Polymer Group Sales Up, Profits Down

Engineered materials producer Polymer Group, Inc. (PGI) reported gains in sales but shrinking operating income in the first quarter ended April 3, 2010.

Acquisitions and international sales helped boost the top line, as the rise in Q1 net sales of $280.6 million, up 33.6% from year-ago volume of $210.0 million, “was due primarily to additional volume in the company's Nonwovens segment from the acquisition of the Spain business and increased sales volumes in Latin America and Asia, partially offset by a decline in the U.S. from consolidation initiatives in the carded business,” the company said.

The gain also included “higher selling prices due to the pass-through of higher raw material costs.”

“Foreign currency changes increased sales by approximately $3.5 million as most currencies were stronger against the U.S. dollar during 2010 compared with 2009,” PGI added.

Adjusted quarterly EBITDA of $27.8 million was down 26.4% from $37.8 million in the prior-year period.

Net income shrank to $0.2 million compared with $9.6 million in the year-ago quarter, “including $1.9 million of income from discontinued operations,” the company said.

PGI said it is expanding its new proprietary high barrier spunmelt capacity at its facility in Suzhou, China and is installing a similar spunmelt line in the U.S. “Both capacity expansions are expected to be online in mid-2011,” PGI noted.

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