3 billion
4. Ahlstrom $1.2 billion
5. DuPont $1.15 billion
6. Fitesa $706 million
7. Johns Manville $700 million
8. Glatfelter $589 million
9. Suominen $492 million
10. TWE Group $435 million
11. Low & Bonar $407 million
12. Georgia-Pacific $380 million
13. Lydall $378 million
14. Avgol Nonwovens $351 million
15. Jacob Holm $350 million
16. Hollingsworth & Vose $347 million
17. Sandler $319 million
18. Toray Advanced Materials $308 million
19. First Quality Nonwovens $300 million
20. Fibertex Personal Care $268 million
21. Pegas Nonwovens $254 million
22. Mitsui Chemicals $214 million
23. Asahi Kasei $212 million
24. Nan Liu Enterprises $192 million
25. Gulsan $186 million
26. Fibertex Nonwovens $182 million
27. Tenowo $180 million
28. Precision Custom Coatings $170 million
29. Union Industries $162 million
29. Hassan Group $162 million
31. KNH Enterprises $150 million
32. Jofo Nonwovens $140 million
33. Toyobo $137 million
34. Shalag Nonwovens $130 million
34. Propex Inc. $130 million
36. Saudi German Nonwovens $125 million
37. Mogul $117 million
38. Unitika $101 million
39. Kuraray $93 million
40. Daiwabo Polytech $86 million