By Liz White, UT staffZurich-Swiss group Conzzeta Holding, parent of European foam consortium FoamPartner, reported a turnover rise of 5 percent for the foam operation during 2004, to SwFr 133.6 million ($112 million) in what it calls a “stagnating market.”FoamPartner-which consists of four units, in Germany, France, Switzerland and a small one in the US-was “particularly successful with semi-finished products for the automotive industry and the packaging sector,” said Conzzeta’s results statement.In contrast, the comfort division, which serves mainly the Swiss market, continued to suffer from “negative consumer mood,” the group added. At its main production units-the Fritz Nauer AG business at Wolfhausen in Switzerland, and Reisgies Schaumstoffe GmbH at Leverkusen in Germany-the group extended its long-block and tank storage facilities for raw materials during the year. At Leverkusen, Reisgies also commissioned a new reticulation installation to make open-cell foams in 2005. Conzzeta said FoamPartner “intensified its innovation and product development activities in 2004,” to distinguish itself from the mass market. One of the several new products introduced is post-reticulating foams, easily formable in an initial soft phase and subsequently hardened-“a world first,” the group claims. In early 2005, FoamPartner and German company Otto Bock Schaumstoffe set up a joint venture in China, initially for joint marketing, but will in future set up a polyurethane foam plant to serve the Asian market.Conzetta Holding’s total revenues rose 10.6 percent to SwFr 1013.8 million, with earnings of SwFr 52.1 million (SwFr 15.8 million for 2003). The group said its efforts in recent years to reduce costs and improve efficiency are reflected in this improvement. Group profit doubled to SwFr 45.0 million (SwFr 22.8 million). “
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