Please find below all Forbo media releases listed by year.
Eglisau, July 21, 2000
In the first half-year 2000, the Forbo group with the two divisions flooring and industry specialties recorded sales of CHF 916.6 million, 6.4% more than in the previous year. There was a more than proportional increase in both operating profit and consolidated profit (after tax). The first six months of 2000 were characterized by the implementation of the new company strategy strongly focusing on the four core products linoleum, vinyls, belting and adhesives. The initiatives and measures taken have shown first effects.
Compared with the previous year, consolidated profit rose by 14.2 % to CHF 44.1 million. Higher cash-flow has led to an overall improved group liquidity. Special provisions of CHF 70.0 million after tax made in the previous year have not been touched yet.
With CHF 916.6 million and a 6.4% increase, group sales in the first half-year 2000 showed a favorable trend, with a positive contribution from exchange rate movements. The business development brought particularly high sales in North America (+22.5%) and in Asia (+33.7%).
The core product linoleum has developed at a dynamic rate (+5.2%). In a stagnating market, sales of CHF 177.7 million in the vinyl business were marginally higher than in the previous year.
Among industry specialties, business with conveyor and drive belts has been especially active on all continents (+19.5%). Sales of the core product adhesives were up 4.7%, i.e. a rather subdued first half year.
The organizations within the business units will be aligned with a clear market focus by January 1, 2001. Intensive efforts are made to enhance Forbo's presence in the Internet.
Apart from targeted marketing initiatives in the linoleum and vinyl businesses, the product development was intensified. The market launches of the first new products will take place in the first quarter of 2001. The positive sales development of belting calls for the speedy commissioning of the new installation in Hanover. In the other business units, good progress with restructuring initiatives has been made especially with carpets. In this context, it was decided to close the Wermelskirchen site in Germany.
Based on the positive economic outlook in our major markets and the increasing impact of the strategy implementation and restructuring programs, we are expecting a continuation of the positive sales and profit development.
Forbo is globally represented with products and systems for floor coverings and industrial specialties. It employs some 7 000 people and has an international network of 29 production companies in 12 countries and 71 marketing organizations in 25 countries.
A copy of the company's half-year report is enclosed.