Lenzing has posted its best half-year results with sales up by 11 percent to €1.15 billion in the first six months of 2017 ending in June. Profits for the Austrian-based maker of botanic cellulose fibers rose to €150.3 million, a jump of almost 60 percent over the same period in 2016, which itself was 83.9 percent above 2015.
The company attributed its strengthening performance to a high production capacity, higher prices and an attractive product mix. Two years ago Lenzing introduced an eco-friendly strategy, known as Core Ten, that places a focus on the types of specialty fibers used by such companies as Patagonia and Lorpen, a Spanish developer of performance socks for athletes and for the outdoors.
The goal is to increase the share of special fibers in total sales to 50 percent by 2020. As part of this plan, the company aims to increase production of specialty fibers by 35,000 tons annually through a €100 million investment in new production facilities. The first stage of the new facilities at the production headquarters in Heiligenkreuz in Austria is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
Lenzing has also established a subsidiary near Bangkok, Thailand, to help produce the new Cover fiber, an eco-friendly viscose fiber, which is described as a new sustainable benchmark for the industry. Furthermore, the company is building production facilities for its Tencel brand in Mobile, Alabama, which are expected to be finished in 2019.
Provided current market conditions remain unchanged, Lenzing expects a significant improvement in this year's results from the 2016 fiscal year, when it had sales of €2.13 billion and profits of €229.1 million.