Lenzing reported revenues of €2.18 billion for 2018, marking a 3.7 decline from the previous year. The challenging market environment for standard viscose, combined with less favorable exchange rates and a slight decline in sales volumes, were the key contributing factors, the company said. The net profit for the year dropped by 47.4 percent to €148.2 million. The Ebitda was down by 24 percent due to price increases for key raw materials and higher costs for energy and personnel. The Ebitda margin dropped from 22.2 percent in 2017 to 17.6 percent.
Despite these figures, the company's press release announced that in 2018, Lenzing achieved the fourth-best full-year results in its history. The specialty fiber business recorded a very positive development, with a revenue share exceeding 45 percent. Indeed, last year the company consistently worked on the strategic imperatives of its sCore TEN corporate strategy, which targets an increase in the revenue share of specialty fibers, along with investments in new technologies and business areas.
In 2018, the company announced the successful development of the Lenzing Web Technology. This is a new technology platform with a focus on sustainable nonwoven products, which is expected to open up new market opportunities for the industry. In a first step, 25 patent applications were filed, said the company. Also, in order to further intensify its cooperation with its customers and partners in the textile and nonwoven sectors, the company opened an innovation center at the Indonesian site in Purwakarta at the end of 2018. At the new Lenzing Center of Excellence, the company conducts joint R&D work on new yarns with its customers and tests various types of fibers and yarns in special laboratory facilities.
Based on the current exchange rates, Lenzing expects its results for 2019 to reach a similar level as in 2018, despite a much tighter market environment for standard viscose. Meanwhile, the group expects the positive development of its specialty fiber business to continue.