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Profiles of Five Fast Growing Nonwovens Producers
published in Issue 69, 2nd quarter 2007
Five major nonwovens producers—Finland-based Ahlstrom, USA-based Kimberly-Clark, Denmark-based Fibertex, Israel-based Avgol and Czech Republic-based Pegas Nonwovens—have achieved impressive sales growth in recent years. Two companies, Ahlstrom and Kimberly-Clark, originated as paper manufacturers but later went on to diversify into nonwovens. By contrast, Fibertex began operations in the 1960s as a producer of needlepunch nonwovens. Avgol and Pegas are relatively new companies, having been established less than 20 years ago.
Various growth strategies have been adopted by the five companies, including expanding existing capacities, undertaking research and development, making acquisitions, diversifying, and expanding internationally. Interestingly, the emphasis placed on each strategy depends on a company’s stage of development. Ahlstrom, for example—having already established a wide product portfolio and a large manufacturing base—has followed an aggressive strategy of international expansion in recent years. Its acquisition activity has focused mainly on setting up factories and sales offices in established Western markets although it has recently set up production facilities in Brazil, China and South Korea. Kimberly-Clark, by contrast, has generated growth by developing and establishing brands and patents and by investing in research and development. For the future, however, it is focusing on the fast growing BRICIT (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Indonesia and Turkey) countries, the Americas and parts of Asia.
Fibertex diversified in the 1970s from the manufacture of needlepunch nonwovens to geotextiles and nonwovens for household textiles. In the 1980s and 1990s it expanded by setting up several new production facilities in Denmark. Since 2003 it has expanded into low cost locations abroad by building facilities in Malaysia and the Czech Republic. Avgol’s production operations were solely in Israel prior to 2001. Since then, it has established a manufacturing presence in the USA and, more recently, in China—albeit through a joint venture. Avgol is in the process of building a nonwovens facility in Russia to serve emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and other parts of the former Soviet Union.
Pegas’s strategy differs from those of the other four companies in that its only production facilities are in the Czech Republic. Despite this limitation, its sales have grown by virtue of its close proximity to markets in the EU, Eastern Europe and Russia and its low labour cost base in the Czech Republic.
Table of Contents
Profiles of Five Fast Growing Nonwovens Producers
Introduction Expansion strategies Financial indicators Strategies for growth Outlook
Ahlstrom Company development Company structure Location of operations Environmental responsibility Future development Financial indicatoRS Outlook
Kimberly-Clark Company development Market strategy Financial indicators Outlook
Fibertex Company development Market strategy Financial indicators Outlook
Avgol Company development Market strategy Financial indicators Outlook
Pegas Company development Market strategy Financial indicators Outlook
Four times a year, Technical Textile Markets provides an overview of the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for technical textiles, and is essential reading for senior executives in (or supplying) the man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile sectors – as well as for those who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis, but who need an authoritative source which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies which are actively involved in this fast-growing sector.
Reports in Technical Textile Markets include:
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profiles of the world's top 40 producers of nonwovens – updated each year with details of developments from each of the leading producers, including acquisitions, investments and divestments, and analyses of trends which the "rising stars" are using to their advantage.
statistical reports – including consumption data, by fibre and end-use applications. Regular updates are published for fibre consumption in Japan, the rest of Asia, the USA, and Western Europe.
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