New contracts give Recticel Automotive 18% growth boost

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The Automotive segment of the Belgian foam rubber manufacturer Recticel is doing well. Active in car seat and dashboard manufacturing, the division experienced strong growth in 2016 with an 18% sales increase.

Why the strong sales growth? New contracts.

However, the company stood by its strategic decision to sell the Automotive segment. But there is no hurry, as Recticel is determined to get the right price for the profitable segment. “We hope to complete the sale by the end of 2018,” the company predicts.

Recticel excels on the stock exchange

According to De Tijd newspaper, the foam rubber manufacturer is performing very well on the stock exchange. The reason for its success? The company managed to keep above water despite extreme price increases in the main commodities.

The prices of the three main ingredients for the products Recticel manufactures have risen since January last year. These products include insulation panels, car seats, mattresses and other foam rubber applications. The chemical raw materials in short supply are TDI (+84%), MDI (+61%) and polyols (+17%).

Porsche, Mercedes, Volvo and BMW as loyal customers

Wetteren based Recticel mirrored its price increases with this fast evolution. “In spite of the very strong headwind, we managed to maintain our profits at a more or less similar level,” Recticel CEO Olivier Chapelle told De Tijd. “The group profit dropped by 8% while turnover increased by 6%.”

The Automotive segment accounts for 19.9% of our Group’s total combined sales.

It makes, among others, the interiors of the Porsche Macan, Mercedes E-Class, Volvo XC-90, BMW 3 and 4 series and the Peugeot 508.

Active partner in development

With the technology-driven Interiors division (Recticel Automotive), the company wants to be an active partner in the development, production and commercialisation of innovative elastomer interior solutions for cars.

In addition to the Interiors business, Recticel and partner Woodbridge are offering moulded comfort foam pads for car seats.

Today the Interiors division operates globally from 11 production sites, in China (5), the Czech Republic (2), Germany (2) and the United States (2). The Seating division, whose geographical footprint is restricted to Europe, has 8 production sites, in the Czech Republic (1), France (1), Germany (2), Poland (2), Spain (1) and the United Kingdom (1).