Katadyn Products, which claims to be the global leader in portable water purification solutions with a market share exceeding 50 percent, posted satisfactory figures for 2008: Total sales soared by 13.3 percent to 37.2 million Swiss francs (€24.6m-$34.2m). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 22.9 percent to CHF 5.9 million (€3.9m-$5.4m).

The good results were reached in spite of a rough market environment, rising prices for raw-materials and the weakness of the U.S. dollar. Among the positive factors, Katadyn enjoyed significantly high demand for its ceramic filters. For example, the Swiss company received a large order for drip filters from the Chiapas region of Mexico, designed to reduce the incidence of disease and mortality among the native population.

The growth of Katadyn’s core business in filters was especially sharp in the U.S., Germany and Asia where portable filters for outdoor use saw a significant increase in popularity. The successful integration of the Swedish Optimus brand of stoves and cooking equipment, which was acquired by Katadyn in 2007, also contributed to boost the total turnover. Sales also grew thanks to the internationalization of Trek’n Eat, a specialty brand of outdoor foods and drinks acquired by Katadyn in 2004.

Only the plastics division suffered a clear setback. The company moved into the plastic injection moulding when it acquired the Swiss OCO company five years ago.

Katadyn Products, which celebrated its 80th anniversary last year, currently employs 100 people and runs subsidiaries in Sweden, Germany, the U.S., France and Singapore.