Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Courtaulds expects £250m Tencel sales, hopes to announce a fourth plant in China (1994)

Mr Huismans said no decision had been reached on the location of a new European plant to produce the group's revolutionary Tencel fibre. The choice for the new 25,000-tonne facility, expected to cost £90m and generate 130 jobs, was between two sites in the UK, one in Spain and another in Germany. US production of Tencel is being increased from 18,000 to 43,000 tonnes with the addition of a second £134m plant. Courtaulds hopes to announce a fourth plant in China next summer and expects Tencel fibre sales to top £250m worldwide.

A maiden contribution from Tencel failed to stem a downturn in Courtaulds' fibres and chemicals operations, where operating profits fell from £108m to £93m. A sharp decline in Chinese demand led to a flood of imports elsewhere and lower prices for acrylics, acetate tow and rayon.

Lower raw material prices, on the other hand, boosted acetate yarns while European viscose benefited from the growing cotton shortage, ensuring a good start for Courtaulds' £130m acrylics and viscose joint venture with Hoechst.

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